Best Independent Theaters in Houston

Landmarks River Oaks Theatre
Landmark's River Oaks Theatre | Facebook
Lauren Rogers

There is more than one place in Houston to grab a drink and watch an indie movie at the same time, thank goodness. If you’re tired of going on the same Tinder date over and over again, try recommending one of these theaters. You can still grab a cocktail and have plenty of ammo for conversation after the film. Or, forget the date and enjoy the bliss of a solo movie. Is there anything better than buying a large order of buttered popcorn with no intention of sharing?

River Oaks Theater

A historic movie theater located in the wealthy River Oaks district of Houston, River Oaks Theater has three screens and was built in 1939, giving the structure an Art Deco design. They also show the Rocky Horror Picture Show every month with a live cast. In 2006, they attempted to sell the building, which led to a wide outrage among Houstonians, who ultimately saved the theater.

Alamo Drafthouse Katy

Located a little outside of Houston in Katy, Alamo Drafthouse shows modern indie movies and throwback features. It also provides drinks with a full bar, dinner and events for the community. Missing Dirty Dancing or Clueless? Get ready for their monthly Girlie Night showing.

14 Pews

An artist-run and non-profit company, 14 Pews gives local filmmakers a chance to shine. It was converted from a church, hence the name. As a smaller venue, this theater is a great chance to have thought-provoking conversations about art with other Houstonians.

Aurora Picture Show

A non-profit media center, Aurora Picture Show is more than just a movie theater, it’s a place for crafting, events and an art gallery. It used to be an old church, but has since transformed into an epicenter for art.

Rice Cinema

A part of Rice University at the Rice Media Center, this small theater shows mostly independent films and documentaries. Rice Cinema was founded by Jean and Dominique de Menil, with the goal of creating a space for visual art. It’s prepared to show any kind of film due to its ability to screen 16mm and 35mm film formats.

iPic Theater

Luxury, decadence, relaxation. Things we all need every once in awhile to get through the week. At iPic Theater, you can enjoy a movie in a pod-style theater with cozy armchairs made just for you and your best friend. You can order from your seats while enjoying your movie, as well as relish in free popcorn.

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