Independent films are often overlooked in favor of the larger mega-million box office blockbusters. However, for those willing to take the gamble and check out smaller films, independent movies can be some of the best and most entertaining ways to spend an evening. There are several great independent movie houses in town and most of them happen to be in very historic and truly beautiful buildings – making a trip to one of these cinemas a bit like taking a short trip back in time. Experience the laid-back nature of the independent movie theater and support independent film.

(credit: Esquire Theatre/Facebook)

Esquire Theatre
590 Downing St
Denver, CO 80218
(303) 352-1992

The Esquire Theatre was built in 1927 and, from the outside, it looks like you are entering a time warp. However on the inside, it has certainly been brought up to date, though it retains its wonderful feel of a classic old-time movie theater. There are two screens and some of the best movie-theater popcorn in town. The Esquire features the best in independent and foreign language films, but also be sure to check out its Friday night Midnight Movie Madness, where it features one hit movie from the past on the big screen.

(credit: Denver Film Center/Facebook)

Denver FilmCenter
2510 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 595-3456

The Denver FilmCenter opened in its new home in 2010, having relocated from the Tivoli Student Union after eight successful years. Now, this new home for the Denver FilmCenter is bringing a fresh calendar of changing films every single week. With first-run independent films to art-house revivals, and both domestic and foreign films, the Denver FilmCenter is the perfect spot for independent film lovers. There are also many events at the center where you can often get a special look at a film and even participate in a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers.

Related: Top Movie Theaters In Denver

(credit: Chez Artiste/Facebook)

Chez Artiste Cinema
4150 E Amherst Ave
Denver, CO 80222
(303) 757-80222

The Chez Artiste Cinema is another wonderful independent movie theater in Denver. It is tucked away in a small strip mall just off of Colorado Boulevard, and it is so hidden by massive stores that it could easily be missed. However, this cinmea is definitely worth the trip as it continually features independent and hard-to-find films. Just as with all Landmark Theatres, the popcorn is fantastic so be sure to pick some up on the way in.

(credit: Oriental Theater/Facebook)

Oriental Theater
4335 W 44th Ave
Denver, CO 80212
(720) 420-0030

The Oriental Theater is more like a “live performance space” than strictly a movie theater, as there are often many different types of music, comedy and films to choose from. However, it makes the list of fantastic independent movie theaters as it is one of the best places in town to see truly independent and often very local films – you can even rent out the place to screen your own flick. Be sure to check the online calendar to see all of the different films that are screening at the Oriental. There is also a full bar and plenty of parking. What more could you want?

Related: Top Budget Arts & Culture in Denver

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at