#39 of 79 Asheville Things To Do

Grail Moviehouse

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Grail Moviehouse: Unique Vibes and Alternative Cinema in Asheville's Most Eclectic Theater
Staff Score:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Asheville's Grail Moviehouse offers an alternative take on the movie-going experience, complete with indie flicks, comfy loveseats, and local snacks that are sure to satisfy.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Amp up your movie experience at the Grail Moviehouse, where you’ll find a more intimate environment than is available at the typical movie theater. As an alternative-style cinema, this theater shows a lot of films you might struggle to find elsewhere. Unlike many alternative theaters of its ilk, however, it offers a variety of choices to appeal to film buffs and casual viewers alike. On any given day, the theater’s selection may include first-run films, indie flicks, documentaries, and long-forgotten classics deserving of greater recognition.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online. While the online approach lends added convenience and the security of knowing you’ve reserved your spot in advance, there’s something inherently charming about purchasing your ticket in person at the box office. Showtimes are listed online and on the classic sign located outside the theater. If you call the theater, you might not talk to a staff member in person — but you will hear the latest offerings and showtimes in a prerecorded message. The schedule for special screening events can be found on the movie theater’s Facebook page.

When you arrive, you’ll be struck by the small, yet eclectic nature of the theater. Each room has its own unique vibe. Comfy seating is available throughout. Depending on the room, you could relax in upholstered chairs or even loveseats. Doors open twenty minutes before each screening, so feel free to show up early and find a spot to relax.

Concessions are often a chief point of concern with moviegoers; you’ll be relieved to find a variety of reasonably priced snacks and beverages at the Grail Moviehouse. Many of these are produced locally; this is your opportunity to sample the Asheville area’s top beers, ciders, and coffee. If you prefer traditional move fare, you’re welcome to purchase popcorn or candy onsite. The Grail Moviehouse does not permit outside food, as is the case at most movie theaters.

In addition to regular screenings, the Grail regularly offers special events or activities to accompany the release of new movies. For example, when it began showing Toy Story 4, the theater granted young visitors the opportunity to build their own Forky (the latest and greatest Toy Story character) using materials provided in the lobby. Likewise, the theater offered a unique trivia event prior to its screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Arrive early to make the most of these opportunities when they’re available.

There’s no substitute for the unique ambiance of the Grail Moviehouse, where each film offers a memorable experience. Stop in to discover why, in an age of Netflix and Hulu, movie theaters are still worth visiting.

Insider Tips:
– While the Grail Moviehouse provides a surprisingly accessible atmosphere for those struggling with physical mobility, its offerings for hearing-impaired patrons remain limited. That should change soon, however, with the theater looking into assistive listening devices and support for closed captioning. With sufficient notice, the theater can provide open captions for several films.
– If you’re craving popcorn, don’t hesitate to order the large option. The theater’s friendly staff members have been known to encourage visitors to take advantage of sizable refills before leaving the theater.