These Art-House Theaters Help to Build, Support Local Cinephile Communities

In a market where big screens for indies and foreign films are few and far between, these art houses are developing and serving local cinephile communities:

AFS Cinema (Austin)

Director Richard Linklater founded the Austin Film Society in the mid-’80s as an excuse to screen obscure classics. This
two-screen venue gives such films — plus worthy new auteur fare — a home.

Belcourt Theatre (Nashville)

Built in 1925 and given a $5 million face-lift in 2016, the two-screen art house does for cinephiles what the Grand Ole Opry does for live-music fans, with a fraction of the seats.

Film Streams (Omaha)

Based in Alexander Payne’s hometown, this nonprofit operates two venues, delivering the director’s style of indie cinema
to the heartland. 

The Loft Cinema (Tucson)

An inspiration to small-community film buffs everywhere, this hangar-like space dedicates Southern Arizona’s largest screen to deserving small movies and hosts a first-class fest.

Metrograph (New York)

A case of “If you build it, they will come,” this newish boutique cinema in Manhattan’s still scrappy Lower East Side boasts two screens, a restaurant and a micro-bookshop.

New Beverly Cinema (Los Angeles)

Quentin Tarantino salvaged this Mid-City grindhouse in 2010 and gave it an extensive renovation last year, showing double features nightly — always on film.

Roxie (San Francisco)

The Mission District mainstay partners with local groups to screen indie and eclectic fare, including LGBT and Spanish-language films.

State Theatre (Traverse City, Mich.)

Operating year-round, this stunning atmospheric cinema (in movie palace parlance, the style with a faux starry-night sky above) was renovated by Michael Moore to host his Traverse City Film Festival.