Your favorite cinemas shared some common themes -- like booze, distinctive décor and comfy seats. But there were also elements such as historic heritage, personable staffs, and other added bonuses which make these prime destinations for movie buffs and locals alike.
In honor of our 20th celebration, we present 12 of the top theaters from around the country, as nominated by you. Read on to learn more, or to plan what would make for one heck of a road trip.
Theater: Alamo Drafthouse
Location: Austin, TX
Best Feature: Food, personality and atmosphere
Our Readers Say: Adam Jorgensen commented, "What other movie theater would have a flame thrower in the parking lot for the showing of 'Rambo'? Or bury you six feet under the ground for a viewing of 'Buried'?"
On Twitter, @haaspolicy confirmed the Drafthouse's appeal of "Great movies, food and an awesome beer list. If you've been there you know."
Reader Charles says the theater offers "special feasts to accompany movies (like chocolate feast with 'Chocolat,' wine tasting with 'Sideways') and special screenings of cult/exploitation films, often with celebrity appearances. The atmosphere is great, the staff friendly, food delicious, and their pre-trailer shows are absolutely hilarious."
Location: Vancouver, WA
Best Feature: Five-star wine and food, with in-seat delivery
Our Readers Say: Moviefone reader Layton says, Cinetopia is "a beautiful 'first class' theater with large reclining seats, foot stools and colorful modern paintings and reliefs decorating the walls everywhere you look."
Sean seconds Cinetopia, saying "I've been spoiled with the experience and have trouble going to any other place now."
Theater: Moolah Theater and Lounge
Location: St. Louis, MO
Best Feature: Couches instead of regular seats, bowling alley and pool tables in the basement of the theater
Our Readers Say: Jessie says, "It's a great atmosphere with couches instead of regular seating, but there's still regular theater seating for those who'd prefer it. It's great to go to with a date to cuddle up on a couch and watch a great movie."
Theater: The Oriental Theater
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Best Feature: East Indian decor
Our Readers Say: Paul Grieger left us a comment discussing The Oriental, saying, "Its interior boasts hand-drawn murals, porcelain lions, six giant Buddhas, and over a hundred elephants ... It holds the world record for a continuous engagement of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' -- which started its midnight showings in January 1978. A view of the interior alone (top photo) is worth the price of admission."
Theater: Cedar Lee
Location: Cleveland, OH
Best Feature: It fosters a real independent film community
Our Readers Say: Arelle says, "My first date with the love of my life was there, it was 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' on Halloween. The theater brings a rich sense of culture to a city (and a state) being overtaken by big box stores and fast food chains ... Cedar Lee is one of the best nights out in the city."
Andy agrees, writing that "You just got an intimate and warm experience every time you went there, not to mention the fact they played the films that no one else would touch."
Theater: The Allen Theatre
Location: Annville, PA
Best Feature: Antique movie posters and local art complement this renovated theater
Our Readers Say: Moviefone reader Bert says, "Adorned with movie posters from yesteryear, the theater has an old feel with modern sound and digital picture. A moviegoer really gets an experience, not just a movie, complete with announcements, pre-film music and a red curtain unveiling the show."
Theater: The Terrace Theater
Location: Charleston, SC
Best Feature: Foreign and indie films, as well as a local film festival
Our Readers Say: Chris says, "In addition to showing a wide variety of foreign and limited release indie films, the Terrace also serves up beer, wine, and some unique concessions (popcorn is of course still an option). The staff is warm, accommodating, and always up for some straight up film discussion. They have also played host to the area's ONLY local film festival (not counting the screenings at Spoleto)."
Theater: Big Newport
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Best Feature: Largest movie screen on the West Coast
Our Readers Say: From our comments section, reader Jake says, "Seeing midnight showings of films like 'Iron Man 2' and 'Inception' with just over a thousand people in the same room, Big Newport is hands down the best place to see any movie."
Theater: Sundance Cinemas
Location: Madison, WI
Best Feature: Personable staff, assigned seats
Our Readers Say: Sue says, "The staff at the theater is fantastic. Before each movie starts, the usher for that theater introduces him/herself by name, and thanks everyone for coming to the movie. Employees are not only courteous but knowledgeable about movies as well. This theater is the antithesis of the big chain multiplex with sticky floors and unruly patrons. Assigned seats are chosen when tickets are bought, meaning you can buy a great seat days in advance, and no one will ask you to "move down a seat" after the movie has started."
Theater: Gold Class Cinemas
Location: Pasadena, CA
Best Feature: VIP service, amenities and seating
Our Readers Say: Kevin says Gold Class Cinemas has "a beautiful VIP lounge and bar when you settle in ... every theater is equipped with amazing plush recliner chairs and every seat has the luxury of push button waiter service. You're provided with blankets and pillows along with a full food and drink menu prepared and cooked to perfection by specialty chefs and served during the movie. Want to feel like a celebrity at a private movie screening? This is it!"
Theater: Hollywood Palms
Location: Naperville, IL
Best Feature: Mixed drinks
Our Readers Say: Our Facebook fan Ami Ebe clued us in: "Hollywood Palms in Naperville, Illinois has alcohol and serves actual meals. Best pina coladas ever."
Theater: The Byrd
Location: Richmond, VA
Best Feature: Old-fashioned organ performances that rise up in front of the screen prior to films
Our Readers Say: Riley says "the Byrd was built in 1928. It only has one screen, and it plays second-run movies. But with a ticket price of $1.99, I honestly don't mind waiting the extra month or two to watch it there. And the theater itself is gorgeous. Ever seen 'The Phantom of the Opera'? I'm reminded of that every time I step into the Byrd, mostly because of the beautiful and gigantic chandelier that hangs from the ceiling. The Richmond community has affectionately dubbed it a "movie palace.""