For a night of pleasant entertainment, few options can match a visit to a local movie theatre. The right comedy, drama, mystery or other type of film can really hit the spot and makes for a nice interlude to an otherwise ordinary day. A great work of cinematic art can be enhanced even further by viewing the film in an independent theatre operation where the owners are free to add an element of charm not found in the typical chain cinema. Grab some popcorn and a large soft drink, then find a comfortable seat and enjoy the show at one of Houston’s best indie movie theatres.
Sundance Cinema
510 Texas St.
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 223-3456

Newer than the average independent theatre, Sundance Cinema opened its doors in 2007 and has been thrilling audiences ever since. Unlike other cinemas, Sundance specializes in movies with an artistic, documentary or independent edge and it is common to discover foreign movies at Sundance, including many foreign films that are not showing at any other Houston theatres. Movie goers like that Sundance lets them select an exact seat location, ensuring that they can sit precisely where they like and guaranteeing that a seat will be available for movie viewing at a specific time. Sundance also offers a more extensive menu of food and drink so guests can enjoy the comfort of food while absorbing a thought-provoking movie or documentary in a more modern atmosphere.

River Oaks Theatre
2009 W. Gray St.
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 524-2175

With three screens and years of experience, River Oaks Theatre is a cinematic Houston landmark. Dating back several decades, River Oaks Theatre presents an atmosphere that invokes the days of yesteryear. The building is older, but well maintained, and the classic, almost antique appearance of the lobby, seating and other features make it stand out in the crowd. Guests love the intimate feel of River Oaks Theatre and they like that they can watch a movie without having to sit through a half hour of trailers and advertisements before the main event. The Midnight Show Series at River Oaks Theatre, its courteous staff and other positive qualities make it one of Houston’s greatest cinematic treasures.

Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 24 Cinemas
3839 Wesleyan St.
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 871-8955

Larger in size with a good variety of film viewing options, Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 24 Cinemas is a cinema with unlimited possibilities. Guests can select among a large number of movies choices, ranging from the newer, popular films to the more obscure foreign flicks and documentaries. The building enclosing the Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 24 Cinemas is two stories tall, and that means some possible legwork will be necessary to get to the correct cinema for your film of choice. Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 24 Cinemas offers its own parking garage, too, so you can rest assured that your vehicle and the belongings within are safe and sound.

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Rice Cinema
6100 Main St.
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 348-4882

Rice Cinemas is a little different from other independent cinemas, but in a good way. It’s part of Rice University and its hours and movie viewing options are somewhat limited, but movie goers will find many things to love about the Rice Cinema experience. The historic feel of Rice University is one plus, and so are the movie options available, including films not offered on screens anywhere else in the Houston area. Film festivals are commonplace at Rice Cinema and with its affiliation to the private institution Rice University, guests get to enjoy independent movies that are often very creative and artistic in ways not usually experienced.

14 Pews
800 Aurora St.
Houston, TX 77009
(281) 888-9677

An unforgettable movie viewing experience awaits at 14 Pews. The seating, as the name indicates, is comprised of church pews and the cinema is, in fact, housed in a former church. The movies shown at 14 Pews include thought-provoking pieces and it’s common to watch a short promo, before you see the movie you paid for, that introduces a philosophical topic. 14 Pews is unique in that the operation is more than just independent; it is also a non-profit organization that strives to make people think and get them to step outside of their comfort zone.

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Bryan Carey is a Houston, Texas resident with an avid interest in restaurants, dining, breweries, wineries, festivals, cultural events, museums, theatre, concerts, and other forms of entertainment. He has been writing about entertainment, travel, and related topics for more than fifteen years and has thousands of articles to his credit. His work can be found at