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The best cinemas for multiplexes, indie cinemas, midnight screenings and more

See A movie is only part of the appeal of going to the movies. To get even more in the movie spirit, dress up for a watch party at the Alamo Drafthouse (where you can have dinner served to your seat), catch an indie film festival at Brattle, or meet other night owls at one of the midnight screenings at Coolidge. Find these great theaters and four more around the city below.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Bryce Bernier

Boston has its own version of the cinephile-friendly chain in the Seaport, complete with a lobby full of archived movie posters. (Looking at them is addictive.) Enjoy your dinner – and maybe an alcoholic cocktail – with your movie, right from your comfortable seat and without having to watch a hundred commercials and trailers. These people take movies seriously: chatterboxes and cell phone junkies get warned and then kicked out. Audience participation is welcome at movie parties with themed props – a current schedule: Jaws, Purple Rain, The Wizard of Oz, and more – among many other creative special events.

Address:

60 Seaport Boulevard, Number 315, Seaport


AMC Dam 13

AMC Dam 13

AMC Dam 13.

Boston’s newest movie theater—well, it used to be the ArcLight Cinema before AMC took it over in 2022—is practically next door to the Garden, in The Hub on Causeway dining and entertainment complex, so it’s easy to get to by subway and has plenty of dining options nearby. Offerings include AMC Artisan Films, which focuses on curated options. It’s also the only AMC theater in Massachusetts to offer laser projection, so you can see the popular Nicole Kidman commercial as crystal clear as possible.

Address:

60 Causeway Street, West End


AMC South Bay Center 12

AMC South Bay Center 12

AMC South Bay Center 12 Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

As close as you can get to a Boston mall movie experience, it’s located in the middle of a busy shopping center in Dorchester. This theater is easily accessible by bus and seems to be particularly popular with a younger, boisterous crowd – exactly what you’d expect from a multiplex experience and perfect for a boisterous summer blockbuster. Get all your shopping done and then reward yourself with an IMAX film or Dolby Theater screening (reclining chairs included).

Address:

25 District Road, Dorchester


The Brattle Theatre

The Brattle Theatre

The Brattle Theatre Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/File

A Harvard Square institution since 1953, The Brattle specializes in repertory screenings. Walk down the front steps and immerse yourself in all sorts of special series put together by an inventive team with good taste and an eye for surprising combinations. Home to Noir City Boston and other film festivals, it has a program of 35mm screenings. It shows many indie first-release films and you’ll also find the best popcorn around.

Address:

40 Brattle Street, Cambridge

Coolidge Corner Theatre

Coolidge Corner Theatre

Coolidge Corner Theater. Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe

The recent opening of two new cinema halls and an expanded lobby makes visiting this former church, converted to a movie theater in 1933, even more entertaining. The Coolidge is a popular destination for independent cinema and signature programs like “Big Screen Classics” and “Cinema in 70mm,” but it also knows how to keep things fresh with “Coolidge After Midnite” crowd favorites like The Room, Straitjacket, Sin City, and more. Film seminars and other educational programs are held regularly.

Address:

290 Harvard Street, Brookline


Landmark Kendall Square Cinema

It might take some effort to find this theater, even if you’re driving — it’s about a 10-minute walk from the subway station — but it’s worth the effort. This nine-screen theater has friendly staff, cozy theaters, and reasonable admission prices. It’s also Boston’s main hub for all the movies released on Netflix, so you can catch them on the big screen. And that’s just part of the mix of indie, foreign-language, and mainstream films. A free membership program offers perks, including discounts.

Address:

355 Binney Street, Cambridge


Somerville Theatre

Somerville Theatre in Somerville

The Somerville Theatre in Somerville. Marissa Fiorucci

This 110-year-old three-family house in the heart of Davis Square is a must-see, and not just for its historical context (it was once a vaudeville theater) and its magnificent 840-seat main hall, complete with balcony and stage. There are also repertory programs of classic films, 70mm screenings, and the occasional live performance (U2 performed here in 2009). Ticket prices are on the low side for Boston, snacks are plentiful, and the lobby is full of interesting anecdotes about the theater’s history. Keep an eye out for the spooky-looking owls that hide in various places, secretly watching the crowd with their creepy red eyes.

Address:

55 Davis Square, Somerville


The 2024 Boston Globe Best of the Best winners were selected by Globe newsroom staff and correspondents and limited to Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. We want to hear from you: Did your favorites make it onto the list??

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