The concept of combing a movie with a meal, as opposed to selling popcorn, candy, hot dogs and soft drinks at a concession counter, has existed for quite some time. Arguably, the concept has been perfected by the Alamo Drafthouse, based in Austin, Texas, which has multiple locations in Texas and elsewhere, and is planning to expand. Other contenders include Studio Movie Grill, Movie Tavern, Gold Class Cinemas and many more, as documented by USA Today earlier this year. But can a large corporation duplicate the experience that's been refined by the Alamo Drafthouse and a select few others?
AMC has experimented with the concept at multiplexes in Atlanta, Georgia, Olathe, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, so far and plans to expand it to three more locations in the coming weeks. From the pictures and descriptions provided (check out a fan video below of one of the theaters), they're clearly emphasizing an evening out as an "experience," where the quality of the movie is perhaps less important than the quality of the food and service, and the willingness of patrons to pay for the convenience of eating while watching a movie.
The Alamo Drafthouse has built its reputation on the "experience" as well, but it's a different kind. They take the approach that presenting movies with the best sound and visuals possible, along with a rich variety of programming beyond first-run movies, is most important. The Cinematical team has expressed our admiration for the Alamo Drafthouse operation many times in the past, though we're always open and happy to hear about great theaters that combine movies, food and beverages.
Will AMC be able to deliver on their promise?Are AMC Dine-In Theatres the Next Alamo Drafthouse? And if not, what theaters in your area make it possible to enjoy a movie and a meal?