Point-Counterpoint: Dine-In Theaters Destroy the Moviegoing Experience

Categories: Food Fight

Lauren: Even if I try and accept the seating, I refuse to accept that a $13 rack of ribs is something that should be consumed while watching a movie on the big screen. How is that even enjoyable? How can a person be expected to fully experience a movie while simultaneously chowing down on a cheeseburger or tacos? The whole reason you eat popcorn during a movie is so that you can shovel it shamelessly into your mouth without having to tear your eyes from the screen.

Furthermore, the term is "dinner and a movie," not "dinner at/during the movie." To me, a dine-in movie says, "I'm too lazy and cheap to take you on a real date, so let's just eat our food and not have to talk while we watch things explode."

3D movies
chunkysalsa on Flickr
3D glasses: always a good look
Ando: I will fully admit that there are some problems with Studio Movie Grill but we need to support their mission if we want to preserve the movie watching experience. Here's the thing: Hollywood has been trying to figure out how to milk more money out of us in the theater for at least a decade. Right now Hollywood's big sell is 3D movies, and let's be real: There have probably been three movies that actually needed to be seen in 3D and two of those movies involved people flying around on dragons. 3D movies are awful, and the sooner they go away the better.

In light of that, I'm happy to pay a buck extra to see a movie and buy some actual freaking food to eat while I watch it. I would gladly do that rather than wear clunky glasses to watch 2D movies poorly translated into 3D. It's win-win: Theaters get more money; I get chicken fingers, a milkshake, and no headache.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.


Location Info

Venue

Map

Studio Movie Grill

5515 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
Central Scrutinizer
Central Scrutinizer

I've been to the 'fork and screen' theater in the Camelback Esplanade a half dozen times since they opened it, and I find it to be an excellent movie watching experience. The food ain't 4-star, but it's a damn sight better than normal theater fare... I'd put it about par with a Chili's or Applebee's. The help is as unobtrusive as they can be, and the new seats are more than comfy enough to sit through a 2+ hour movie.

I think it's a win, personally.

Hypocrisy sucks
Hypocrisy sucks

Me too. I thought it was going to be a disaster, but it's a hell of a lot of fun drinking a cosmpolitan and watching a movie. The food's not bad at all, but obviously you want to stick with fingerfoods, not a plate of fettucine. I'm hooked on the Esplanade now.

Marcy
Marcy

"
we need to support their mission if we want to preserve the movie watching experience."

No we don't.  In fact we shouldn't support their "mission" if we want to preserve the moving watching experience.

Fred random
Fred random

I would find these point/counterpoint features more worthwhile if they didn't involve a contrived, high-school debate scenario where the participants are forced to take a position they may not actually care about and strain to support with misleading and/or inaccurate information. Of all your staff and readers, can't you find people who actually care?

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

What was inaccurate or misleading? I assure you we'll make the edits if we got something wrong and you point it out to us. 

Fred random
Fred random

It's debatable whether the disagreement over swivel chairs counts as fact or opinion, but I lean toward fact. Regardless, the contrasting descriptions really does sound like you two are describing two different places. The two positions are so polarized that it's impossible to get an impression of the experience...and each are so extreme that either someone is being misleading or the place is terribly inconsistent. But the essence of my comment is that by taking such conflicting positions, you basically leave us at scratch knowing nothing about your topic.

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

If we agreed there wouldn't be much of a point-counterpoint. 

I don't think that the locations we're talking about are terribly inconsistent I think it's a matter of both Lauren and I coming from two very different views on the world. What she values is different than what I value and talking about those differences is amusing enough that we write a column about it. 

Speaking specifically to the swivel chairs: After some reflection I have to concede that the chair at SMG are very similar to the ones in some of the classrooms at ASU. I will note that I found them, and the chairs at SMG, extremely comfortable but that is in fact, a personal opinion. There are nicer movie chairs in the world (there's on theater in LA that has, I think, oversize bean bag chairs) and with that point of reference I think it's fair to argue that swivel office chairs are not a vast improvement over your average movie seat. 

DJ Roomba
DJ Roomba

The problem with dine in theatres is that the food is never as good as what you can get elsewhere... so far

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

That's true but I think they're target demographic are people who would hit a TGIF's or something before or after their movie. Prices are about the same and it's two birds with one stone and one tank of gas. 

I do agree though, it would be awesome if they combined an actually nice restaurant with a theater. 

Amy
Amy

I have been to Studio Movie Grill several times. All great experiences. The food is good and the prices are reasonable. I love that I can order a crudite and Boursin while watching Oscar winning flicks like The Three Stooges. We liked Farrellis seating better- but this place is just fine.

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

Farrelli's is the really fancy movie/restaurant with the wine dispensers and what not? They're seats did indeed look very comfortable. 

Eric Van Kirk
Eric Van Kirk

iPic has the wine dispensers and really plush electronic theatre seating.  I like them better, especially since it's a theatre designed with their model in mind as opposed to a revamped United Artists.

Andy W
Andy W

We had a great experience at studio movie grill.  We tried another "dine in" theater and that was an entirely different experience. The food at Studio Movie Grill is fairly priced and is surprisingly good. We had chicken fingers and the burger. Even though I hate well done meat it was the only choice, but it actually tasted OK). The servers were polite and unobtrusive. We sat in the "office chairs' during two visits and both thought they were the most comfortable chair we ever sat in at a movie. Great to drink wine at a movie from a real glass. Not a great wine list but they do have bottles of Silver Oak if you are feeling flush. (I think they were $100)

Jason PP
Jason PP

Come on, this is a great date experience.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...