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The 10 Best Cities for Movie Lovers

It’s easy to become starstruck in these cities that are beloved by movie lovers of all ages.

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Photo: Los Angeles Tourism

Lights, Camera, Action

Settle in with a super-size tub of buttered popcorn. We’re talking movies. As in, the best destinations for watching movies, whether a low-budget indie flick or a larger-than-life summer blockbuster. Really, these destinations are tops for all things movies.

Lawn Love looked at the best cities for movie lovers, taking into account such factors as cost of movie tickets, number of film festivals, movie theater ratings and number of movie theaters. Here is the ranked list, which includes historic theaters, film festivals, shooting locations, even movie museums and local movie stars.

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10. Washington, DC

Washington, DC, has been featured in various movies, including Forrest Gump, National Treasure and Wedding Crashers. The 97 steps between M Street NW and Prospect Street in Georgetown, better known as The Exorcist Steps, are actually a historic landmark. Movies have been filmed all across town, from the Lincoln Memorial to Union Station. Washington, DC, is also home to several film festivals, too, including Filmfest DC and the DC Shorts International Film Festival. At the National Museum of American History, the new Entertainment Nation exhibition features props from such movies as The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars. Settle in for a movie at the historic Miracle Theatre, the oldest movie theater in Washington, DC.

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Photo: Rachael Jones for Visit Seattle

9. Seattle

Seattle is a noted city for movie lovers, hosting several film festivals throughout the year, including the Seattle International Film Festival and the Seattle Asian American Film Festival. In the University District, the Grand Illusion Cinema is the longest running independent movie theater in Seattle, featuring a mix of independent, foreign and classic films. More than a few movies and television shows were shot here, too, including Sleepless in Seattle, 10 Things I Hate About You and Grey’s Anatomy. At the Museum of Pop Culture — known as MoPOP — an ongoing exhibition delves into the world of horror movies, with more than 50 film props on display.

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Photo: Timothy Smith for San Diego Tourism Authority

8. San Diego

As a city for movie lovers, San Diego may be most famous for Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick, which hit theaters in May 2022. Among the film locations are Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (formerly Naval Air Station Miramar), the Lafayette Hotel and New Point Loma Lighthouse. San Diego’s scenic beaches and landscapes also served as the backdrop for several other movies, including Almost Famous and Anchorman. Catch a movie at Rooftop Cinema Club, an open-air movie theater with city skyline views. San Diego is also home to several film festivals, including the San Diego International Film Festival and Comic-Con, a pop culture and movie convention.

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