Are These the 20 Best Movie Theaters in the World?

Are These the 20 Best Movie Theaters in the World?

Apr 17, 2014

Movie nerds love to wax poetic about their favorite film houses — especially when a list like this one from Men’s Journal comes along, in which the magazine rated the top 20 movie theaters in the world. From Paris to Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia, this selection of cinemas ventures around the globe, but gives the number one spot to the Spanish Colonial Baroque-designed Castro Theatre in San Francisco.

Built by Timothy L. Pflueger in 1922, the 1,407-seat theater has a grand facade and sits in the heart of the largest (and one of the oldest) LGBT communities in the United States. The Castro even hosted the world premiere of Gus Van Sant’s Oscar-winning movie Milk — about the first openly gay elected official in California, Harvey Milk. Check out this 1998 PBS documentary about the Castro for an in-depth look at the gorgeous theater.


Other movie houses on the list include the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Le Grand Rex in Paris, Colosseum Kino in Oslo, and Sol Cinemas in South Wales. Remember, these are the theaters Men’s Journal considers the “best,” not the most beautiful. There are a few beauties on the list, but a place like the Drafthouse focuses more on the community, overall experience and its genre slate. What other theaters belong on the list?

Check out the mag's top 10, then battle it out below.

1. The Castro (San Francisco)
2. Secret Cinema (Worldwide)
3. Kennedy School Theater (Portland, Oregon)
4. Sol Cinemas (South Wales, U.K.)
5. Alamo Drafthouse (Austin, Texas)
6. Le Grand Rex (Paris, France)
7. New Beverly Cinema (Los Angeles, California)
8. IMAX Sydney (Sydney, Australia)
9. Nitehawk Cinema (Brooklyn, NY) 
10. Colosseum Kino (Oslo, Norway)


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