Where To Find Unique Movie Experiences In And Around Nashville

Dated: 09/14/2015

Views: 2379

by TJ Anderson

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The most recent Nashville Scene cover story focuses on the major remodeling effort that’s about to begin at the historic Belcourt Theatre — a $4.5 million dollar overhaul that’ll bring major changes to the Hillsboro Village building, inside and out.

As with all changes at historic buildings, the news of the renovation has been met with both cheers and trepidation. But something we can probably all agree on: The Belcourt has long been — and will remain — a treasure for film lovers in Nashville.

No digs at the landscape of multiplexes, but this indie arthouse cinema gives Middle Tennesseans access to unique films, unique film experiences and a unique vibe.

Another cool note for all of us: It’s not the only cool and uniquely Nashville place for local movie buffs to explore their silver-screen love. Here, a few other ways to catch a movie in a fun, non-multiplex setting in and around Nashville:

Franklin Theatre 
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This historic theatre in downtown Franklin opened in 1937, and we almost lost it for good back in 2007, when it briefly closed. With lots of community effort, though (and the Save the Franklin Theatre campaign), it was restored and reopened, and the whole Middle Tennessee area is the better for it. The space regularly hosts music and other events, and movies remain a big part of its draw. Even if you’re there seeing a film you’ve watched a hundred times before (Monty Python and the Holy Grail was recently screening), the time-capsule setting makes it something special. More at the Franklin Theatre website.

Screenings at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
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Hard to find anything more uniquely Nashville than music-focused films screening at the mecca of country music aficionados, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Their film series is a must for rock-doc devotees — some of what’s coming up soon: Indigo Girls: The Making of One Lost Day on September 23 and Jerry Lee Lewis: I am What I am on September 29. More on the Country Music Hall of Fame website.

Shelby Park Picture Show
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This summer, East Nashville’s Shelby Park became home to a new outdoor movie series, with classic films showing on the huge, high-res LED screen at the Old Timers Ball Park. The series kicked off in August with Big, and it picks up again on Wednesday, September 23 with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Ghostbusters follows on October 7, with a rained-out/rescheduled showing of Toy Story coming on October 21.) Attendance is on a donation basis (the suggestion donation is $5), and food trucks and a beer garden are onsite to round out the experience. More at the Shelby Park Picture Show website.

Grassy Knoll Movie Nights
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A long-running name in Nashville outdoor-movie landscape, Grassy Knoll Movie Nights brings monthly movies to the cozy knoll next to East Nashville’s Bongo Java, on the third Sunday of every month, April to October. It’s a low-key hang, with food trucks and vendors and a crew of locals stretching out on the grass. Coming up next: the endlessly quotable high-school comedy Clueless, on Sunday, September 20. Keep up with Grassy Knoll Movie Nights on Facebook for updates on the movies being shown.

Leiper's Fork Lawnchair Theatre

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South of Nashville, quaint Leiper’s Fork is a world unto itself, full of history and culture. Which makes the friendly Leiper's Fork Lawnchair Theatre a fantastic piece of seasonal fun, whether you’re a local or taking a little trip down for the day. The season’s already technically wrapped for 2015, but there’ll be one more movie behind the Leiper’s Creek Art Gallery downtown on Halloween night, with a screening of a couple of classic scary movies to be named, along with trick-or-treating. More at the Leiper's Fork Lawnchair Theatre Facebook page.

Have other favorite local movie-watching options that you want to share? I’d love to hear your picks!

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TJ Anderson

TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....

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