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Unusual Lancaster movie theaters to visit

Lancaster movie theaters offer a variety of entertainment options. In the late '90s, the invention of the DVD was hailed as the end of the movie-going experience. The media declared that movie theaters would shutter, because who wouldn't want to watch a movie in their comfort of their own home? But today movie theaters are thriving.

At Lancaster movie theaters, you can watch a movie in old-fashioned setting, resting on floor cushions, or in the plush luxury of a recliner. Here's a rundown of traditional and unusual Lancaster theaters.


Zoetropolis is one of the most unique venues in Lancaster. When you open the door to the cavernous space, with its hardwood floors and exposed brick walls, it's easy to forget that your standing on the upper floor of an office building. Co-owner Cheila Huettner says, "That's how we sell ourselves. It's like 'Being John Malkovich.' We're on the 7 1/2 floor." Couches and armchairs share space with traditional folding seats inside the movie theater.

Don't expect to see the next superhero movie at Zoetropolis. The independent theater prides itself on showing films you won't find at the multiplex. "There's so many films that don't get a chance to be seen," Huettner says. Because of its intimate size and creative vision, she says, "We can show more art movies."

In addition to currently showing "Lady in the Van" and "45 Years," Zoetropolis is bringing "King Georges" to Lancaster. "King Georges" is a documentary about Chef Georges Perrier, who owned Le Bec-Fin, the iconic French restaurant in Philadelphia that closed. Huettner is excited that Perrier will be attending the screening on Sunday, March 20.

If you go: Zoetropolis is located at 315 W. James St. Movies are shown Wednesday through Sunday. Visit the website for showtimes and ticket information.

The Rabbit and Dragonfly

The Rabbit and Dragonfly isn't a movie theater. It's part coffee shop, part used bookstore, part performance venue.

The Rabbit and Dragonfly is inspired by the Inklings, a group of British authors from the early 20th Century, who used to meet to discuss their work. Two of the authors were J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. The Rabbit and Dragonfly space is decorated with nods to their books, including a miniature Hobbit door at the entrance, and a Narnia mural in the coat closet.

On the first Saturday of every month, the Rabbit and Dragonfly hosts Cereal & Cinema. Family-friendly movies are shown, while a cereal buffet is laid out for patrons. Be sure to check out the back corner, which is filled with books and old-fashioned games.

If you go: The Rabbit and Dragonfly is located at 51 N. Market St. Cereal & Cinema is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month. Visit their website for a full schedule.

Aussie and the Fox

Aussie and the Fox is another restaurant that doubles as a movie theater. On the third Wednesday of the month, the Australia-inspired restaurant hosts a movie night. Two screens are pulled down in the center of Aussie and the Fox. General Manager Julia Morrell says, "That way everyone can see the movie, from wherever they're sitting." Patrons are encouraged to order dinner, dessert, or cocktails during the movie.

Up next for movie night at Aussie and the Fox is the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," at 7 p.m., March 23. Morrell says they have scheduled family-friendly movies for later in the year.

If you go: Aussie and the Fox is located at 38 W. King St. Movie nights are scheduled for the third Wednesday of every month. Visit the website for details.

Regal Manor Stadium 16

Dying to see the latest blockbuster movie, but don't like uncomfortable movie theater seats? The Regal movie theater in Manor Shopping Center has both. Kick back in a wide, comfy recliner, complete with cup holder, to watch the latest hit movie.

The lobby recently underwent renovation, and now has slick digital menus, preview screens, and a Fandango kiosk. The concession stand offers more than just popcorn and soda, with hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken fingers on the menu. Regal also has reserved seating when you buy your tickets, which means no more hunting to find enough seats together for your group.

If you go: Regal Manor Stadium 16 is located at 1246 Millersville Pike. Visit their website for showtimes and ticket prices.

Penn Cinema

Penn Cinema might look like a chain movie theater, thanks to its large size, but it's locally owned and operated by Penn Ketchum. Penn Cinema boasts fourteen movie screens, all featuring the latest technology in movie projection, including 3D. Their stadium seating means everyone has a clear view of the screen.

Penn Cinema is a community-minded theater, offering special events in addition to the regular movie line-up. The Monday Night Movie Series shows classic and iconic movies, like "Grease" and "The Godfather." Sensory Sensitive Cinema is available on the first Saturday of every month, when the lights stay on and the volume is turned down, to accommodate moviegoers with special needs. You can also see performances by the Metropolitan Opera.

In addition to its multiplex, Penn Cinema has the only IMAX screen in Lancaster County. The stand-alone theater, on the same property as the multiplex, has its own concession stand and luxurious leather seating.

If you go: Penn Cinema is located at 541 Airport Rd., just south of Lititz. Check their website for showtimes and ticket prices.