Lights, Camera, Santa Cruz: A Guide To Movies In Santa Cruz

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Santa Cruz is a beautiful coastal town in California that is known for its laid-back atmosphere, beach vibes, and natural beauty. However, it also has a thriving movie scene that is worth exploring. From independent theaters to drive-ins and multiplexes, Santa Cruz has something for everyone when it comes to movies.

  1. The Del Mar Theatre

The Del Mar Theatre is a historic theater in downtown Santa Cruz that first opened its doors in 1936. It has a single screen and shows a mix of independent and mainstream movies. The theater also hosts special events, film festivals, and screenings of classic films.

  1. Nickelodeon Theatre

The Nickelodeon Theatre is an independent movie theater that opened in 1969. It is located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz and has two screens that show a mix of independent, foreign, and art-house movies. The theater also hosts Q&A sessions with filmmakers, special events, and film festivals.

  1. Regal Santa Cruz

Regal Santa Cruz is a multiplex theater located in the Capitola Mall. It has ten screens that show the latest blockbuster movies. The theater also has recliner seating and offers a variety of snacks and refreshments.

  1. Scotts Valley Cinema

Scotts Valley Cinema is a four-screen theater located in the nearby town of Scotts Valley. It shows a mix of blockbuster and independent movies and also offers recliner seating and a variety of snacks and refreshments.

  1. The Drive-In

The Drive-In is a classic outdoor movie theater that is located just outside of Santa Cruz. It offers a unique movie experience where viewers can watch movies from the comfort of their own car. The Drive-In shows a mix of new releases and classic films.

  1. The Rio Theatre

The Rio Theatre is a historic theater in the Seabright neighborhood of Santa Cruz that first opened its doors in 1949. It has a single screen and shows a mix of independent and mainstream movies. The theater also hosts special events, live performances, and screenings of classic films.

  1. The UCSC Film and Digital Media Department

The University of California, Santa Cruz has a renowned Film and Digital Media Department that offers a variety of film-related events and screenings throughout the year. These events range from student film screenings to talks by industry professionals.

Overall, Santa Cruz has a vibrant movie scene that offers a mix of independent, mainstream, and classic films. Whether you’re in the mood for a blockbuster movie or an indie flick, there’s a theater in Santa Cruz that will satisfy your movie cravings.

Santa Cruz is a coastal city in California known for its natural beauty and laid-back atmosphere. Its beaches, redwood forests, and the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk make it a popular tourist destination. But Santa Cruz is also a hub for entertainment, including a vibrant movie scene.

Movies in Santa Cruz offer a diverse range of options for film enthusiasts, from independent cinemas to big-name theaters. The city is home to several historic movie theaters, including the Del Mar Theatre and the Rio Theatre, which both offer a mix of indie films, documentaries, and cult classics. The Del Mar is particularly notable for its classic Art Deco style and vintage atmosphere.

For those looking for more mainstream options, there are several multiplexes throughout the city, including the Regal Santa Cruz and the Cinemark Capitola. These theaters show the latest Hollywood releases, as well as special events like live broadcasts of opera and theater performances.

One unique movie experience in Santa Cruz is the annual Santa Cruz Film Festival, which showcases independent films from around the world. The festival attracts filmmakers and film enthusiasts alike, and is a celebration of the creative spirit and diverse perspectives of independent cinema.

Santa Cruz is also home to the University of California, Santa Cruz, which has its own film and digital media department. The department offers courses in film theory, production, and history, and hosts regular screenings and events featuring guest filmmakers and scholars.

Beyond traditional movie theaters, Santa Cruz also offers unique outdoor movie experiences. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk hosts a summer movie series on the beach, where visitors can watch classic films with the sound of the ocean in the background. The city also has several parks and public spaces that host outdoor movie screenings throughout the year.

In conclusion, movies in Santa Cruz offer a diverse range of options for film enthusiasts, from classic Art Deco theaters to big-name multiplexes, to outdoor movie experiences. The city’s vibrant movie scene reflects the creative and laid-back spirit of Santa Cruz, making it a unique and exciting destination for movie lovers.


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