It hasn’t been a good year in Orlando for movie theaters, but with the country inching towards a pandemic recovery, there are brighter days ahead for taking in a film around town.
Here are my top five favorite places to watch a movie in Orlando in 2021. In no particular order.
Some quick disclaimers. These are not the best places to watch a movie. Some of these theaters are very old and even kind of shady. But, there either still a fun experience or hold some kind of historical significance that won’t be around forever.
Here we go.
The Picture Show At Altamonte: This is an old theater. Make no mistake. I’ve been watching movies at this place for almost 30 years. It’s traditional non stadium seating. It’s inside of an old mini mall, and it’s not always the cleanest.
But I still go there at least once a month, and I always try to read the marquis as I pass by on I4 each day. Just like I did when I was a kid. For families, the late run selection is also the only kind of movie outing they can afford. It’s special.
Movies seen there: Lethal Weapon 3, Dumb and Dumber, Jerry Maguire, Shazam!
Cobb Cinema in Downtown Orlando: Ok, now we’re talking. This theater is in the heart of Downtown Orlando between Church and Pine. It’s got all of the bells and whistles and just walking through it is pretty neat. Also, people forget about this place for new releases. And not everything always sells out. Just plan on paying a little more for parking
Movies seen there: Iron Man 3, The Planet Of The Apes, The Force Awakens
Amstar Theaters in Lake Mary: This is a fun theater to go to because there is a lot to do right after the show. Restaurants, bars, stores, all in beautiful Heathrow. I’d put Winter Park Village here but the traffic there is a nightmare.
Movies seen there: Avengers End Game, The Hunger Games, La La Land
West Oaks Mall AMC: This is another sentimental favorite. This was the first theater in Orlando to have stadium seating. While the mall has sadly taken a terrible turn for the worst, the theater used to be something really special.
Movies seen there: American Psycho, Armageddon, The Devil’s Own
Disney Springs AMC: This is just a tremendous movie operation. They’ve got such a selection here and for such a big facility, it runs like clockwork on most nights. And the fact it’s at Disney doesn’t hurt either. I don’t get out there very often, but it’s a good time when I do.
Movie seen there: Beowulf, Revenge Of The Sith, Avatar
Honorable mention. Wekiva Riverwalk. A small eight theater set up. I saw Heat, Stargate, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Hangover, and American Gangster there.