The 9 Best Movie Theaters in Grand Rapids (Local Picks)

best movie theaters in grand rapids mi

Looking to catch the latest blockbuster on the big screen?

I’ve got you. I’ve seen dozens (hundreds?) of movies in theaters across Grand Rapids. I’ve got the skinny on all the hotspots in town. So if you’re looking for cult classics, kid-friendly options, or the best drive-in theater, I’ll fill you in on where to go.

The popcorn is popped. Grab some candy from concessions. I’ve got an oversized cup of Diet Coke ready to roll. Let’s go out to the movies.

Map of My Favorite Movie Theaters in Grand Rapids, MI

The best theater for throwback movies: Wealthy Street Theater

A list of GR movie theaters that doesn’t include Wealthy Street Theater is no list at all.

It’s not a traditional, everyday movie theater. The Meanwhile (a fine dive bar across the street from the theater) helps put on The Meanwhile Movie series. On Tuesday nights, you can catch cult classics, indie hits, comedy darlings, and the like at the Wealthy Theater. The Goonies, Airheads, Dirty Harry, Rocky Horror – if you’ve got a passion for the films of yesterday, Wealthy Street is your new favorite movie theater.

Need a drink? Adult beverages are available for purchase for members. Membership is inexpensive, as are the drinks.

  • Address: 1130 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • Website: Wealthy Theater

The best theater downtown: Celebration Cinema Studio Park

Celebration Cinemas revitalized downtown movie-going with their location at Studio Park, which opened in 2019. The 9-screen theater is state of the art, with every amenity you could dream up, including heated, reclining seats.

The outdoor area here, named “the Piazza,” is a beautifully manicured lawn and outdoor space. There are a handful of benches scattered around for seating and concrete planters jammed with colorful annuals. Studio Park utilizes this outdoor space by hosting free events like yoga, parties, ArtPrize exhibits, and more. There’s an outdoor movie screen that loops everything from classic films to previews for today’s biggest hits.

If theater food isn’t your thing, you’re a quick walk away from some of the best food joints in Grand Rapids. I’m a fan of the rooftop patio at nearby Knoop.

EverythingMidwest.com exclusive info: if you’re a cheapskate like me, parking at studio park(ing) is validated for four hours with the purchase of a movie ticket.

The best drive-in movie theater: Getty Drive-In

The crunch of gravel under your tires. Fireflies blinking in and out of existence. Drive-in movies are peak summer.

The Getty is my favorite drive-in movie option. It’s over in Muskegon, so you’ll be making a 45-minute drive or so. Spend the day at Pere Marquette Beach, one of the best beaches in West Michigan, and head to the Getty as the sun dips.

Movies here are all double features, so you may be in for a late night. If you’re leaving early, keep your headlights off until you’re past the screens.

  • Address: 920 E Summit Ave, Muskegon, MI 49444
  • Website: The Getty

The best sound system outside of L.A.: Phoenix Theatres

True story: a buddy of mine worked on some films in L.A., and he claims The Phoenix has the best sound system that he’s heard outside of L.A. Can I verify this? Nope. Do I tell everyone this anecdote? Absolutely.

I saw one of the greatest “movie theater movies” of all time at The Phoenix – Top Gun: Maverick. The F-18 engines sounded like an earthquake. The rockets screeched through the air in pitch-perfect, dazzling audio.

By the time Maverick landed his plane, and the Top Gun theme song blared through the theater, I knew I’d witnessed movie magic. For the record, I wasn’t crying, gang! I have sensitive retinas! My doctor can totally vouch for me.

  • Address: 3195 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
  • Website: Phoenix

The best free outdoor movie date night: Movies in the Park

collins park movies in the park

Look, I already said I’m a cheapskate. Catch a free flick in the summer thanks to Movies in the Park.

Movies in the Park take place in East Grand Rapids at Collins Park, overlooking picturesque Reed’s Lake. Most of the films are family-friendly, but there’s usually one PG-13 film.

Grab a blanket and your boo, and have an unforgettable date night. Grab some take-out from one of Grand Rapids’ most romantic restaurants, Rose’s (literally right next to the park), and steal a kiss or two in the moonlight.

The best theater in a mall: Celebration Rivertown

If you’ve got young ones, or you’re young at heart, there’s a carousel in the mall food court, which is right by the entrance to Celebration Rivertown. Enjoy a spin or two on one of the horses before heading in to catch a movie.

Like most studios on this list, Celebration Rivertown is hip to the needs of consumers and now offers beer, wine, and canned cocktails.

The comfiest seats: AMC Grand Rapids 18

You can now reserve the comfiest seat in town at AMC 18. Confession: I fell asleep to Arrival, the Amy Adams sci-fi masterpiece, at the AMC 18. The movie was amazing! The seats were even more amazing! They’re huge, and they recline, and the theatre was dark. This is a safe space for me to confess this, right?

Note: AMC GR was formerly known as Star Theatres.

  • Address: 3000 Alpine Ave NW, Walker, MI 49544
  • Website: AMC 18

The best option for IMAX: Celebration Cinema North

If you’re in Grand Rapids and you’re into IMAX, Celebration Cinema North is your new go-to movie theater. They’ve got the only IMAX experience in town.

Besides IMAX screens, Celebration North has all the other luxuries you’ve come to know and love from modern movie theaters. It’s in bustling Knapp’s Corner, so there is an array of shopping and dining options nearby.

  • Address: 2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • Website: Celebration North

The best theater in Kentwood: Celebration Cinema South

As you can tell, Celebration Cinema holds a strong grip on the Grand Rapids theater scene. For good reason! I’ve enjoyed countless movies in Celebration run theaters, and let me tell ya: the staff has always been friendly, the popcorn has always been salty, and my sour patch kids are always sour.

  • Address: 1506 Eastport Drive SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508-7884
  • Website: Celebration South