There are vastly different takes on this idea throughout the country, but the basic premise is the same: Provide dinner and booze with the movie and people will stick around.
On the East Coast, this idea exists as
' Cinema de Luxe. At a string of theaters in Massachusetts, a
of plush seats is equipped with a server call button that brings an attendant over to take your order for appetizers, burgers, entrees, desserts, wine, beer or cocktails. Showcase has stocked other locations with its
bar for pre- and post-movie noshing and boozing and its
Chatters Bar & Grill
for more downmarket fare.
Smaller theaters, including the
Dunellen Theater & Cinema Cafe in Dunellen, N.J.,
dispense with the formalities and offer moviegoers pizza and beer at tables between rows. It's an idea that's caught on from
, but has become ingrained in the culture in Portland, Ore. Not only is the city and the surrounding suburbs home to the
chain of theater pubs that includes the palatial Baghdad Theater and the converted Kennedy School elementary school, but it's also teeming with similar, smaller independent theaters such as the neon-covered
, the cozy
St. John's Cinema
, cult favorite
and the armchair-laden arthouse known as
Living Room Theaters
Some will cook you pizza, others will offer deviled egg plates and panini, but all have beer on tap and wine if you want it. Kids are invited to most during the day, but knowing you can go to a kid-free showing of
after 8 p.m. and enjoy it with a pint of porter is oddly comforting.