popcorn for sale at one of the movie theatres in the Kawarthas

Guide to movie theatres in the Kawarthas

Want a change from streaming movies on a small screen at home on your laptop, tablet or TV?

Miss the buzz and excitement in the air that only happens when you’re part of a movie’s opening night audience?

Have a craving for authentic movie theatre popcorn?

Sounds like it’s time for you to head out of the house and into one of the movie theatres in the Kawarthas. To help you pick the one that’s right for you, we’ve put together this quick guide.

2 movie theatres in west Kawarthas

Century Cinemas 3, Lindsay, ON

  • 3 Screens
  • Open: Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays.
  • Closed: Mondays and Wednesdays.
  • Highlights: old-time atmosphere, reasonable prices, the popcorn.

Located on Kent Street, the main drag that runs through Lindsay, Ontario, the Century Cinemas 3 has existed since 1951.

On the theatre’s website the home page invites patrons to “step back in time”. You’ll definitely feel that way when you walk inside.

The Century Cinemas 3 original projector is right there in the lobby to greet you.

And though the theatre now boasts 3 full-size screens, modern digital projection equipment and Dolby Digital Surround Sound, it has retained many of its original architectural elements and design touches.

Without question the vibe at Century Cinemas 3 is old-time, small town movie theatre.

The prices will feel a little old-time too.

They’re cheaper than what you would pay at a Cineplex. And on Tuesdays and for matinees tickets cost even less.

Snacks are cheaper than you would pay at a large multi-plex theatre too.

They even have a $5 Kids Pack.

And multiple people on Google Reviews have commented on how fresh and delicious the popcorn is at Century Cinemas 3.

Lindsay Drive-in, Lindsay, ON

  • 2 Screens
  • Open: First week of May to the last week of October.
  • Closed: November to April.
  • Gates open: 6:30 PM. First movie starts at dusk.
  • Highlights: blast from the past, summer fun, the snacks.

There’s nothing quite like watching a movie outside on a summer night under the stars. Get that experience and more at the Lindsay Drive-In.

This outdoor movie theatre in the Kawartha Lakes features two big screens. Each screen runs a double feature. Occasionally during the summer months they will run a dusk-to-dawn showing of three movies.

There’s a 50s, retro-style snack bar too. Here you can buy great-tasting fries, fresh-popped popcorn, slushies and other movie-time confectionary favourites. And the prices are reasonable as well.

The retro theme is further carried out with a classic car at the entrance and advertising signs and boards from the 50s.

A couple things to note: the Lindsay Drive-In doesn’t accept credit or debit cards so the only way in is with cash. And don’t forget the bug spray because sometimes you won’t be the only ones at the drive-in.

1 movie theatre in north Kawarthas

Highlands Cinemas, Kinmount, ON

  • 5 Screens
  • Open: First week of May to Thanksgiving Monday in October. Open 4 days a week spring and fall, and 7 days from the last week of June to Labour Day Monday.
  • Closed: October to April.
  • Highlights: truly unique, quirky atmosphere, reasonable prices.

At the north end of the Kawarthas in the village of Kinmount you’ll find the most unique movie theatre in the Kawartha Lakes.

The Highlands Cinemas is passion project of Keith Stata who has been a movie buff since he was a young boy.

When Keith built his home in 1979 he decided to install a 58-seat movie theatre in what would typically be the rec room.

Within a few years his movie theatre tucked away in cottage country had become so popular he was turning away people.

To meet demand he decided to expand. Over time he added four more movie theatres to his home, bringing the total to five.

But people don’t just come to the Highlands Cinemas for the movies.

Its hallways are also jam packed with Keith’s incredible collection of movie memorabilia.

Make sure you include some extra time in your trip to the Highlands Cinemas to explore and take in the thousands of items that are on display.

There’s everything from movie props, costumes and posters to over a hundred movie projectors, including all of the ones built by Thomas Edison.

The tickets prices at the Highlands Cinemas are a nice surprise too.

They are less than what you would pay at a Cineplex and the tax is included in the price. Admission to matinees and Monday nights at this Kawartha Lakes movie theatre are even less.

There is a snack bar too where you can purchase fountain drinks and freshly popped popcorn, licorice, chocolate bars and other snacks.

A thing to note: the Highlands Cinemas doesn’t accept credit or debit cards so make sure you bring cash to purchase your ticket and snacks.

1 movie theatre in the south Kawarthas area

Galaxy Cinemas, Peterborough, ON

  • 11 Screens
  • Open: Year round, 7 days a week.
  • Highlights: choice of movies and food, big time picture and sound.

If it’s the big sound, big screen and plush seating you want your movie theatre experience in the Kawartha Lakes to include, you want to go to the Galaxy Cinemas in Peterborough.

There should be no trouble deciding on something to watch here. Galaxy Cinemas has 11 screens to choose from making it a true multiplex.

In addition to the movies it shows, the Galaxy will also host limited time events on its screens. They include concerts, theatre productions and sporting clashes.

Before or after your movie you can enjoy a game or two in its arcade. Here you’ll find the latest popular interactive and video games. There are even classic games if you’re an old school gamer.

Like all movie theatres in the Kawartha Lakes you find popcorn, candy and soda pop at the Galaxy Cinemas. But that’s just the beginning.

The food options at the Galaxy Cinemas are far greater than the small town theatres previously discussed in this article.

If you want you can have a meal at Galaxy Cinemas. Order a hotdog, sandwich, wrap, sweet potato fries or a poutine. Plus, there’s a licensed lounge if you would like to have an alcoholic beverage.

Escape at a Kawartha Lakes movie theatre

Going to see a film on the big screen has always been a form of escape. Whether you’re in the mood for old time charm, watching under the stars, something quirky and unique, or a full-on sensory experience, the Kawarthas has a movie theatre for you.

Want to get creative?

Sign up for an art course or workshop from our list of “7 artsy things to do in Kawartha Lakes”.

Photo credit: Delish