10 Best Movie Theaters in Metro Phoenix

The Valley is home to some unique movie theaters and art houses, running everything from blockbusters to independent and local films.EXPAND
The Valley is home to some unique movie theaters and art houses, running everything from blockbusters to independent and local films.
Lauren Cusimano

Like favorite candy bars, Seinfeld episodes, and One Directioners, having a favorite movie theater is, well, not exactly important. But knowing what you like and why? It makes all the difference, especially when you're looking to cool off with the latest blockbuster or indie must-see. And in metro Phoenix, moviegoers have plenty of great options. Everyone has his or her favorite movie theater — and for very specific reasons. This place has reclining seats, another has food, another has student discounts, and yet another has some actual good movies.

Though we’ve not yet been graced with the Chandler location of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (it’s coming soon, guys), we still have 10 theaters in town with a little something special to take in everything from booming summer blockbusters to moody art films.

Here are our 10 favorite movie theaters in the Valley.

Mill Avenue's AMC Centerpoint 11 in Tempe offers those plush recliners and the attached Pedal Haus Brewery.EXPAND
Mill Avenue's AMC Centerpoint 11 in Tempe offers those plush recliners and the attached Pedal Haus Brewery.
Lauren Cusimano

AMC Centerpoint 11
730 South Mill Ave, Tempe
480-207-2534

Arizona State University students might not like that student discounts aren’t offered this close to campus, but what they will like about AMC Centerpoint 11 is the fully reclining plush seats. You can practically lay down during the whole three-hour sequel you just signed up for. Set on Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe, this renovated theater used to be MADCAP Theaters – but is now the 11-auditorium AMC Theatres at Centerpoint, showing first-run movies and midnight premieres. Standard popcorn, nachos, and Coca Cola freestyle machine drinks apply here, unless you check out the attached Pedal Haus Brewery. Tickets still start at $4.99 every day before 4 p.m. – just don’t forget to validate your Centerpoint Parking Garage ticket.

The Biltmore area's AMC Dine-in Theatres Esplanade 14 offers luxury seats and seat-side service for their full menu.EXPAND
The Biltmore area's AMC Dine-in Theatres Esplanade 14 offers luxury seats and seat-side service for their full menu.
Lauren Cusimano

AMC Dine-in Theatres Esplanade 14
2515 East Camelback Road
602-667-0330

You’re in the Biltmore area, so you would expect nothing less than what you’ll find at AMC Dine-in Theatres Esplanade 14 – set just east of 24th Street and Camelback Road. This is the type of theater with luxury seats, plus a full menu with seat-side service. The sole AMC Dine-In Theatres location in Arizona, the Esplanade 14 offers the date-night appropriate Cinema Suites theaters – best before and after a visit to the onsite MacGuffins Bar & Lounge – or the more family-friendly Fork & Screen auditoriums. To cut it down a bit, AMC offers the AMC Stubs, plus reduced prices for student, military, and senior moviegoers at certain times.

Since 2011, FilmBar in downtown Phoenix has screened independent, foreign, and local films in their 76-seat microcinema. Also, beer and wine is there.EXPAND
Since 2011, FilmBar in downtown Phoenix has screened independent, foreign, and local films in their 76-seat microcinema. Also, beer and wine is there.
Lauren Cusimano

FilmBar
815 North Second Street
602-595-9187

Billed as “Phoenix's true indie alternative,” FilmBar has been around since 2011, and in the past five years has done some pretty innovative things. This downtown indie theater is at Second and McKinley streets, and features a soundproof, 76-seat microcinema with 2K digital projection technology. FilmBar is known for screening independent and foreign films, plus current, locally made, and cult films during special nights. The front of the house is a 21-and-over beer and wine bar, also offering tamales, nachos, popcorn, and candy. Stop by for a drink, and you don’t even need to see a movie to enjoy this part of FilmBar. Tickets run $9 a showing, and $5 for retro screenings.

The newer Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square 14 is found in the East Wing, and screens independent film and big titles.EXPAND
The newer Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square 14 is found in the East Wing, and screens independent film and big titles.
Lauren Cusimano

Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square 14
7014 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale
480-947-8778

When news hit that the iconic Harkins Camelview 5 Theatres was closing in December 2015, many a Phoenician groaned. Where would we see our independent, foreign, artistic, and Oscar-worthy movies now? Harkins Theatres Fashion Square 7, nestled in the Scottsdale Fashion Square food court area, was also closed. But now the go-to mall is home to a perfect blend of both now-closed theaters: Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square 14, found on the second floor of the East Wing. The new Camelview features 14 wall-to-wall curved screens, those plush, reclining Harkins’ Ultimate Loungers in all auditoriums, and Fashion-Square-worthy amenities like the Harkins’ Lobby Café and the Vérité Lounge.

The Ciné Capri features a 30-foot by 80-foot screen with a Dolby Atmos sound system at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 14 and Harkins Tempe Marketplace 14.EXPAND
The Ciné Capri features a 30-foot by 80-foot screen with a Dolby Atmos sound system at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 14 and Harkins Tempe Marketplace 14.
Lauren Cusimano

Harkins Cine Capri at Scottsdale 101
7000 East Mayo Boulevard, Scottsdale
480-557-0027

Billed as the “Ultimate Moviegoing Experience,” the Ciné Capri at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 is a unique viewing experience for a couple of reasons. The Cine Capri screen is 30 feet tall and 80 feet wide, and backed by Dolby Atmos system pumping out 40,000 watts of digital sound to 600 stadium-style Ultimate Rocker loveseats. If you’ve seen a movie in the Cine Capri auditorium before, you know the people at Harkins might give a little spiel about the screen, and signature golden curtains will open dramatically right before the preview starts. And if the Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road is a little north for you, the Valley is home to a second Cine Capri screen at Harkins Tempe Marketplace 14.



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