The Best Movie Theaters in NJ

Going to see a movie is an experience. Streaming on a television or laptop does not compare to watching the film on a big screen as smells of popcorn float through the air and sound comes from almost every direction. Of course, one can try to recreate that in their own home, but physically going to the theater is an event, whether it be a girl’s night out seeing “Mean Girls,” a guy’s night watching “The Batman” or a date during “Dune: Part Two.” When the closest theater becomes too familiar and you’re looking to spice up a trip to the movies, check out the best movie theater in NJ, listed below. 

1. The IMAX Theatre at Tropicana – Atlantic City, NJ

Located on the third floor of The Quarter, one of the most luxurious shopping malls in Atlantic City, this theater offers an immersive and unforgettable experience. Offering IMAX DMR—digital media remastering—movies are shown with the most advanced film technology. Being the only Giant Screen Certified IMAX Theatre in Southern New Jersey, this location is a must-try. Projection is able to be casted five-and-a-half stories high, there is surround sound, and of course, concessions are offered. With 290 available seats, there is plenty of room too. Seeing certain movies in IMAX is incredible, and a lot of today’s best movies are filmed specifically for that format, such as the award-winning and Oscar-nominated “Oppenheimer” and newest “Dune” movie. 

2. AMC Garden State Plaza 16 – Paramus, NJ

This AMC is the best of the chain in NJ. They offer an array of features, including but not limited to IMAX with Laser, Dolby Cinema, open caption, artisan films, food & drink mobile ordering, and discount prices for seniors, students, and military. IMAX, as mentioned above, is meant to be an absorptive experience, and at AMC Garden State Plaza 16, they claim that their IMAX with Laser is “immersive, heart-pounding audio combined with crystal clear images on the largest screens” that “take you beyond the standard cinema experience.” The Dolby Cinema involves ultra vivid colors and engrossing sound, creating another option of engaging movie watching. 

Given that AMC is a chain of theaters, there are many offers and promotions you can take advantage of, whether you are a member or not. AMC Stubs members earn points and perks, but non-members can still enjoy offers like the new “Kung-Fu Panda 4” collectible popcorn bowl, the ability to collect collectible mystery pins from “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” and multiple combo deals pertaining to the newest films. Right now, AMC Stubs members have the chance to enter a sweepstakes that includes a two-person trip to New Orleans that is complete with transportation, a hotel stay, and spending cash when they go see “Imaginary.” With so many great elements to this specific AMC theater, it is definitely one of the best movie theaters in NJ.

3. The ShowRoom Cinema – Asbury Park, NJ

What was once a 50 seat theater screening independent films is now a three-screen self-described “leading entertainment destination in Asbury Park’s eclectic, art-infused downtown shopping district.” This exclusive-feeling theater offers “an important selection of independent, first-run films — including critically-acclaimed domestic and foreign features, documentaries, festival winners and shorts.” Aside from showing such unique films, the ShowRoom also runs classics like “American Psycho” and “But I’m a Cheerleader.”

The venue also allows guests to reserve the rooms for private events ranging from business meetings to birthday parties. Guests can bring their own DVD or Blu-ray. There are movable club chairs, an array of concessions, and a state of the art projection system all while providing a quaint and cozy feel, making it a top contender in the list of best movie theaters in NJ. 

4. The Princeton Garden Theatre – Princeton, NJ

Originally built in 1920, this theater is over 100 years old, but that is what makes it so enchanting. Princeton University saved the building from being torn down in 1993, handling renovations and updates before handing it over to other companies who now operate it. It is now their local, non-profit arthouse theater that does not only show movies, but hosts guest speakers and educational discussions. They even have a membership program, where those who are involved get reduced admission prices, free select events, and family benefits. 

The Princeton Garden Theatre plays great movies, including those of which are no longer in regular theaters. They are currently showing the animated and live action shorts that are nominated for Oscars, as well as “Oppenheimer” and “The Zone of Interest.” If you’ve already seen the films that are up for awards this season, reserve seats to their Hollywood Awards Party Event, where guests get unlimited popcorn and drinks and the opportunity to attend a red carpet reception at the Nassau Inn before the screening! With such unique prospects and a rich history, the Princeton Garden Theatre is more than deserving of a spot on this list of the best movie theaters in NJ. 

5. IPIC Fort Lee (Hudson Lights) – Fort Lee, NJ

The IPIC Theater in Fort Lee is one of the best movie theaters in NJ because of its aspect of fine dining. Family movie nights, a trip with friends or a date night all work with this theater’s showings, lounge area, and bar and restaurant. All guests have to do is push a button on their seat and a server will come. Start off with loaded fajita steak fries or a classic bucket of popcorn, seasoned with churro, cheddar cheese, or truffle parmesan. For a bigger meal, try the burrata margherita pizza or pear and prosciutto pizza. 

To enjoy the movie with a handheld meal, order filet mignon sliders, a crab cake sandwich, or the chicken street tacos. Main courses include a harvest bowl with hummus, chickpea, roasted red pepper relish, tri-color quinoa, arugula, asparagus salad, miso-tahini dressing, avocado, and the choice to add chicken or steak, along with tandoori chicken skewers or a classic chicken caesar salad. To finish off the meal, get classic candies such as M&Ms or Sour Patch Kids, or try something different like the raspberry red velvet cake. 

Alcohol is also served here, from draft beer to red wine by the bottle. Seasonal and themed meals and cocktails also make their way onto the menu according to the movies being shown. Enjoy the new Mark Wahlberg movie “Arthur the King” with a fig and walnut old-fashioned or indulge in the classic that is “The Godfather” while sipping on a classic cabernet. There are no wrong choices at IPIC Fort Lee, and the service provided alongside both new and old films makes this the perfect candidate for the best movie theater in NJ.