If you’re like me, you like great movies, but you also want to see it in a great movie theater where the picture, sound, and theater create a perfect opportunity for the movie to suck you in and get lost in it’s story, characters, and world. As I’m writing this, we’re all anticipating Star Wars: The Force Awakens to take us back a long, long time ago to that galaxy far, far away, so I’ve decided to assemble a list of my favorite movie theaters here in Fort Myers and Naples.

Here is my list of the top movie theaters in southwest Florida. This list isn’t meant to necessarily be in order of quality, but is ranked based on the crossing of features, movie picture and sound quality, as well as the location and environment.

5. Regal Cinemas Bell Tower 20

If you want a fairly standard movie-going experience, you could do a lot worse than Regal Bell Tower 20. Now, “standard” in this sense doesn’t necessarily mean “bad” as this theater is generally clean and the movie theater seating is what you would expect when you go to a movie theater; it’s just kind of average. If Bell Tower 20 were a child in school turning in a class assignment, it would get at the very least a B; maybe an A on some nights. It doesn’t quite reach the A+, but it completed the assignment and did just fine. Sometimes, you just want to go somewhere where you know your movie experience will be “good”, but you aren’t willing to spend the extra money for that “excellent” experience and that’s quite alright with me. The picture and sound quality is good and the seats are typical. I’ve personally had a few issues with other people in the theater who were being rude or stupid teenagers being stupid teenagers, but it doesn’t happen enough to scare me away.

You’ll probably have to park farther away near T.G.I. Friday’s on busy nights. It has a decent offering of restaurants in the Bell Tower shops if you’re looking to get dinner before or after your show, but there are some good options within a 10 minute drive of the theater if you don’t want the few restaurants in Bell Tower. If you’re looking for a good theater to go to, while not the best, you could do a lot worse than Bell Tower 20.

4. Regal Cinemas Coconut Point 16

While this theater may not be as popular as some of the other theaters on this list, it certainly isn’t a slouch when it comes to quality either. This theater has the best seats of any of the Regal Cinemas in the area (including Regal Gulf Coast 16). I personally think that the only reason this theater isn’t more popular is because it sits further back in Coconut Point and requires a bit of a walk. Parking at Coconut Point can be a bit of a chore, but the theater is located in the area of the mall with the best walking area, so that’s a plus. The fact that it’s less popular could be a positive or negative depending on your outlook, but it is frequented by teens on the weekends. I’ve personally never had a bad experience with this theater.

Continued in Part 2