Going to the movies is one of my favorite family memories from childhood. I can still remember seeing classics like E.T., The Fox and the Hound and Annie (the original Annie, that is. Jamie Foxx wasn’t a thing when I was a kid) on the big screen. And although this shows my age, it also reminds me of how much fun a trip to the movies can be – especially as a family. But not all movie theaters are created equally.
With the price of big screen entertainment ever-rising, if you’re going to splurge for a family movie outing, you want to make sure that you and your kids get the most out of it. We’ve put together a list of our favorite movie theaters for kids in the Greater Richmond area that will help you find the best theater for your family and ensure that a trip to the movies creates positive memories for everyone.
To rank our favorite theaters, we considered the following:
- Show time options
- Kid-friendly features (fast lines, concessions and seating)
The following theaters meet all of our requirements for kid-friendly experience – and offer fantastic films, as well!
Often touted as a hidden gem, this theatre offers all the comforts you’ve come to expect from modern theaters. But what sets it apart is that it’s known for its quick service. With options to pre-purchase tickets through Fandango, you can get your tickets ahead of time (although they pride themselves on keeping all of their lines moving quickly), show your receipt to the ticket takers at the theater via your phone and be on your way. You’ll pay standard ticket and concession prices, but you’ll get a better than average theater experience with fast lines, clean facilities and ultra-comfy seats. And we all know that with kids, fast lines and smooth transactions can make all the difference between a good outing and a disaster.
Why we love it: We love the fact that Westchester Commons offers all of the latest releases and plenty of show times, but tends to be less crowded than other theaters. Even if it’s a little bit out of your way, it’s worth it for the positive movie going experience.
Regal Westchester Commons Stadium 16
Midlothian Turnpike & Rt 288
Midlothian, VA 23114
Click here for current shows, then click on the desired show time to see pricing and pre-purchase tickets through Fandango.
SHOW TIMES: Click here or call (844)-462-7342, ext.4043 for the latest offerings, special events and show times.
The Byrd tends to pop up on our favorites’ lists frequently. But it’s no wonder. When it comes to kids, you can’t beat a good deal – and that’s exactly what the Byrd offers. While the Byrd has long been known for their $1.99 tickets, starting January 1, 2017, tickets will now be $4 each, but $1 of each admission price goes towards a facility fee set that is aside for preservation efforts. And let’s be honest, it’s still a great deal! The new facility fee will be dedicated to preserving and updating the theater, including a long term project of replacing the old theater seats. In the meantime, while the Byrd doesn’t have a stadium set-up (which can make it harder for little ones to see), they do offer ample seating, which means you won’t feel crowded. You won’t find the same range of movies as you might find at a newer theater, but they offer a wide variety of kid-friendly events that make movie-going a pleasure for the whole family, including old-time classics, new releases and more.
Why we love it: Yes, it’s cheap – and that’s always a good thing. But what sets the Byrd apart is that it offers an experience for all the senses. From beautifully preserved décor from the late 1920s and 30s to The Mighty Wurlitzer organ that plays before select shows, the Byrd is a piece of history – with great movies to boot.
All regular admissions: $4.00 ($3.00 admission + $1 facility fee)
SHOW TIMES: Click here or call (804) 353-9911 for latest show times.
When I was a kid, there were few things better than piling up in the car with blankets and snacks to watch a movie under the stars at the local drive-in theater. Unfortunately, drive-ins have all but disappeared. That’s why we are so grateful to have the Goochland Drive-In just outside the city of Richmond. The Goochland Drive-In allows you to give your family a special movie going experience every March through November. And to make their offerings even better in 2017, they’ll be opening a new section called “The Grove” in May, which will provide a second screen (most shows are double features) complete with its own concessions and restrooms. Speaking of concessions, while they don’t allow outside food or drink, all concessions on the Main Menu are priced at $3.95 and below, with a gluten-free menu that features nothing higher than $6. Dinner AND a movie at the drive-in? Sounds like the perfect family outing to me!
Why we love it: Reasonable prices are great. But the main reason we love this theater is that it preserves the old-fashioned tradition of drive-ins. It will be a walk down memory lane for you and a memory-making experience for your kids.
Adults and children 12 years and older: $8.50
Children ages 4-11: $4.00
Children under 4: Free
Going to the movies is often as much about the big screen experience as it is about the movie itself. The Henrico Theatre makes this experience possible for only $1 per ticket, while offering you the chance to see a bit of history. The Henrico Theater first opened as a movie palace in 1938, with original tickets priced at 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for kids. Since then, it has continued to offer entertainment at a value. While you may not get the bells and whistles of newer IMAX/3-D/super-mega-theaters, what you will get is great movies at great prices. With all concessions priced at $1 each, as well, you can have a complete movie going experience on a budget. Because it offers such low costs, Henrico Theatre doesn’t always have the latest releases, but they do offer a wide range of children’s classics and blockbusters from recent years. Be sure to check their latest offerings online. The Henrico Theater also provides kid-friendly live music, theater and dance performances, so be sure to see what sort of live performances are available while you’re there!
Why we love it: You shouldn’t have to choose between taking your kids to the movies or saving for their college fund. The Henrico Theatre recognizes this and lets you have the big screen experience at kid-friendly (and college fund-friendly!) prices.
PRICES: All tickets: $1 (purchased at the door)
SHOW TIMES: Click here or call (804) 652-1460 for the latest show times and information.
There’s a reason so many people in Richmond make this theater their go-to movie destination. From fantastic décor to 17 screens showing all the latest releases, this theater has something for everyone. Because they offer so many screens, you’re always sure to find show times that fit your schedule – and in-theater kiosks allow you to purchase tickets AND concessions without the long lines. To make this a great place for kids, each theater offers stadium seating, comfortable rocking/reclining seats and plenty of leg room. Last, but certainly not least, Movieland offers TimePlay – a free interactive game experience that allows you to interact (via a free smartphone app) in real-time with on-screen games and gives you and the kids a chance win free prizes, tickets, concessions and more. Basically, it’s free entertainment before the feature even begins!
Why we love it: Great offerings and plenty of extras set this theater apart. But to top it off, we all know that movies can get pricy, so Movieland offers “Super Tuesdays” ($6 regular movies and $5 popcorn tubs), which means that you can take the whole family to the movies without breaking the bank.
Bow-Tie Movieland at Boulevard Square
1301 North Boulevard (at West Leigh St.)
Richmond, VA 23230
Matinees: (before 3pm daily)
General Admission: $8.00 / $11.50 for 3-D
Children under 11: $7.50 / $11 for 3-D
Seniors (62+): $7.50 / $11 for 3-D
Regular Shows: (after 3pm daily)
General Admission: $10.50 / $14 for 3-D
Children under 11: $7.50 / $11 for 3-D
Seniors (62+): $7.50 / $11 for 3-D
Super Value Tuesdays:
All admissions: $6 / $9 for 3-D
SHOW TIMES: Click here or call (804) 354-6099 for the latest offerings, special events and show times.
We are sure that you’ll find the perfect movie theater for your family on our list, but in the meantime, if you already have a favorite for kid-friendly movie going, we would love to hear about it. Tell us about your favorite theater and why it works for your family in the comments below!