For Tim League, CEO and founder of the Alamo Drafthouse, a great movie theater is achieved two ways: "Greatness by beauty and technical presentation – like at the remodeled Chinese Theater in Los Angeles and the Paramount in Oakland." Or by being "a movie theater by movie fans for movie fans."
His theater does both: “I used to be the sole creative force at the Alamo back in the old days," he says of the parking garage-turned-indie theater he and his wife opened in Austin back in 1997. “As we've grown, I've invested heavily in recruiting passionate film nerds to help us continue to strive to be great. My single greatest challenge is to not lose sight of what the Alamo Drafthouse stood for in the beginning."
The number of theaters in the world as dedicated to movie-watching as the Alamo are relatively small. We scoured the globe and came up with theaters that shun texting, revere great film, and will even serve you a cocktail. Here are the top 20 theaters in the world.
Colosseum Kino (Oslo, Norway)
As part of the Oslo skyline, it's hard to miss the Colosseum Kino, with its massive domed top. And while it's just as lovely to look at from the inside; looking up, the Kino's distinguishing architectural element also plays a key role in the auditorium's stellar sound design. This has made it a popular location for major premieres, including The Sound of Music, which later drew more than 500,000 people (half of the city's population at the time) to the theater to see the film.
Credit: Ole Dyre Hesledalen ©
Why It Stands Out: History, design, and technology come together perfectly at the Colosseum Kino – the world's largest THX cinema – to offer one of the world's best movie-viewing experiences.