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Five Super-Cool Movie Theaters That Are Uniquely “Vegas”

These cinemas give a Sin City twist on the traditional moviegoing experience…

West Wind Drive In 6

Drive-in movie theaters have had a resurgence since COVID-19 shut down indoor cinemas last year. Las Vegas is fortunate enough to have West Wind Las Vegas, a retro-style complex boasting six screens, an outdoor playground, and a whimsically decorated snack bar that serves all kinds of foods at very reasonable prices. Hot popcorn, ice-cold sodas, ice cream, hot dogs, pizzas, burgers, nachos, and more are ready for you to enjoy as you watch the latest movie hits from your car.

Prices are currently $8.25 for adults, $2.00 for kids 5-11, and free for children 4 and under. Tuesdays are “family night”, where adult tickets are only $5.75. West Wind hosts themed festivals like the October Horror-Fest, and Shark Week, where you’ll enjoy watery thrills from JAWS, DEEP BLUE SEA, THE SHALLOWS, and MEG. They also hold live concerts, pony rides, a petting zoo, meetings with Santa, and a Haunted Trail.

While West Wind is steeped in nostalgia and embraces its old-fashioned appeal, there are many modern enhancements that allow for a near-perfect and totally comfortable experience. Digital projection, crystal-clear FM stereo sound, online ticketing, and the ability to order food from your phone are just a few of the many perks. Movie titles and times change weekly, so click here to see what’s playing. Then load up the family or a hot date and rediscover the joys of movies under the stars.

West Wind Drive-in 6 is located about ten minutes north of Palace Station Casino at 4150 W. Carey Avenue in North Las Vegas.

Cinebarre Palace Station

Speaking of Palace Station, the off-Strip casino has its own awesome cinema experience. Cinebarre is a movie theater that thinks it’s a sports bar. The lobby has pool tables and a full-service pub where you can catch a game or hang out before and after your feature film.

The nine-screen complex features luxury auditoriums with reclining loungers and slide-away tables. Seat-side servers deliver traditional movie favorites like soft drinks and bottomless popcorn, served homestyle in giant stainless steel bowls drizzled with real butter. A lengthy food menu offers a wide variety of burgers and pizzas, potato skins, BLT’s, boneless and traditional wings, and Cobb salads.

Indulge your sweet tooth with cheesecake, warm donut holes, a salted caramel waffle sundae, and ice cream floats. Are you in the mood for adult libations? Then dive into Boozy Shakes like the Drunken Oreo, gulp down a Peach Whiskey Smash, or cool your pipes with a Tito’s Blue Raspberry Spiked Lemonade.

Cinebarre Palace Station is operated by Regal, so you can redeem and earn perks just like any traditional Regal Cinema. Just be aware that, as a location that serves alcohol and caters to adults, CInebarre isn’t necessarily family-friendly and may actually have restrictions against children (depending on the time of day and film choice). Click here for titles and showtimes.

Cinebarre is located at 2411 W. Sahara Avenue inside Palace Station Casino.

Maya Cinemas North Las Vegas

For our next cool movie palace, we head back to North Las Vegas to discover Maya Cinemas. This brand-spanking-new multiplex boasts over a dozen auditoriums with technology like D-Box motion seats, Dolby Atmos sound, laser projection, Real-D 3D, and MPX large-format screens. But what truly makes Maya Cinemas unique is their parent company’s commitment to the community:

Maya Cinemas was chartered in 2000 with a mission to develop, build, own, and operate modern, first-run, megaplex movie theaters in under-served, family-oriented, Latino-dominant communities. Maya Cinemas opened its doors in North Las Vegas to bring state-of-the-art movie-going to an area of Las Vegas seeing rapid growth of new business.

Maya Cinema’s operating philosophy is apparent in its commitment to local scholarship programs and the Maya Community Foundation. Ticket prices are noticeably lower than the competition, as are snacks and a full dining menu. “Date Night Monday” features two tickets, two drinks, and two popcorns for only $24. Families can enjoy special prices on all seats every Tuesday. Wednesday is Senior Day, and there are special “Maya Cares” presentations geared toward guests with sensory issues.

Another thing that makes Maya Cinemas worth the drive (just a few minutes from Fremont Street near Jerry’s Nugget Casino) is its unique selection of films. Blockbuster titles share space with quirky art films, Spanish-language imports, and encore presentations of classic titles. The lobby boasts Energi Game Room and the Maya Cantina, where you can enjoy a cocktail or take it into the auditorium. And the Maya Rewards Program ensures that you’ll want to come back often to earn and redeem freebies.

Maya Cinemas is located at 2195 North Las Vegas Boulevard.

The Sci-Fi Center

When is a cinema NOT a cinema? When it’s The Sci-Fi Center, a hangout and hobby shop for fans of the fantastic. Located in the historic Commercial Center near Sahara Hotel, the Sci-Fi center is pure nirvana for collectors of comic books, memorabilia, and souvenirs. It’s also part of a triad that includes movie-themed Cineloggia Movie Prop Museum and Hellbound Horror Collectibles. All are excellent establishments within mere steps of one another. 

As much fun as it is to peruse these shops in the daytime, things get really cinematic when the sun goes down. That’s when The Sci-Fi Center unleashes Courtyard Cinema and Carpool Cinema, two distinctly themed outdoor movie nights. Courtyard Cinema is very much like small-town “Movies In The Park”, where you can spread out, bring your own snacks and make new friends. Carpool Cinema is a much larger experience, styled like a traditional drive-in theater with cars facing a giant inflatable screen in the Commercial Center’s expansive lot.

Owner/operator William Powell is clearly an aficionado of camp classics. This writer recently attended a 3-D screening of Robot Monster, widely considered to be one of the best awful movies of all time. The audience had as much fun laughing at the movie as they did following the antics of a giant bubble-blowing gorilla who wears a deep-sea diving helmet equipped with antennas. More critically-acclaimed fare like James Cameron’s ALIENS, John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE, and the original 1977 STAR WARS have graced its screens in recent months. 

The Sci-Fi Center is located at 900 E. Karen Avenue Suite B209.

The 35 Cinema

The Sci-Fi Center and its movie-centric neighbors are about to get a new companion: The 35 Cinema. Created by John Lohmann and operated by Shane Bingham and actress Lisa Wilcox (Nightmare on Elm Street series, Star Trek: The Next Generation), The 35 Cinema is the latest to embrace the golden era of movie-going.

While large cinema chains are trying to outdo one another with technology, The 35 Cinema takes the opposite approach. It’s the only theater of its kind in the world that presents classic titles in their original format. That means they’re actually on film reels, the way they were created and meant to be seen. Shunning digital technology to embrace the past, The 35 Cinemas uses vintage 35-millimeter projectors to blast the image onto silver screens, just like in the “old days”.

After a successful trial run at downtown’s NEONOPOLIS, Lohmann and the team determined that there was enough interest to turn The 35 Cinema into a full-scale multiplex. Plans are underway to construct a three-screen theater in the shadow of The Stratosphere’s tower. Hollywood-style searchlights will beckon fans to the new location, which has launched an Indiegogo campaign. It offers perks like movie posters, date-night screenings, celebrity autographs, and private showings for you with the stars of their respective films. Sheer bliss for fans.

You can stay updated on The 35 Cinema’s reopening by visiting their Facebook page or Instagram Page.

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