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.
FACT (Liverpool, England)
The cinema at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) is more than just a screening venue, it's one of the primary ways in which FACT works to advance its dedication to the art of moviemaking. There's no genre or type of media that's off-limits to its programmers – an experimental animated film in the morning might be followed up with a screening of a studio tent-pole in the evening.
Why It Stands Out: With four screens, three gallery spaces, a multimedia suite, café, bar, and lounge, FACT is the kind of place that begs a moviegoer to linger.
Credit: Courtesy Picturehouse at FACT