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The best movie theaters in Las Vegas

Grab a tub of popcorn and get your cinephile fix at one of Vegas’ more civilized movie houses and drive-ins

Are you a dyed-in-the-wool movie buff? If so, you won’t have to travel far to find a movie theater in Las Vegas. The city is teeming with cinemas, and many off-Strip hotels have theaters inside them.

Most theaters in Las Vegas feature the current crop of big-studio releases, so finding independent or offbeat films can be a bit of a challenge. A couple of movie houses, however, deviate from the usual program, including Regal Village Square Stadium 18 on the west side of town. The Brenden Theater inside the Palms also occasionally sprinkles its lineup with lesser known films; alternatively, you can simply head to its IMAX Theater to see a larger-than-life new release.

But if you want to watch a movie in true style—and with a brew in hand—head straight to the Galaxy Luxury+ in the southern end of town. Galaxy’s oversized reclining chairs are comfier than your living room, and the screens are gigantic. Plus, the fact that you can buy beer or wine to wash down your popcorn makes this the go-to theater in Las Vegas.

The best movie theaters in Las Vegas

Brenden Las Vegas 14

Countless consumer awards and regular high- profile premières pay tribute to the Brenden Palms' central role in the Vegas moviegoing experience. With the exception of June's CineVegas Film Festival, blockbusters dominate, with one major feature usually configured for the sole IMAX screen.

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West of the Strip

Century Orleans 18

Critics' pick

This 18-screener at the Orleans ushered Las Vegas into the cineplex era with such amenities as stadium seating and THX-equipped auditoria. Although it isn't as chic as its chief competitor, the nearby Brenden Las Vegas 14 at the Palms, it's remained one of the valley's most beloved movie theatres. Every so often, the roster includes a major studio-sanctioned art flick.

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West Las Vegas

Century Suncoast 16

The 16-screen theatre at the Suncoast is a popular choice among Summerlin residents, while Vegas cineastes willing to make the trek also enjoy the CineArts series, which includes anywhere from one to three independent and foreign films. Cinemark also runs a number of other movie theatres in the city, all based in casinos and all specialising in mainstream fare. Among them are the Century 18 Sam's Town (547 7469), the Century Stadium 16 Rancho Santa Fe (655 8178) and the Century 16 South Point (260 4061).

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West Las Vegas

Galaxy Luxury+

Critics' pick

Fancy a beer with your movie? This Galaxy theater will do you one better: You can enjoy yourbrew in the comfort of a huge reclining chair. This new movie house (which took over the space of a long-closed theater) serves beer and wine, and features large, plush seats you'll probably have to be prised out of once the show's over. Plus, the screens are enormous, the sound is incredible and the ticktes priced the same as everywhere else. Yes, it's quite a way from the Strip and you'll need to get your ticket ahead of time, but you'll be glad that you did.

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Regal Cinema

The Regal cineplexes are among the busiest in town: partly due to their locations in the popular Station Casinos, but also thanks to the variety of programming. The best by far is the cinephile-favoured Village Square 18-screener, which shows as many as five non-mainstream films (plus concert simulcasts) at any given time.

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West Las Vegas

UA Showcase 8

You can catch the latest blockbuster at the only movie theatre on the Strip, but don't expect lots of locals, any great luxury or cutting-edge cinema technology at this ageing cineplex just north of the MGM Grand. Parking in the Showcase garage is free with validation; if, that is, you can get past the parking lot that is Las Vegas Boulevard.

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The Strip

West Wind Las Vegas Drive-In

This 50-year-old institution has survived several changes in ownership and the increasing popularity of indoor multiplexes, leaving it as Vegas's only remaining drive-in. It's ideal for traditionalists and cheapskates who favour bringing their own drinks and snacks, though lights emanating from the surrounding sprawl have affected visibility. Six screens offer double features of current releases; sound is available through your FM radio.

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North Las Vegas

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