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.
Secret Cinema (Worldwide)
The first rule of Secret Cinema is that you do not talk about Secret Cinema...at least not its whereabouts. Which is an easy enough rule to follow considering it's not an actual venue, but rather a series of screenings at secret locations around the world. Past engagements have included screenings of Lawrence of Arabia at London's Alexandra Palace (pictured) and The Grand Budapest Hotel at the landmark Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell.
Credit: Mike Massaro
Why It Stands Out: This is the only movie experience that requires you to register your name and location on their Website to be added to the invite list.