The Best and Worst Movie Theaters in Philadelphia

Our comprehensive, semi-scientific ranking of the good, the bad and the sticky.

The Best and Worst Movie Theaters in Philadelphia


Ritz East, Center City

Speciality: Indie/foreign >> 4 STARS

  • Cleanliness: 10
  • Audience Behavior: 10
  • Snack Bar: 8
  • Movie Options: 9
  • Seat Quality: 8
  • Sight Lines: 10
  • Overall Experience: 9

“Clean, quiet, spacious but not big”

“I always think of them as having all the “mainstream indy” flicks I want to see. Nothing too off the beaten path, but they don’t clutter the lineup with the latest Transformer movie.”

 

Ritz 5, Center City

Specialty: Indie/foreign >> 3.5 STARS

  • Cleanliness: 8
  • Audience Behavior: 10
  • Snack Bar: 9
  • Movie Options: 10
  • Seat Quality: 7
  • Sight Lines: 9
  • Overall Experience: 8

“They don’t let latecomers into the theater (15-minute grace period). Love that!”

“Theater is small, especially the lobby, and well-looked after. Quirky touches like fake flower arrangements are odd, but fit in with the arty vibe.”

“Ritz theaters don’t usually show crap movies just because they are artsy. They must first be interesting, talked about, well-done and well-rated movies.”

 

Rave University City 6

Specialty: None >> 3.5 STARS

  • Cleanliness: 7
  • Audience Behavior: 8
  • Snack Bar: 5
  • Movie Options: 10
  • Seat Quality: 9
  • Sight Lines: 10
  • Overall Experience: 8

“They offered concessions and bar/grill items that could be delivered to your seats. Though they announced this while the previews were playing– annoying and disorganized.”

“It can get very crowded since it is right by University City.”

“Not as good as it used to be when it was owned by the Ritz chain, but still shows a few art-house/indie flicks along with other major blockbusters.”

 

Ritz at the Bourse, Center City

Speciality: Indie/foreign >> 3 STARS

  • Cleanliness: 8
  • Audience Behavior: 7
  • Snack Bar: 8
  • Movie Options: 7
  • Seat Quality: 7
  • Sight Lines: 10
  • Overall Experience: 8

“The place has a bit of wear and tear.”

“If you don’t like subtitles, this probably isn’t the place for you.”

“If it were a rainy Sunday and I wanted to see a French film in the afternoon while drinking coffee and contemplating my existence, this would be where you’d find me.”

 

AMC Franklin Mills 14

Specialty: IMAX >> 2.5 STARS

  • Cleanliness: 7
  • Audience Behavior: 4
  • Snack Bar: 6
  • Movie Options: 9
  • Seat Quality: 7
  • Sight Lines: 10
  • Overall Experience: 6

“Slightly grungier than other theaters I’ve been to, but nothing notably super dirty”

“The crowds tend to talk a lot here.”

“The theater had nice enough seats and sight lines.”

“The snack bar lines were long and moved very slowly.”

 

 

Pearl Theater, North Philly

Specialty: None >> 2 STARS

  • Cleanliness: 3
  • Audience Behavior: 7
  • Snack Bar: 6
  • Movie Options: 7
  • Seat Quality: 10
  • Sight Lines: 10
  • Overall Experience: 5

“The theater itself was very clean. The bathroom was totally foul.”
“Everything you want in a movie theater seat.”

“You can get White Castle burgers!”

“Is it as nice as any suburban multiplex? No way. Not even close. But it’s certainly a serviceable option if you want to see something mainstream.”

 

UA Main St. 6, Manayunk

Specialty: None >> 1.5 STARS

  • Cleanliness: 5
  • Audience Behavior: 8
  • Snack Bar: 8
  • Movie Options: 5
  • Seat Quality: 6
  • Sight Lines: 4
  • Overall Experience: 5

“Place showing some wear and tear.”

“Italian coffees, gourmet hot dogs, chicken wings.”

“Small theaters– front rows aren’t good.”

 

United Artists, Riverview

Specialty: None >> 1.5 STARS

  • Cleanliness: 5
  • Audience Behavior: 5
  • Snack Bar: 3
  • Movie Options: 10
  • Seat Quality: 3
  • Sight Lines: 10
  • Overall Experience: 6

“The theater has an overall worn quality to it.”

“All of these [snack] items seem as appetizing as my High School cafeteria options.”

“You are guaranteed at least some phone conversation, movie commentary, babies crying or other interruptions seeing a movie here.”

“The seating and audio are good.”

UA Grant Plaza 9, Northeast Philly

Specialty: None >> 1 OR LESS STAR

  • Cleanliness: 5
  • Audience Behavior: 5
  • Snack Bar: 5
  • Movie Options: 5
  • Seat Quality: 5
  • Sight Lines: 6
  • Overall Experience: 3

“A run-of-the-mill mutiplex; you’re not going to find anything too radical in terms of movie selection.”

“The random glowstix dispenser and weight-checker in the bathroom add to the carnie seediness of the place.”

IMAX: Franklin Institute’s Tuttleman, Center City

Specialty: IMAX >> 1 OR LESS STAR

  • Cleanliness: 2
  • Audience Behavior: 2
  • Snack Bar: 8
  • Movie Options: 3
  • Seat Quality: 0
  • Sight Lines: 3
  • Overall Experience: 2

“I’ve never seen so much floor-gum in my life”

“Salads and sandwiches, as well as popcorn and candy. A rare opportunity to eat healthily at the movies.”

“Many seats are frayed and coming apart at the seams The fabric was old and ratty and could easily be peeled off with bare hands.”

“It’s an IMAX, meaning you’d think you could see from everywhere. Except in the front row you can’t see anything at all (despite appropriately reclining seats), and in the middle rows you still can’t see the action at the top. The only suitable seats are in fact at the very top, but then you’re too far away to appreciate the film.”

>>Click here for the best and worst movie theaters in Chester County.
>>Click here for the best and worst movie theaters in Delaware County.
>>Click here for the best and worst movie theaters in Montgomery County.
>>Click here for the best and worst movie theaters in Bucks County.
>>Click here for the best and worst movie theaters in South Jersey.

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  • Denise Rambo

    The UA in East Whiteland (Chester County) is now a car dealership.