Movie Experiences You Don’t Want To Miss In Houston, Texas

Movie Screen | © Kenneth Lu/Flickr
Movie Screen | © Kenneth Lu/Flickr
Films are an entertainment medium enjoyed in most cities in the United States, and even around the world. Houston is a great place to experience film in both the traditional and untraditional sense. There are conventional movie theaters scattered all over Houston and the surrounding area, but there are also unique film experiences hidden throughout the city. Here are five special movie experiences that you do not want to miss in Houston, Texas.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

With two locations in Houston, Alamo Drafthouse has been catering to the movie buffs of Houston since 1997. This movie theater combines the idea of dinner and a movie. The set-up of the theater has a traditional movie screen and rows of seats set up on tiered platforms; however, what is special about Alamo Drafthouse are the long tables placed in front of each row of seats. These tables allow for the meal portion of the movie experience. Customers make orders by writing down what they would like from the menu on an order sheet. Before the film, a waiter comes to greet the customers, and take orders. Food and drinks are brought out during the film and more food or drinks can be ordered at any time by simply writing out a new order and hanging it up for the waiter to take. All transactions are completed before the end of the film to allow viewers to leave as soon as the movie is over. Besides screening blockbuster films for viewers, Alamo Drafthouse also offers their ‘Signature Series.’ This series ranges from the screening of classic films, to anime night, and specialty events. For a night out with dinner and a movie all rolled into one, Alamo Drafthouse is the place to visit!

Alamo Drafthouse © eng1ne/Flickr

Santikos Silverado IMAX

IMAX has become an increasingly popular way to experience new movies. One of the few IMAX theaters in Houston, the IMAX theater in the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Edwards Marq’e 23 & IMAX also included, is Santikos Silverado IMAX. About a 35-minute drive from downtown, Santikos Silverado caters to movie viewers outside of Houston proper. The theater mostly shows blockbuster films, but they can be viewed in a variety of formats. First, there is the IMAX Theater that blows up the projection screen to epic proportions, incorporates high-quality sound, and sometimes has a 3D experience added. Santikos also offers D-BOX, which incorporates seats that move with the action on the screen and enhance the movie experience, and the new Barcos Escape that offers three screens instead of one and helps to more fully immerse viewers in the world of the movie they are watching. A full bar and concessions stand is also available to customers, which they can bring into the theater and enjoy during the movie. Santikos Silverado also offers the perk of assigned seating to moviegoers, but the theater is always packed on the weekend, so be sure to arrive early for good seats.

Xenon Short Arc Lamp Showing the “IMAX” Logo Behind It © Atlant/WikiCommons

Showboat Drive-In

Drive-ins are a dying breed among the film venues and are being outmoded by IMAX, 3D, and enhanced sound and graphics. The Showboat Drive-In in Hockley, Texas is a bit of a drive from the heart of Houston, but a film experience worth the trip for any Houstonian. This drive-in is the only one between Houston and San Antonio, having outlived even the popular Starlite Drive-In in Brenham, Texas. Boasting two enormous screens, concessions stand, and a plethora of parking, the Showboat Drive-In allows viewers to enjoy a movie from the comfort of their own car. The drive-in is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with the gates opening at 6:30 P.M. on Friday and Saturday and at 7:30 P.M. on Sunday. Adults pay $7 each and choose between two sets of blockbuster films. The movies run back to back with a short break in between. The Showboat Drive-In is the perfect way to enjoy the company of friends and family while also having a timeless movie experience.

Starlite Drive-In Theater, Brenham, Texas © Patrick Feller/Flickr

Sundance Cinemas

Part of a larger fleet of movie theaters, Sundance Cinemas in Houston offers viewers an eclectic take on the classic movie theater. This location has eight screens and is special because not only does Sundance Cinemas play blockbuster films, but they also screen documentaries, independent, and foreign films currently. A bar and concessions stand offers patrons a selection of food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages, which can be taken into the theater and enjoyed during the feature presentation. A unique aspect of Sundance Cinemas is the Art Gallery located next to the Box Office that features artwork from local Houston artists. These art installations are switched out every few months, giving Sundance Cinema patrons a view of the ever-changing art scene in Houston. Housed in Bayou Plaza, Sundance Cinemas is a great place to go and see a movie (whether it is a blockbuster film or not) and then enjoy a nice meal or a drink before or after the movie.

Bayou Place, Houston, 2012 © Another Believer/WikiCommons

Museum of Fine Arts Film Series

While the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is primarily known for their artwork, they have also become well known for the Museum of Fine Arts Film Series. Housed, the Brown Auditorium, the Museum of Fine Arts Film Series offers patrons a chance to experience both contemporary and classic films. The film series releases newly featured independent films as well as doing a series titled ‘Movies Houstonians Love,’ which plays classic films from the 20th century, as well as more modern films from the 21st century. Not only do those at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston want patrons to appreciate the films being screened and their subject matter, but they also want patrons to become educated in the field of film and its evolution from the past to the present and into the future. The museum invites guest speakers from a variety of fields to enhance films currently being screened. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Film Series is not only a high-quality movie experience, but a lesson in film, as well.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston © Chanel Wheeler/Flickr