In 2001, the Angelika Film Center was the hippest, most sparkling theater in town. It was the crown jewel of the new Mockingbird Station and was among the first to expand the standard popcorn and Milk Duds menu to include gourmet snacks and alcohol that doesn't suck. Sixteen years later, more ambitious chains have in some ways outpaced Angelika. Look Cinemas has chairs designed by Lexus, and Alamo Drafthouse will serve you a themed menu while you watch. But even if it's not as shiny and exciting as it once was, Angelika still wins out where it counts most: film selection. Sure, you won't find many of the blockbuster hits, but you're also much less likely to find a dud than at an ordinary theater. Angelika's lineup is made up of all the indie Oscar contenders, and it's safe to pick at random. It also hosts some of the city's best film festivals, from big ones like the Dallas International Film Festival to the small Studio Ghibli Festival of Hayao Miyazaki's animated films.
Readers' Pick: Alamo Drafthouse