Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 | 2 a.m.
For a city that’s appeared in so many movies, Las Vegas doesn’t have a great moviegoing legacy. Many of our classic movie theaters have been razed (the Red Rock 13, the Cinerama on Paradise), converted to other uses (Fremont Street’s El Portal, soon to be a Taco Bell Cantina) or simply stand vacant (the forsaken Huntridge Theater). And while we’re amply covered whenever a blockbuster comes to town—throw a rock in any direction and you’ll hit a casino-based multiplex—we have no revival theaters, no art houses, no theaters catering to the hardcore cineaste.
What we do have, however, is something people in other cities would kill for—an abundance of clean, state-of-the-art theaters with crystal-clear digital sound and picture, most of which rarely sell out completely even on opening night. Furthermore, nearly all of them are adjoined by abundant free parking, and many are located within walking distance of great restaurants and bars. That counts for a lot, especially at this time of year, when awards-bait movies begin to trickle into Vegas, and two adults might be tempted by the cool weather to make an evening of it.
Here are five theaters that are almost ideally suited to dinner-and-a-movie date nights.
Regal Summerlin Luxury 5. This small but comfortable multiplex—one of those with food and beverage service and reclining chairs—sits in the heart of the Downtown Summerlin complex, with its restaurants both sit-down casual (Andiron, Public School 702) and grab-and-go affordable (Shake Shack, Skinny Fats). And its handsomely landscaped grounds are great for a post-movie stroll.
Eclipse. This standalone luxury theater, just on the perimeter of the Arts District, is a short stroll from Esther’s Kitchen, which is not only one of Downtown’s best restaurants but one of Vegas’ best as well. ReBar, Velveteen Rabbit, Artifice and other terrific bars are nearby in case you’d like to get a cocktail after the credits roll. Or you can simply order drinks and small bites from your reclining chair and devote your post-movie time to the MedMen recreational marijuana shop across the street.
Regal Village Square. Odds are good that when a foreign or independent film comes to town for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it one week run, it’s screening at Regal Village Square. And you could hardly ask for a bigger assortment of nearby restaurants: Yojie Japanese Fondue, Settebello, Viva Mercado’s Mexican Bar & Grill, Bachi Burger, Tomo Noodles & Dumplings and more are located within Village Square itself, and a number of others—including Honey Salt and Echo & Rig—are just a short drive away.
Galaxy Green Valley Luxury+. This Galaxy theater has the same swank profile as its sister theaters—reclining seats, beer and wine service, auditoriums with Dolby Atmos sound. (In fact, this style of theater—closer in character to a home screening room—is becoming the norm rather than the exception.) But the GGVL+ is surrounded by affordable family dining—Carlito’s Burritos, Sin City Smokers and a number of national chains like TGI Fridays. This is probably the best option for families.
Brenden Palms Casino. The current home of the Las Vegas International Film Festival boasts a seven-story-tall IMAX screen, state-of-the-art sound and projection, a full bar and, oh yeah, all the restaurants of the recently-remodeled Palms are just steps away: Scotch 80 Prime, Send Noodles, etc. They’re also known to screen independent and revival films on occasion, and the super-glitzy vibe of the place is an attraction in itself.