More and more theater chains allow you to eat and drink at your seats.
Quick: Name a few foods that people usually eat in the movie theater. Popcorn, obviously. Maybe nachos, pretzel nuggets with cheese sauce, or a hot dog if they feel like waiting for hot food. Overpriced candy as well, most likely. But in recent years we've come a long way from the same old snack bar, and some movie theaters are revolutionizing dining in very posh ways.
Being able to enjoy a full meal -- complete with alcoholic beverages -- while sitting in a movie theater is a fairly recent innovation that's been sweeping the country in a major way. From Brooklyn to Omaha, the experience of watching a movie is being shaken to its very foundation.
These innovations make a lot of sense when you think about it. Twenty years ago, if you wanted to watch a movie at home, you needed to either hope that something good was on HBO or head out to your local Blockbuster, and in both cases, you'd have to deal with a TV screen that didn't even come close to the kind you'd find in a movie theater. But in today's world of Netflix, on-demand movies, and high-definition flat screens, watching a movie at home is comparable to (or even preferable to) watching it in a movie theater, where there are crowds, lines, and high prices to contend with.
But what if instead of munching on popcorn or Sour Patch Kids at the movie theater, you had a wide range of upscale snacks delivered directly to your seat, as well as your own small table to eat from? In-seat dining during a movie is a truly luxurious experience, and nothing short of a game-changer for those who are used to the same old, same old. Thankfully, these new experiences are available at theaters all across the country, where some seriously posh snacks are available even if you're not interested in a full meal. Read on for nine movie theaters that are taking movie snacking to a whole new level.
Alamo Drafthouse is a rapidly expanding Texas-based movie theater chain that's known for more than just its dining options -- they also really, really love movies, setting up their own film festival, roadshow, and film distribution arm. They also take their food seriously. Brunch dishes, pizzas, burgers, and even fresh-baked cookies are available, but if you're looking for a snack, you can choose from menu items like mini banh mi hot dogs, roasted garlic hummus dip, wings, fried dill pickles, and loaded fries.
AMC Cinema Suites
AMC has always been great for stadium seating and clean theaters, but they've been really upping their luxury game recently with their Cinema Suites, complete with couches and dine-in options at nearly 20 locations across the country. Snack options vary by region, but may include pizzettas, Thai shrimp or carne asada tacos, truffle Parmigiano-Reggiano fries, buttermilk biscuit poppers, and crab and avocado sushi rolls.
Cinebistro has nine locations across the country in cities including Atlanta; Vail, Colorado; Miami; and Tampa, Florida, and if you arrive 30 minutes prior to showtime, you can dine right from your seat. All food items are prepared in-house daily, and while the menu changes slightly from location to location, you can expect upscale snacks to include oven-baked goat cheese with dried black figs and balsamic reduction, fig and Brie flatbread, yellowfin tuna tacos, and popcorn calamari.
The high-end Cinepolis has 11 locations in California and Florida; many have leather reclining seats and IMAX screens. You're more than welcome to grab snacks from their traditional snack bar, but if you're in the mood for in-seat dining, menu items include Asiago arancini, edamame with sea salt, an artisan cheese plate with fresh fruit and nuts, and chicken or vegetable pot stickers.
Cinetopia has four locations in the Pacific Northwest and Overland Park, Kansas, and each one has an in-house restaurant that allows you to bring your order with you into the theater. Menus vary according to location, but you can expect to find items including artisan cheese plates, flatbreads, spinach artichoke dip, hummus plates, and crispy blue cheese chips under the "Previews" category.
Dan Myers, The Daily Meal