12 Movie Theaters That Are Actually Better Than Your Couch

Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/Getty Images.
Let's be honest: Watching movies at home has never been more appealing. Between Netflix, HBO Now, and a dozen other streaming services, the title options are endless. Our TVs are bigger and higher-res than ever. Increasingly, movies are released via streaming while they're still in theaters. You can be as loud and disruptive as you want: Eat lasagna out of a pan, pause the movie to take a call from Mom, Snapchat while you watch. And if it's not free, it's very cheap to split the $5 or $10 cost of a rental. You have to wonder: Why would anybody get up off their couch and go to an actual movie theater anymore?
We've got a few good reasons. When it comes to movie theaters, we're happy to report that there are a few gems out there. These are not your average cinemas. Each of them offers something special, something you won't find in other theaters or your living room. From opulent decor and luxurious seating to spectacular outdoor settings and gourmet food and drink, these venues are truly worth the trip. Here are 12 movie theaters that are actually better than your couch.
Advertisement
1 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of Darling Harbour IMAX.
The IMAX Theater In Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

The appeal here is pretty obvious. At 117 ft wide by 97 ft tall, it is simply the largest screen in the world. The curved screen shows movies using a ten times larger format than a standard theater, and the surround sound takes it to another level.
2 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of The Rex Cinema.
The Rex Cinema, Berkhamsted, England

The Rex is a 1938 art-deco theater with plush seats, an impressive wine list, and what it claims is the "clearest, non-booming sound anywhere in the world." Imagine watching a war or action movie and hearing every single word the characters say!
3 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of Cinespia.
Cinespia, Los Angeles

The setting of this LA institution is crazy-cool. Spread out on the grass picnic-style, enjoy the glorious sunset and watch movies at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. They often feature fun pre-show extras like photobooths and DJs. Plus, actors themselves show up from time to time.
4 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse's Facebook.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

This charming chain got its start in Austin, TX, and has since expanded to over a dozen cities in the U.S. — Brooklyn is the next lucky location. Alamo Drafthouse does hot Tex-Mex and cold beer, yes. But its their zero-tolerance for texting (they will throw you out), enthusiasm for costumes (like at this Deadpool screening) that make the experience ideal for movie lovers.
5 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of Cine Thisio.
Cine Thisio, Athens, Greece

Ever dreamed of enjoying a movie in an 80-year old garden cinema complete with perfect view of the Acropolis and the Parthenon? Then pack your bags for Athens, because the city's oldest outdoor cinema offers just that. Here, pretty much every seat is the best in the house.
Advertisement
6 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of Facebook.
Nokia Ultra Screen, Bangkok, Thailand

Fancy a foot massage with your movie? Great, because they're complimentary here. Just recline in your cushy chair, revel in the continuous drink refills, and don't forget to enjoy the show. And, like Bangkok's numerous other luxury theaters, the VIP lounge is worth checking out for pre-show cocktails, free snacks, and people-watching.
7 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of Facebook.
Sun Picture Garden, Broome, Australia

Why is watching movies better outside? It just is — you can ask patrons of the world's oldest still-operating outdoor cinema. It opened its doors in the city's Chinatown in 1916, and has been delighting audiences with its wonderful atmosphere and double-features in the century since.
8 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of Electric Cinema's Facebook.
Electric Cinema, London

This century-old Notting Hill theater (don't mistake it for its less-cool sister venue in Shoreditch) is something of a London institution. It features leather armchairs, beautiful original architecture, tasty refreshments, a VIP lounge upstairs, and the option to get dinner and drinks before or after the show at the adjacent Electric Diner. But mostly? It's just a really cool spot.
9 of 12
Secret Cinema

So this isn't a theater per se, and that's kind of the whole point. Secret Cinema offers immersive movie-watching experiences — complete with elaborate performances that encourage audience participation before and during the show — at different indoor and outdoor venues around the world. This Dirty Dancing screening in London, for example, attracted 12,000 fans to Hackney Downs Park, which had been transformed into the movie's Catskills resort from the film.
10 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of The New Parkway's Facebook.
The New Parkway Theater, Oakland, CA

This one-of-a-kind venue is the ultimate option for people who would like to pretend that they are still sitting in their own living room. It's equipped with homey couches and cushy beanbags, local beer and wine, food service, and a decidedly artsy-chill, community vibe.
11 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of Facebook.
L'Olympia Music Hall, Paris

But why settle for a couch when you can have a bed? Think of this as the deluxe version of Netflix and chilling. (Just, you know, remember you are in public.) This French venue is actually a concert hall, but lucky for lovers of cinema and comfort, it often converts into a mattress store for movie screenings.
12 of 12
Photo: Courtesy of Pathé Tuschinski via Nuvo Magazine.
Pathé Tuschinski, Amsterdam

This grand Netherlands theater has been wowing audiences since it opened its doors in 1921. The stunning architecture and decor combines Asian and Dutch elements with Art Nouveau. It includes a massive organ and hosts celebrity-studded movie premieres. Honestly, you could probably thoroughly enjoy Transformers 2 in this setting.
Advertisement