AMC Grapevine Converting Theaters for Dine-In Movies

Categories: Screen Bites

cinema_suites.jpg
The nation's second-largest theater chain is opening a dine-in theater at Grapevine Mills tomorrow, suggesting the movie world's major players aren't ready to cede the "watch and eat" model to smaller operators.

Grapevine is the sixth entry in AMC's growing Dine-In Theater concept; a seventh location is slated to open in New Jersey later this month.

"Guests are asking for these experiences that are simple and self-contained," says spokesman Justin Scott, who adds the concept especially appeals to parents who don't want to shell out for extra baby-sitting hours and moviegoers who'd rather not rush through their pre-show meals.

Texas is already home to The Alamo Drafthouse, Studio Movie Grill and an outlet of Gold Class Cinemas, a luxury chain based in Australia. As Patrick Corcoran, director of media and research for the National Association of Theatre Owners, told USA Today in a story chronicling the rise of dinner movie houses, "It's a way for theater owners to capture that revenue and keep it there instead of seeing it go down the mall."

While Regal Entertainment Group -- the biggest theater chain in the United States -- beat AMC to the dinner bell by rolling out its Cinebarre theaters in 2007, its numbers have stalled at five locations. According to USA Today, the chain plans to accelerate its opening schedule next year.

AMC Grapevine Mills 30 will offer two different dining experiences in its 13 converted theaters: Cinema Suites, described as "premium, upscale, in-theater dining," and Fork & Screen, described as "casual, in-theater dining." Cinema Suites goers -- who must be 21 or older -- get extra legroom, popcorn dusted with chocolate and a menu padded with a few extra items, including tenderloin tips and lobster ravioli. There's a $15 "experience charge" for Cinema Suites, and a $10 charge for Fork & Screen: The experience charge is deducted from meal purchases.

While Scott concedes some movie purists "don't want to see a waiter or hear someone eating," he suspects everyone will appreciate the theater's new bar.

"If you watch a movie like Inception, that makes you think, you want to talk about it afterward," Scott says.

Now, rather than allow those conversations to carry moviegoers to the parking lot, AMC's hoping they'll transpire over a pair of cosmos purchased from the lobby bar.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
Internetabyss
Internetabyss

DO NOT get tickets for the back row! Its Awful!!! They should use that space for a waiter station. The space is worthless to watch the movie. Imagine being above the screen in a recliner that is meant to look up because it reclines. To make it worse there is a wall infront of you. The only way you can see the movie is if you get on the edge of the seat, but then you cannot eat or get comfortable. We were wondering why the good seats are taken and the back row is open. You can only see half the movie screen, or they will give you an awful pad to raise you up. I'm 5'11 so it's not like I'm short. If you are in the bottom rows the reclining chairs look like they would be nice. If I would have gotten seats down there it would have been a lot better experience. I should have gotten a refund in the first 5 minutes but my wife is complacent and wanted to hang out as she didnt care about watching the movie. I paid over $100 for an awful night. Next time its Outback steak house and a normal theater. Its the opposite of normal movie going, you actually want to sit on the bottom rows a this place.The main issue is the theater is very steap, who ever refurbished the theater was an idiot. The service from the wait staff is subpar because your in a movie and it's hard to complain about the food or lack of service during a movie. The food is on par with a cafeteria type restaurant but no where close to a chain restaurant level. The Crab Rangoon dip was good but the wantons for dipping were stale and pretrofied. The salad wedge was good no complaints but it's hard to mess up iceberg lettuce with blue cheese and bacon bits. The bonus was that it came with a pretzel stick that was good and I used that for dipping in the Crab Rangoon. The final dish, the tenderloin tips were cooked well done even though I asked for medium but it was good enough on par with a tv dinner. Bottomline if you get back row tickets the you will definitely have to see the movie again. So you might as well ask for a refund or just get drunk and talk in the back as the movie might as well not be playing.

Candice
Candice

My husband and I attended a movie at the AMC in Menlo Park...it was really a nice "adult" experience, no children screaming during the movie, and having the ability to eat and watch a movie, saved us about 2 extra hours with the babysitter for our children...we found this cinema, by chance when we found www.dineinmovies.com, and saw there was a dinner theater close to home in NJ. I would recommend it...

Rvator23
Rvator23

Sounds great to have an adult experience without all rude kids talking and texting. Me and the wife will definitely give it a try. No need to have to time dinner or lunch with the movie start and AMC has more movies than SMG.

Pete N (Bridgewater AMC)
Pete N (Bridgewater AMC)

Are they crazy? My wife and I went to see a movie and they wanted $50.00 !! They said the ticket is $15.00 and dinner $10.00. Remember people the movies is the place where a box of Good N' Plenty costs $6.50 and a large soda $4.75. Just what do you think a $10.00 dinner will be like there? We used to go to that theater all the time. Not anymore. We can see the same movie elsewhere for $20.00 total cost. I don't see the value.

Mrdallas
Mrdallas

Cinebarre is fabulous! I go to the one in Seattle every week and was not surprised to find out it is run, in venture with Regal, by the former CEO of the Alamo who is the one who made it into what it is today. Hope they bring it to Dallas since Alamo stalled on Casa Linda. I will move back even sooner than planned if so!

Louise Marshall
Louise Marshall

I don't get it. We used to go there all the time. More than half the audience was made up of teenagers. Now they can't get in?

Elber Galarga
Elber Galarga

hopefully it will be better than smg, and smell better as well.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...