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Best Independent Movie Theaters In The Los Angeles Area

Movie Screen
(credit: Thinkstock)

Everyone loves a blockbuster about aliens, big explosions or car chases. But film can also tell smaller stories – a subject dear to the heart of a filmmaker, a view into a faraway place one may never get to visit or an entertaining everyday event from the point of view of an artistic director. The latter are often catalogued as independent films because they are produced outside of the major film studio system. These films are most often showcased by independent film theaters. Below are five independent theaters in Los Angeles dedicated to the promotion of indie film.

Downtown Independent

Downtown Independent
251 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 617-1033

This is a one-screen movie house located in the Little Tokyo area of downtown. It screens movies and provides a location for theater performances, fashion shows and musical numbers, with a beautiful rooftop that allows for gorgeous views of the LA skyline. The theater has stadium seating that fits just over 200 people. Management keeps in touch with the patrons also through its Facebook page, where it assures  "yes…we sell beer."

Beverly Cinema
(credit: Beverly Cinema/Facebook)

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-4038

In a structure that dates back to the 1920s and has been a theater, a nightclub and the host to foreign film, pornographic film and live nude dancing, the New Beverly Cinema today presents classic, independent, cult and foreign films in a double-feature format. On Saturday, the theater also offers a midnight show. Two years ago, this theater was reportedly bought by Quentin Tarantino who promised that, as long as he's rich, the New Beverly Cinema will always exist to show independent movies in 35 mm.

Related: Best Drive-in Movie Theaters In Southern California

Echo Park Film Center
(credit: Echo Park Film Center/Facebook)

Echo Park Film Center
1200 N Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 484-8846

The Echo Park Film Center is a non-profit organization located on the corner of Alvarado Street and Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park dedicated to providing the community with affordable access to movies and film resources. It has set up a micro-cinema space (60 seats) where it screens independent film, documentaries and experimental films from all over the world, even from the patrons of the establishment. Films are screened Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. with a suggested $5 donation.

Nuart Theatre
(credit: Nuart Theatre)

The Nuart – Landmark Theatre
11272 Santa Monica Blvd
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 281-8223

One of three Landmark locations in Los Angeles, the Nuart is unique in that it presents only one film several times per day during a one-week run. This theater, the first Landmark acquisition, has a respected reputation as the place to see foreign films, independent movies, documentaries and restored classics. Every Friday at midnight, the Nuart offers a special movie screening, and every Saturday night it is the home of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Other locations are The Landmark in West Los Angeles and the Regent Theatre in Westwood.

Laemmle Playhouse 7

Laemmle Playhouse 7
673 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
(310) 478-3836

One of nine Laemmle locations in the Los Angeles area, Playhouse 7 in Pasadena presents the best of new independent movies available. The theater is kept clean, concession prices are reasonable and seating is in good condition. There is plenty of parking as well, free of charge. Other Laemmle locations are at West Hills, Claremont, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, North Hollywood, Los Angeles, Encino and Lancaster.

Related: Best Movie Theaters In Los Angeles

Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at

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