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Top five movie theaters for students living on campus

If you don’t want to overpay for an Uber ride, these five theaters are accessible by public transportation.
Image by Daye Stager
For students looking to catch a blockbuster or an independent film this summer, here are some picks within a reasonable distance to campus.

The summer movie season is here, and with no film screenings scheduled at Coffman Union this summer, you might be wondering what other options there are for catching movies.

Whether you are anticipating upcoming blockbusters like “Deadpool & Wolverine” or are more interested in indie film festival favorites like “Dìdi” or “Kneecap,” there are accessible theaters near campus.

  1. AMC Rosedale

While not the most convenient location for students, if you want to enhance your theater-going experience by seeing a movie in an IMAX or Dolby cinema, Rosedale AMC has both. Like any other AMC theater, Rosedale AMC shows just about all of the summer blockbusters the occasional independent film through their AMC Artisan Films program.

After making a connection from the light rail to the bus on Snelling Avenue, a trip to the AMC will take around 50 minutes. 

  1. Lagoon Cinema

The only remaining Minneapolis location of the national chain Landmark Theatres national chain, the Lagoon Cinema is a long-standing theater in the Twin Cities that gets summer blockbusters as well as foreign and independent films.

Located just east of Bde Maka Ska, the best way to get to the Lagoon is by bus, which is around a 40-minute trip from campus. While the commute is certainly on the longer side, the movies they show across their five screens will appeal to blockbuster audiences as well as fans of niche art house films.

  1. B&B Theatres at Mall of America

While the Mall of America is the furthest location from campus on this list, B&B Theatres is a quality option accessible through an hour-long ride by the light rail. With 13 screens and even a cocktail bar, B&B Theatres is a solid theater to catch a summer blockbuster at, not to mention you could pair it with a variety of activities and dining options at the Mall of America before or after the showtime.

Other than the length of the commute, the only real downside of B&B Theatres is the lack of independent films within their programming, but if you are looking for a theater that shows the biggest hits this summer, B&B Theatres will satisfy.

  1. Trylon Cinema

For fans of independent films new and old, Trylon Cinema is the very best option in the Twin Cities. With screenings happening six days a week (several of which are shown on 35mm film), the Trylon Cinema shows an eclectic variety of brand-new independent films as well as older, niche films you can’t find at any other theater in Minnesota.

While there is only one screening room in Trylon Cinema with a smaller capacity than your average theater, there is so much care that goes into the programming and the overall experience that Trylon stands out as one of the most exceptional theaters in the area for movie buffs. If you don’t want to pay for an Uber, you can get to the Trylon by taking a 30-minute bus ride from the West Bank that will drop you off right across the street from the theater.

  1. The Main Cinema

As a non-profit independent movie theater, not only does The Main Cinema strike an outstanding balance between independent films and big-budget flicks in its programming, it The Main Cinema is the closest movie theater to campus at roughly 2 miles from the East Bank. Not only is it a great option during the summer, but as a part of the Minneapolis Film Society, the cinema screens films for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival every spring.

Whether you want to take public transit or enjoy a nice summertime walk, The Main Cinema is the best local theater to meet your summer movie needs. While it’s not directly accessible by the light rail, it is easily accessible by bus. If you live in the Dinkytown or Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods, you can walk there in just 20 minutes.

While it would be ideal for students if these theaters were a bit closer to campus, these are five good options to explore if you decide to go the extra mile.

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  • GVN
    Jun 27, 2024 at 7:09 pm

    Riverview theatre is a 25 minute bike from campus, mostly with dedicated bike lanes. It is 50s themed and has 7$ movie tickets (5$ on Tuesdays).

  • Paul P
    Jun 26, 2024 at 4:21 pm

    Heights Theater in Columbia Heights on the 10 bus line