Whether you are a movie buff or not, watching a movie in cinemas is still one of the best things to do to pass time and be entertained in spite of the advances in technology. Even if tablets, smartphones, laptop, smart TVs, etc. are already available within our reach that will give us a comfortable movies at home, going to movie theaters is still a different kind of experience – may it be one of the oldest like the Byrd Theater or the newest 4D cinema. This is because you have better sounds, picture, and refreshments to enjoy. This also gives you an opportunity to experience movies in a unique way – I mean not everyone has 3D glasses, reclining chair, or whatnot at home that will immerse you more in the movie, right? But where should you go for the best movie experience?

Movie theaters these days have come up with different gimmicks which helps them fare well against its competitors. But if you’re looking for a quick stop for a movie, look no further than Virginia.

Virginia is one of the states in the US that has a lot to offer to its visitors. But it can also be a place for when you just want to have a quick stop to pass time. One of our favorites in Virginia are its movie theaters. Most of them offer different movie experience that you need to try out. Check out where you should watch a movie next for a whole new cinema experience.

1The Byrd Theater

The Wurlitzer organ sitting on the Byrd Theater’s stage (source)

 It’s hard not to mention the Byrd Theater when you’re talking about cinemas in Virginia. This is because it has been providing a stage for various performances since 1920s. And it still has its door open today. Here, you can get to enjoy movies for as low as $1.99 in a beautiful grand vintage setting that also lets you travel back in time. But aside from the Oscar-worthy movies screened here, this place is also loved by both locals and tourists for its amazing Wurlitzer.

In case you’re not familiar with it, the Wurlitzer is actually an organ that the Byrd Theater originally conceived to accompany silent movies. It is a one-person orchestra that has many percussion instruments and effects that can be used for silent films in addition to dramatic and unique pipe voices. It was first used on Christmas Eve of 1928. But what will impress you is that it is still in operation today. In fact, if you visit the Byrd Theater on a Saturday night, you can get to see and hear it play. You’ll definitely have a unique movie experience here.

2Bow Tie Movieland

Bow Tie Movieland’s marquee at Boulevard Square (source)

Speaking of oldies, like the Byrd Theater, Bow Tie Cinemas is also one of the oldest in the US as it was founded in 1900. In its Virginia branched, which turned 10 just last year, guests will be treated with comfortable movie theaters. You will also get to enjoy its fabulous layout giving the old train station vibes. Apart from that, you can also get to enjoy midnight cult film showings on the weekends where you can watch classics such as Troll 2, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and The Room. Bow Tie Cinemas’ Virginia branches also have good locations where you can also get to enjoy the attractions nearby. One of which is the Science Museum of Virginia which is another place that you should see for a good movie experience.

3Science Museum of Virginia

A peek inside The Science Museum of Virginia’s The Dome (source)

You might wonder what a museum is doing on this list of cinemas but hear us out first. The Science Museum of Virginia is, well, a science museum that has interactive exhibits where visitors can get to explore science better. But aside from being a museum, this place also houses a theater called Ethyl IMAX Dome and Planetarium, also known as The Dome. Here, kids will not just get to watch movies but they can also get to learn more about science. This is because of the museum’s theater that screens films that are both educational and entertaining. Children will also be in awe of the huge screen surrounding them.

As its name suggests, this place lets you explore the stars and other celestial bodies with the live astronomy presentations that it features. Through this, you can get to learn more about science, which makes it a nice place to bring your whole family, especially if you have kids. But this place is not just about learning. It is also a place for fun and entertainment. this site also lets its visitors see various movies that are family-friendly. At times, the museum also plays regular movies that are kid-friendly such as Kung Fu Panda. Just keep an eye out on the museum’s calendar to see what’s on. It’s one of the theaters in Virginia that you should see, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

Its unique structure also makes movie experiences even more unique, immersing you more into the film. However, because of its unique design, it can be sometimes become uncomfortable as there are seats where you’d need to look up.

Pro tip: sit on the higher rows. In this way, you won’t have to look up during the entire movie.

4Tredegar Iron Works

The historic Tregar Iron Works on the outside (source)

Speaking of learning and entertainment, you shouldn’t miss Tredegar iron Works too. Started out as an iron works, this place is now turned into a museum where you can get a glimpse of the American Civil War, as well as the stories of Tredegar. Be prepared for a lot of reading, though. But this place isn’t just about reading. The museum also screens films. However, it’s not your ordinary movie theater where you can view the latest films. Rather, Tredegar Iron Works features films that tell the history. Whether you are a history buff or you’re looking for a place to take the kids that will not just let them have fun, this museum is worth the visit.

5CineBistro, Stony Point Fashion Park

An aerial view of Stony Point Fashion Park where CineBistro is located along with several good restaurants and boutiques (source)

Watching movies at CineBistro at Stony Point Fashion Park is also a different movie experience you don’t want to miss. Here, you have spacious leathers seats to enjoy that will make you feel utmost comfort. Apart from the seats, what many people love about this place is how they offer services that will make you feel like a VIP. In this movie theater, you’d want to ditch the traditional movie theater snacks and try out the dishes that this cinema offers. Here, you won’t have to leave your seat to grab some food or drinks because you this cinema allows you to browse its menus from the comfort of your seat. There are also in-theater waiters who will get your orders. Of course, all your orders are brought to your seat. In this way, you won’t miss any second of the movie you’re watching. This place is also perfect for when you just want to enjoy a movie without worrying about others’ kids crying out loud or whatnot. It’s a luxurious cinema experience you need to try out.

6Cinema Café

A look inside Cinema Cafe and its comfortable seats (source)

Another place that will make you feel like a VIP is Cinema Café. Like CineBistro, this movie theater also offers meals such as burgers, pizzas, chicken sandwiches, and even fresh salads. Alcoholic beverages like wine, mixed drinks, and beers are also available. And the best part of it is that there’s no need for you to wait in line to get your order. Cinema Café also has full wait staff in its auditoriums who will get you your order. In this way, you will not miss any second of the movie too. Plus, you can enjoy your movie and your food on comfortable high back chairs with cup holders and liftable arrests or high rocking leather style chairs. The best part of it is that during Tuesdays, Cinema Café offers dollar movie day. During this day, you can enjoy great movies for only $1.

7Forest Hill Park

A gazebo at the Forest Hill Park where families and friends gather (source)

Forest Hill Park is actually known as a park offering recreational activities. Here, you can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere with activities such as hiking, trail running, and mountain biking, that are perfect for the outdoorsy visitors. Fishing is one of the activities that you can enjoy as well. The park also has tennis courts for the sporty and picnic tables plus fire pits where families and friends can gather and enjoy their packed meals. Hence, it’s not a surprise why you’ll question it being a part of this list. But aside from that, this park also turns into a movie theater. During the summer months, this movie screens family-friendly movies that will make you enjoy your visit more. And the best part of it is that you can enjoy the movies for free. So don’t forget to keep an eye out on your calendar as the park offers free movies every Friday between the months of June and August.

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8Once Upon a Vine

Kids enjoying the movie night at Once Upon a Vine (source)

Once Upon a Vine is a place where you can grab fine wines and premium beers from six continents. It is also recognized by Rate Beer.com and a number of local magazines as one of the places where you can get the best beers. And at first glance, one would think that this place is for adults only. However, in spite of it being known as one of the best places for wine and beer, it is actually a place that people of all ages can enjoy. Yes, you read it right; even kids can enjoy this place. This is because aside from wines and beers, Once Upon a Vine also offers cheeses, chocolates, and candies that everyone will surely love. In addition to that, it is also a place for families and friends looking to bond over a movie. Like the Forest Hill Park, this place also transforms as a cinema during summer, offering family-friendly movies such as Hotel Transylvania. You’ll not just get enjoy drinks and snacks but you can also get to watch a movie. How cool is that, right?

9Capital Ale House

Capital Ale House’s bar with TVs where you can watch sports and, sometimes, films (source)

Like Once Upon a Vine, Capital Ale House is also known for its fantastic beer menu. Wines and cocktails to-go are also a must-try. But like the former, this place also offers more entertainment. During Wednesday nights, Capital Ale House screens movies on its music hall. Hence, there’s no need for you to go to another place for a movie. Here, you can have the best of both worlds – good drinks and great movie. Whether you are a movie buff or you just want to grab a good drink and chill out, this place is not to be missed, especially if you’re traveling with friends.

10Dominion Energy Center

The view of the Dominion Energy Center’s stage from the upper seats (source)

Like the Byrd Theater and the Bow Tie Cinemas, Dominion Energy Center has been around for a long time now. Since the late 1920s, this site has been serving entertainment for many locals and visitors. But it was only in 1983 that it opened its stage for performers.

Even until today, you can still get to watch movies and live performances. Dominion energy Center’s stage is also open for tours, which makes every visit fun and entertaining. And like the Byrd Theater, this site also has well-maintained vintage interiors that will make your viewing even more memorable.

The show at the center changes almost every month. So always keep an eye out of the site’s calendar to see what’s on as you visit.

11Perly’s

Perly’s hard-not-to-miss exterior (source)

Perly’s is actually a restaurant that you need to stop by to fuel up as you explore the city. One of its well-loved dishes is the Latkes and breakfast bagel Sammy with beef bacon. It’s delicious plus it can already fill up two people’s tummies. The corned beef hash with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce is also one of the crowd favorites. This place also lets you build your own sandwich. But what makes it even more worth visiting is that it screens classic movies too. Previous visitors have also praised how friendly and accommodating the restaurant’s staff are. So if you’re into classic movies, this place is for you as you can also enjoy it with the restaurant’s delicious dishes. However, don’t expect good sounds that equal to a movie theater as they only play the movies on the TV above the bar. Still, it’s quite a unique experience that we’re sure you will also enjoy.

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12Regal Strawbridge Marketplace

Regal Strawbridge Marketplace’s comfortable leather recliner seats (source)

Contrary to its name, Regal Strawbridge Marketplace is actually a movie theater. Unlike the other theaters on this list, Regal Strawbridge Marketplace lets its audience choose between 4DX, RPX, or IMAX. During summer, the movie theater offers summer movie programs for the kids, making it one of the great stops in the city for when you’re traveling with kids. The best part of it is that Regal Strawbridge Marketplace also offers discounts, particularly from Monday to Thursday. Hence, it is also one of the places to be when you want to watch a movie but you’re on a budget.

13Regal Columbus

Regal COlumbus, also known as the Regal Stadium, on the outside (source)

Regal Columbus is one of the underrated cinemas in Virginia. It often receives less crowd. But don’t get discouraged because it doesn’t have as much as audience as the other cinemas. Just because it is not crowded doesn’t mean it doesn’t have good things to offer. Apparently, it also screens good movies. It even offers great surround sound, immersing you more into the movie. On top of that, it has a rocking chair stadium seating and easy close parking.

14Gator Theater

An orchestra entertaining the audience at the Gator Theater (source)

Speaking of discounts, Gator Theater is also one of the best places to be if you’re on a budget. This is because for as low as $3, you can now enjoy even 3D movies. You will surely enjoy great films at an affordable price in this theater. What we love the most about this theater is that it also offers promos. One of which is free family movie every Sunday. So if you’re on a budget but still want to take a break from the reality, this place is one of the cinemas you need to consider.

15Virginia Aquarium

Viewers enjoying a 3D film screened at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center’s theater (source)

Virginia Aquarium, also known as the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, is yet another place that will make you question us for including it on this list but hear us out first. Yes, it is an aquarium with wonderful walkways surrounded by marine animal exhibits. It also has an adventure park and a zip line that will keep your heart pumping with adrenaline. But this place is also one of the places for great movies. Thanks to its IMAX theater, you can bring your whole family or friends and enjoy a good film. But we’re not talking about regular romantic, action, horror, or whatever genre of regular movies. Rather, this aquarium screens films that are also science related, opening your eyes to your surroundings and giving you more knowledge. This place will not just entertain you but will definitely educate you as well.

16Drive-In Theaters

Family Drive-In theater screening the 1973 American coming-of-age comedy film American Graffiti (source)

Virginia is also a place for those who want to take a trip down memory lane and experience how the movie experience was like in the 50s. And even if some movie theaters have temporarily closed their doors due to the pandemic, you can still get to watch movies outside your home, thanks to the drive-in theaters that are still up and running across the state. There isn’t much drive-in theaters today compared to its glory days in the 50s but we’re sure that these ones will still give you the feels as they take you back in time and give you a unique movie experience.

  • Family Drive-In – Located in Stephens City, this drive-in theater shows movies from Wednesdays to Sundays at 8:45 PM. It has two drive-up screens available and you can choose between kid-friendly movies or films that are only for adults.
  • Lovingston Café – As its name suggests, this drive-in theater is located in Lovingston. Here, you can enjoy classic Hollywood films and delicious café grub. Movies are screened every Saturday at 8:30 PM. On top of that, you can also get to enjoy 30 minutes of classic cartoons before the actual movie starts.
  • Goochland Drive-In – Unlike most drive-in theaters, Goochland Drive-In screens both classic and new movies. However, movie dates vary every week. One thing is for sure, though, it is one of the theaters in the state that you need to check out.
  • Hull’s Drive-In Theater – Probably one of the oldest drive-in theaters is Huli’s. It has been around for 70 years now and with that, you will surely feel as if you’re traveling back in time as you watch a movie here. Movies are shown from Thursdays to Sundays so make sure to mark your calendars.
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  • There is always something to enjoy in Virginia. Especially if you’re a movie buff, this place sure has a lot of spots for you to enjoy. No matter what kind of movie experience you’re looking for, the state sure has something for everyone, making it one of the best places in the US even for just a quick getaway.
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