Days spent on Smith Mountain Lake provide plenty of fresh air, pristine nature, and fun water activities for all. Once back on dry land, the towns surrounding the lake also offer just the right amount of entertainment options without being overly crowded and commercial. One such option is the Westlake Cinema in Hardy.
Taking a break from our adventures out on the lake, we made our way to the Westlake Cinema to catch a recently-released movie. After being exposed to the blazing hot sun all day, the clean, air-conditioned venue was a welcome and relaxing treat.
Location & Environment
Westlake Cinema is located in the small town of Hardy, just southeast of Roanoke, on Westlake Road (84 Westlake Rd., #117, Hardy, VA), which is just off the main thoroughfare of Booker T. Washington Highway.The cinema anchors one end of the Westlake Town Center, a streamlined retail shopping and office complex with manicured landscaping. Plenty of parking is available.
The area is surrounded by professional offices of lawyers, doctors, financial professionals, and more but doesn’t feel the slightest bit crowded. If you branch out a little further, you’ll find a small neighborhood of newer one and two-story homes.
After so much fresh air all day out on the lake and feeling a little sore from paddleboarding, we chose one of the newly- released movies on offer and headed inside.Westlake Cinema is an upscale movie theater, and you’ll notice this the minute you enter the front doors. The purple and yellow lobby is clean and welcoming, even offering a few arcade games to help pass the wait time until the movie starts.
We wandered over to the full-service concession counter and ordered, what else, popcorn and a soft drink. What’s a movie without treating yourself to these? You also have other choices, including a variety of candy options.The 13,800-square foot cinema provides moviegoers with a choice between four different screens, all with stadium seating, so there’s no such thing as a bad seat in the place. Our seats reclined and were super comfortable.
Each theater also has state-of-the art Dolby Digital Surround sound, immersing you in the movie experience. For those with hearing impairments, they offer the use of optional headphones hooked to something called a USL Infrared Hearing System. The theater is also wheelchair friendly and easily accessible throughout.Westlake Cinema offers evening showings, or you can enjoy a matinee during a rainy day. Times for these showings change depending on whether it is peak season or off-season, so be sure to check before you go.
The cinema is conveniently located, offering dining and shopping opportunities nearby. The cinema anchors one end of the Westlake Town Center and the Kroger grocery store the other.If you’re looking to treat yourself at some point to a manicure or other personal service before a movie, Lake Nails and Maven at the Lake Salon & Spa are within the same area.
Several good restaurants are also nearby, two of which I managed to dine in at different times when catching a move at Westlake Cinema.
Benny Adelina’s is within quick walking distance and is known for its signature 28” pizzas. We enjoyed slices of the Sriracha Sausage pizza before our movie one night, but you can also stop in after a movie since they are open until 10 p.m. Another option is to order one and take it back to your home away from home to enjoy.
If you want to make a night of it, however, there are other restaurants nearby as well, including Teriyaki House, offering various Asian dishes, hibachi grill fare, specialty salads, and a children’s menu. We enjoyed the spring rolls, pot stickers, hot and sour soup, and the Hibachi chicken on our visit.
Another option is the El Toreno Mexican Bar & Grill, serving authentic family recipes and weekly margarita and taco specials on certain nights. If you want something quick, there’s even a Wendy’s located back out on Booker T. Washington Highway. For any last-minute items you might need to pick up, such as sunscreen for the next day’s boating adventure, stop in the CVS there as well.