Reasons to Love Living in Carlsbad – The Arts #2

Reasons to Love Living in Carlsbad

There are lots of reasons to Love Living in Carlsbad CA, the arts just being one. As an art lover and collector (and former art gallery owner), I enjoy talking about and sharing what I love about living and selling real estate in Carlsbad.  And I keep learning about new things to see and do here, too!

In Part 1 of this 3-part series about the arts in Carlsbad we talked about live theater. In this 2nd article the focus is on film and outdoor movies.


There are several movie theaters in Carlsbad. The Regal Theater at the Shoppes at Carlsbad (mall) offers 12 auditoriums with some reclining seats and stadium seating. There’s also a concession stand in case you get hungry.

The lux Cinepolis is in the La Costa Area. There are 2 shopping center locations, La Costa Paseo Real and La Costa Town Center. Cinepolis offers a truly upscale movie experience with reclining seats, waiter service and a full bar.

Cinepolis Movie Theater in Carlsbad

The historic Carlsbad Village Theater, built in the 1920s, is in the heart of downtown.

You’re sure to find some movies that interest you, as well as a range of prices.

The Schulman Auditorium at the Dove Library Complex offers interesting films occasionally (not mainstream). These movies are free and offered through the Carlsbad Cultural Arts Office.


If you enjoy outdoor movies, check out the Flicks at the Fountain in Carlsbad Village. The Flicks are held every summer on 5 or so consecutive evenings near the fountain at State Street and Grand Avenue. These movies are free and suitable for kids (generally rated G).

Bring your blankets and low-back chairs, and something to eat before the show starts. Cook at home or do take-out food from one of the local eateries nearby. Another option is to order a pizza delivery! Seating begins at 6 pm and the movies typically start around dusk/8 pm.

2023 was the 17th year for the historic film festival held outdoors during the summer at the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park. You will usually find at least 1 movie starring Leo Carrillo. Carrillo is best known for his role as Pancho in The Cisco Kid. The historic park is also a wonderful place to visit and there are multiple events during the year.

Occasionally you may also find outdoor movies at some of the local hotels during the summer (e.g., Park Hyatt Aviara; Omni La Costa Resort and Spa).

The City of Carlsbad recently sponsored a Family Movie Night at Stagecoach Community Park in early September.

Stay tuned for Part 3 about the music offerings in Carlsbad.