There is no better place to watch a movie than Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood itself. But while the City of Angeles is packed with some of the most storied theaters — Chinese Theaters, the Egyptian Theater, and the Cinefamily, to name a few — you could wind up spending a pretty penny to catch a flick.
Last Fall I went with some friends to see Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar at the Chinese Theaters in Hollywood. Sounds like a simple enough outing, right? Wrong. The $20 price tag on the IMAX ticket, paying for parking, buying food (I had to — it was dinner time after work!), and the traffic headache getting to Hollywood on a Thursday evening made the night more expensive and stressful than it was worth (not to mention the movie did not live up to its hype, in my opinion.)
Luckily, there are actually plenty of other options in L.A. to see a flick without breaking the bank.
To that end, check out a rundown of some of the best discount movie theater options in Los Angeles (listed in no particular order).
Hope it saves you a few bucks!
1. Valley 6 Plaza in North Hollywood
If you’re looking for cheap seats for a movie and cheap eats in the Valley, you’re in luck. Valley 6 in NoHo shows semi-new films for $1.50 a ticket all day on Sundays and Tuesdays. On all other days, the price for a general admission ticket is $3 — pretty sweet, right? But if you have your heart set on seeing a flick in 3D, a $2 surcharge will apply. Rumor has it the theater also dishes out $1 hot dogs at the concession stand. What a steal!
2. New Beverly Cinema
This theater is owned and operated by director Quentin Tarantino, who programs the New Beverly to show its share of his own flicks, as well as classics, new classics, and arthouse independents. The cinema specializes in weekend double features for one $8 ticket, meaning that’s technically $4 a movie.
3. Highland Theaters in Highland Park
Catch the newest and hottest films for $5 a ticket all day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the family days special. If you can’t make it to this theater on those days, you can still get a good deal — the bargain matinee ticket price is $6 for showings before 6 p.m.
4. Academy Cinema in Pasadena
This Colorado Boulevard theater has plenty of ways to indulge in relatively new blockbusters. Tickets are $2 to see some newish flicks in bargain matinee showings before 6 p.m. and then it costs $3. But 6 p.m. is also when Academy Cinema’s “Date Night” special begins: Two tickets, two popcorns, and two sodas for $10.
5. Sundance Cinemas in West Hollywood
On Tuesdays, this indie theater considers everyone a “Student Of Life” and offers $6 student admission to everyone all day (no student I.D. required). Now there’s no excuse not to catch that award-winning documentary or that very moving foreign film. Thanks, Sundance Cinemas!
6. Starlight Terrace Cinemas in Rancho Palos Verdes
If you’re down in the South Bay, this theater in the Terraces Shopping Center shows brand-new movies for $5 all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays ($2 surcharge for 3D movies). On all other days, bargain matinee admission is $7 for showings before 6 p.m.
7. Rave Cinemas in Baldwin Hills
Are you free on a Tuesday? The hottest movies are $6 all day at this theater in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. If you can’t do Tuesday, there’s another discount option — it’s $7.15 for the first bargain matinee showing of the day.
8. Los Feliz 3
This vintage Vermont Avenue theater shows a mixture of hot indie movies and arthouse favorites. Catch a $6.50 bargain matinee for showings during the day. Only some of their films have online ticketing for now, so you may have to buy yours at the box office when you get to the theater.
9. AMC Theaters in Century City
Early risers, rejoice! You can see the latest movies for $6-7 at the Century City mall’s state-of-the-art theater if you catch a showing before noon. And it’s no myth — when my mother was in town, she made me watch a 10 a.m. showing of Anchorman 2.
10. Mission Tiki Drive-In in Montclair
Don’t want to be cooped up indoors during a beautiful night? I don’t blame you. Try this drive-in theater, which shows new movies in $9 double features. Just make sure you pick the movies you want — there’s no switching and driving to other screens during the showing.
11. Cinemark in Culver City
This theater in the Promenade in Howard Hughes Center plays today’s latest flicks for $6 a ticket all day on Tuesdays and $7.15 for the first bargain matinee showing of the day.
12. Vineland Drive-In in City of Industry
Cuddle up with a special someone in your car at the drive-in, just like back in the day. But this park-and-watch theater plays new flicks, rain or shine. It’s $9-$9.50 for a double feature and all you need is an FM radio. If you don’t have one of those, the theater sells ’em at the snack bar.
For more discount movie ticket options, check out our discount events page and filter for movies to see what’s available.
And if you think we missed any discount theaters in Los Angeles be sure to tell us in the comments so we can update the article with additional listings.