Not all movie theaters are created equal. Have a look through this quick hit list of our favorite local moviehouses, and you might just find a new favorite.
Let's go to the movies
August 11, 2008
The Belcourt is a beloved Nashville theater that shows independent movies, small music performances and other events such as local photography exhibits. The joint opened in 1925 and retains a traditional neighborhood moviehouse feel that's completely one of a kind in the area. It's also the only movie theater in town that serves alcohol, so get a local Yazoo on draft before you head into the main feature. Check the Web site for schedules; many screenings have panel discussions or introductions by the film's director or other experts. High-profile songwriters and bands are also known to play the venue.
The crown jewel of Nashville's chain theaters, Regal's Green Hills 16 can generally be counted on to offer the most diverse selection of any multiplex in town. All the mainstream blockbusters play here, but so do foreign and quirky independent films, along with everything in between. If the whole family can't agree on a single film to see, Green Hills may be your best bet for finding options for everybody. To avoid crazy mall traffic, skip the surface lot and stow your car in the garage next to the theater.
Regal's Hollywood 27 is the mothership of Nashville movie theaters, and were not just talking about the extraterrestrial-looking neon facade. It's usually a safe bet that Hollywood 27, which houses more screens than any other theater in town, will have the movie you're looking for, at least as far as mainstream offerings. Sometimes it even dabbles in foreign and indie fare, and it often keeps popular films in extended runs. A central location right off the I-65 makes Hollywood easy to reach from many parts of the greater Nashville area.
It's friendly, it's up-to-date and it's in Mt. Juliet. Providence Cinemas 14, launched by Consolidated Theaters in the summer of 2006, is now merged under the Regal umbrella. Moviegoers give the Wilson County theater good marks. On a recent visit, the staff exhibited a small-town welcoming vibe, as the ticket taker paused to comment favorably on George Clooney's latest endeavor. "Enjoy the show," he said, actually sounding sincere. The theater is an anchor for the Providence MarketPlace retail development, which includes Belk, Target and several restaurants for pre-cinema dining.
Sumner County's finest movie theater opened in March 2008, replacing an older Regal multiplex a few blocks away. The new cinema serves as an anchor for the 41-store Streets of Indian Lake retail development, which brings upscale shopping to well-heeled consumers in Hendersonville. The first of Regal's Nashville-area cinemas to switch to across-the-board digital projection, the 16-screen theater offers plush stadium seating, Digital 3-D presentation on selected films, and an extensive offering of contemporary film for the viewer looking to find it all in one place in Sumner County.
Opry Mills' IMAX screen is simply the screen to see a film on in Nashville. Even when it's just a regular 35mm print blown up for that monstrous screen, it's a remarkable immersion for the viewer. When it's a specially configured IMAX print, that's even better. But the sincere hope of any filmgoer should be for some 3-D action, because nothing else that compares to that experience. Of course, Opry Mills also has 19 other screens and a vast adjoining shopping mall to recommend it.