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Seattle’s Best Cheap Movie Theaters

Posted by Johnine Larsen on September 10, 2015
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Summer has ended and outdoor movies have ceased, but take heart! Fall can be fun! Although you can’t watch films under the stars until next year, Seattle has more than its fair share of other eclectic movie-going options.

Forget paying $15/ticket in a crowded theater devoid of personality. These cheap movie theaters have character.

Sundance Cinemas

4500 9th Ave. NE

Seattle, WA 98105


Sundance Cinemas isn’t your strip-mall theater. Sundance aims to show independent, documentary, and foreign-language films as well as some studio projects. It also offers a deluxe film experience with a full bar and bistro, living room, stadium seating, and plush, comfortable rocking chairs. All seats are reserved, so there’s no scrambling to find spots.

As its website proclaims, “Sundance Cinemas are designed for grownups.” All shows are 21+, the lobby sells beer, wine, and cocktails (in real glassware), the venue has its own rotating art gallery, and the décor features local and handmade wood products. This place has class. It also has deals:

ORCA Card Mondays: Only $6 per ticket when you show us your ORCA card at the box office.

Girls Movie Night Out Tuesdays: Only $5 per ticket every Tuesday night for groups of two or more ladies.


The Crest

16505 Fifth Ave. N.E.

Shoreline, WA 98155

(206) 363-6339

It’s hard to beat the prices at The Crest: $4 movies at 4 different screens. And they aren’t unknown, B-grade movies, either. The Crest is currently showing films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Pitch Perfect 2. It also shows excellent indie films!

Even better than the prices is the charm. The Crest, built in 1949, has long been a local favorite. An employee personally introduces each film, and everyone who works there is friendly and warm. It’s an old, comfortable theater with great, non-chemically popcorn, local charm, and a classic atmosphere.


Central Cinema

1411 21st Ave.

Seattle, WA 98122

(206) 328-3230

You can get dinner, drinks, and a movie all in the same place at Central Cinema. As the city’s only dine-in cinema, every show includes a full menu, waiter service, and couch seating. They also make everything fresh to order, and the popcorn is organic (from Central Co-op) and made with real butter. After the show, feel free to treat your date to dessert and a game of Scrabble in the cinema’s Café Noir. Talk about luxury!

Sound expensive? Amazingly, it’s not. Day-of-show tickets cost $10, and advance tickets only cost $8. Central Cinema even has a happy hour. From 5:30–6:30 every night, enjoy $4 beer and wine and $2 off cocktails. And yup! There are great food specials, too.

Note: Unlike Sundance, Central Cinemas is all ages.


Seattle Public Library

Locations vary

(206) 386-4636

If you’re looking for free films, look no further! Seattle’s libraries will show free movies throughout the fall, usually in their meeting rooms. Those films shown at the Central Library will enjoy the size of the Microsoft Auditorium, but don’t expect a fancy theater experience at the other branches. But hey, these showings are free and fun, and you can see films that no other Seattle theater is running. This month, for instance, the library will show movies such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Easy A, and A League of Their Own. These movies follow one of two themes: “Directed by Women” or “Rock Opera Film Series.”

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