Entertainment has evolved over the last half-century, with technology giving us more options for the way we enjoy the latest movie releases. Within just the last decade, streaming services steered us away from theaters with a cheaper, more convenient way to catch up on recent films. But if you are feeling sentimental about surround sound, the silver screen and the smell of popcorn, Central Florida has some theaters you can’t find anywhere else.
West Orange 5 Cinema
Moviegoers in West Orange County rave about this theater because of its quaint and cozy atmosphere, low ticket prices and concession stand which includes beer and wine. The locally owned West Orange 5 has remained relatively unchanged for the last three decades despite a recent remodel. Yelpers say the family-friendly cinema reminds them of their childhood; one woman even says walking into the theater gives her the “warm fuzzies.”
1575 Maguire Road, Ocoee, FL 34761
One of the oldest and most striking landmarks in the Downtown DeLand Historic District is still active today. The Athens Theatre stands the test of time as one of the few remaining classic American theaters in the region. Designed in 1921 as the "entertainment centerpiece of West Volusia County", the building transformed from a vaudeville theater to a movie house with dozens of other adaptations over the years. Today, you can catch a popular play or tribute show at the historic theater.
124 North Florida Avenue, DeLand, FL 32720
The Enzian is known as the home of the Florida Film Festival, but it brings people to Maitland year round for its showings of independent, foreign and classic movies. The theater aims to "connect the community through film" with its single screen, cinema and café as well as series events. Part of that initiative is the Popcorn Flicks in the Park series in which films are projected on a screen in Winter Park’s Central Park on the second Thursday of each month. You are encouraged to bring a blanket, snacks and friends to the free screenings. If you arrive early for a movie at the Enzian, you can sit in the shade of old oak trees and enjoy the ambiance at Eden Bar. If you can’t make it early, the staff serves food and drinks during the film.
1300 Orlando Avenue, Maitland, FL 32751
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
An authentic drive-in theater may be hard to find in 2019, but you can at least pretend at the most magical place on Earth. Buckle up in a makeshift classic car while sci-fi clips play on the big screen at the Hollywood Studios attraction. You’ll be transported to another era at the restaurant, which is designed with vintage memorabilia and a sky full of stars to make you feel as if you're watching the movie with the top down. The menu matches the Americana theme and includes vegan options. Disney World park admission is required.
Disney's Hollywood Studios, Orlando, FL 32830
The area’s only 4DX Imax Theater is a short drive from the theme parks and offers nearby shopping and dining options within Pointe Orlando. Feel as if you’re a part of the plot with the theater’s motion-enabled chairs that can simulate everything from action sequences to weather conditions.
9101 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819