Planning to See a Movie on Christmas? Here Are 8 Independent Theaters to Go to in Virginia

Planning to See a Movie on Christmas? Here Are 8 Independent Theaters to Go to in Virginia

Courtesy of Ashland Theatre

By Aila Boyd

December 21, 2022

Most families have their own unique set of holiday traditions. After opening presents in the morning, then gorging on a savory brunch, some families go to the movies on Christmas night. If your family goes to the movies every Dec. 25, or if you’d like to start a new tradition this year, there are plenty of independent movie theaters throughout the commonwealth you may want to go to instead of the bland chain theaters. 

While some of the eight theaters on this list may offer lower prices, they all certainly offer a lot more character. 

Ashland Theatre

Location: Ashland

Planning to See a Movie on Christmas? Here Are 8 Independent Theaters to Go to in Virginia
Courtesy of Ashland Theatre

The Ashland Theatre is a historic theater and performing arts venue that strives to “reinvent the classic American movie house experience through exceptional film, live performances, and live music.” 

The nonprofit shows a mixture of first-run and classic movies. 

Showing on Dec. 25 will be the Whitney Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” at 7 p.m. The film “is a no-holds-barred portrait of the complex and multifaceted woman behind The Voice.” 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, children, students and members of the military. 

The Grandin Theatre

Location: Roanoke

The historic Grandin Theatre is a nonprofit that is “a cultural and educational resource devoted to film and the cinematic arts for Western Virginia.” It has been showing films on and off since its first screening of “Arrowsmith” in 1932.

The Grandin will have four movies showing on Dec. 25. 

“Babylon” is a “tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess” set in 1920s Los Angeles. It will be showing at 12:20, 4 and 7:35 p.m. 

“Avatar: The Way of Water” picks up with the Sully family more than a decade after the events of the first film as they work to “keep each other safe” and “fight to stay alive.” It will be showing at 12:30, 4:10 and 7:50 p.m.

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” follows Puss in Boots after “burning through eight of his nine lives” and his “journey to find the mythical Last Wish and restore his nine lives.” It will be showing at 12:40, 3:10, 5:35 and 7:55 p.m. 

“Empire of Light” is “an intimate and moving story about love, friendship, and connection, set in a coastal town in Southern England against the social turmoil of the early 1980s.” It will be showing at 12:50, 3:15, 5:40 and 8:05 p.m.

Matinee tickets are $8.70 for adults and $8.18 for children and members of the military. Evening showings are $10.29 for adults, $8.70 for seniors and students and $8.18 for children and members of the military. 

The Lyric Theatre

Location: Blacksburg

Planning to See a Movie on Christmas? Here Are 8 Independent Theaters to Go to in Virginia
Courtesy of The Lyric Theatre

With its original 1930s tapestries and replica lanterns, The Lyric Theatre still evokes its 1930s Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Revival heritage. 

Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” an exploration of his “childhood passion for moviemaking, and the family dynamics that found their way into his work,” will be playing at 7 p.m. on Dec. 25. 

General admission tickets are $7.

The Radford Theatre

Location: Radford   

Planning to See a Movie on Christmas? Here Are 8 Independent Theaters to Go to in Virginia
Courtesy of Radford Theatre

The Radford Theatre is a place to “see daily movies and experience a vintage main street theatre.” 

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” will be playing at 7 p.m. on Dec. 25. 

Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for children, seniors, students and members of the military. 

Page Theater

Location: Luray

The Page Theater, which is “pink on the outside” and “intricately designed on the inside” is owned and operated by a local family in Luray.

The theater will be screening four films on Christmas.

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” will be showing at 2 and 7 p.m.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” will be showing at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

“Babylon” will be showing at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” will be showing at 1:45 and 6:45 p.m.

Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children under the age of 11.

Naro Expanded Cinema 

Location: Norfolk

The Art Deco Naro Expanded Cinema was originally called The Colley Theater when it showed its first picture, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” in 1936. The venue now shows new releases, in addition to holding regular cult movie and documentary events.

“Babylon” will be showing at a yet to be determined time on Christmas.

Tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for matinee showings, senior citizens and children under the age of 12.

Movie Town

Location: Martinsville

Planning to See a Movie on Christmas? Here Are 8 Independent Theaters to Go to in Virginia
Courtesy of Movie Town

Since the 1980s, Movie Town has been a “first rate theatre with first run movies.” It prides itself on “offering a warm small-town atmosphere with a friendly staff.” 

It will be showing four movies on Dec. 25.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” will be showing at 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m.

“Babylon” will be showing at 1, 5 and 9 p.m.

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” will be showing at 1, 4, 7 and 9:45 p.m.

“Puss In Boots: The Last Wish” will be showing at 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9:20 p.m.

Tickets are $7 for matinees. Evening showings are $8 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and members of the military and $7 for children ages 3-11. The 3D version of “Avatar” is slightly more. 

Byrd Theatre

Location: Richmond  

Operating almost continuously since its 1928 debut showing of “Waterfront,” the Byrd Theatre is “one of the Nation’s Grand Movie Palaces and today is both a State and National Historic landmark.”

If you arrive early, be sure to take in all of the theater’s intricate molded plaster carvings.

There will be a 2 and 7 p.m. showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the nonprofit on Christmas for $8 a ticket. 

The holiday classic follows George Bailey and the people of Bedford Falls.

  • Aila Boyd

    Aila Boyd is a Virginia-based educator and journalist. She received her MFA in writing from Lindenwood University.

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