There are two main cinemas in Playa del Carmen. Going to the movies is pretty inexpensive at around 40-50 Pesos per ticket (around $4). Whilst some films are dubbed en Espanol, many are still run in English with Spanish subtitles (and reading them is a good way to improve your Spanish!).
Tip: if a film is suffixed by ‘Dig Sub’ or ‘Dig Ing’ then it is in English with Spanish subtitles, and if it says ‘Dig Esp’ the film is dubbed in Spanish.
Once a week, the cinemas have a ‘buy one, get one free’ day, which makes it even more affordable, just remember to allow enough time to get through the busy ticket lines on those days.
Arrive early to tackle the crowds on ‘buy one, get one free’ days…
A taxi from downtown to either cinema will cost between 30 and 50 Pesos, or you can catch a public bus for 5 Pesos.
Cinepolis, Plaza las Americas Mall
We prefer Cinepolis, located in the Plaza las Americas shopping mall, north-west of town. We have found them to have a wider range of films and think the popcorn is better (priorities!).
The ‘cheap day’ (cheaper than usual, that is) is on Wednesdays. Wednesday evenings can get very busy, so be sure to allow plenty of time to get your tickets and snacks. We have missed out on many films because we didn’t allow for the larger than normal crowds.
Tip: If you want a break from popcorn for your cinema snack, there is a stand which makes fresh mini-doughnuts at the entrance to the mall’s food court. These sweet, hot rings of delicious goodness are out of this world. You’re welcome!
We are also partial to the sweet and sour chicken from the Chinese stand at the food court. I didn’t say it was a healthy day out, this is the ‘entertainment’ section after all. See the gym section for how you can burn it all off!
Cinemex: Centro Maya Mall
The other Cinema is Cinemex located in the Centro Maya shopping mall on the highway at the southern end of town. Their ‘cheap day’ is on Tuesday. A few times we have been there, the sound of the film has gone off or the projector was wonky, but hey, this is Mexico and for under $4 it’s still a pretty good deal.
Check out the Festivals page for details of the fabulous Riviera Maya Film Festival, held in Playa del Carmen and various other locations in March each year. It is a FREE, world class film event which is actually not very well-known among ex-pats and visitors.