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.
IMAX Sydney (Sydney, Australia)
If you're opting for an IMAX movie, bigger is always better. And it doesn't get any bigger than the IMAX theater at Sydney's Darling Harbour, where the screen measures a whopping 117.1 by 97.4 feet. In addition to making visual events out of IMAX-ready blockbusters, the theater mixes its program up with documentaries that make great use of the medium.
Credit: Oliver Strewe / Getty Images
Why It Stands Out: This is the world's biggest IMAX screen.