Thursday, January 20, 2011

Date Night, Reclaimed: VIP Theaters Revive the Dinner & A Movie Experience

In the spirit of the Sundance, which kicked off its vibrant ten-day film fest today, try to remember the last flick you caught in a theater.

Now, imagine if, rather than sipping a $7 Diet Coke, you had a mango-ginger-habanero daiquiri in hand. Or Braised Beef Short Rib with Black Mission fig-balsamic glaze, pear raviolini and a butter-sage sauce in place of a lamp-heated hot dog.

Ipic Theaters, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, now offers patrons such amenities in a nearly 42,000 square-foot  theater hybrid, including a restaurant, Tanzy, and sleek lounge, Salt, that Gab helped brand and design. This is a high-end, all-night experience for the serious cinemaphile, foodie and club kid in one location.

It looks like dine-in theaters, not 3-D, may be the future of film. According the Wall Street Journal, out of roughly 5,750 total theaters nationwide, about 300 to 400 now have restaurant service, and industry analysts predict that number could double over the next few years. Read the full article at

Luckily, you don’t have to catch the next cross-country flight to get in on the action. Here are some local South Florida theaters combining cocktails, cuisine and cinema:

For the Film Buff
Living Room Theaters in Boca Raton -  

Located at the south end of FAU’s campus, four 50-seat theaters facilitate the university’s film study program by day and show foreign, classic and independent films on nights and weekends, emphasizing new releases from around the globe. A European-style café offers tapas, nosh, salads, paninis, desserts, a wine list, and beer on tap.

Date Night Destination
Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton -  

Experience a large selection of movies with reserved stadium seating. Escape upstairs to Bogart's, featuring signature selections from restaurateur Burt Rapoport's past and present restaurants. Think homemade thin-crust pizzas, sirloin burgers, gourmet salads, and entrees including fresh seafood, chicken and steak. If you’re only looking to dine, you can even skip the movie.

Bring the Fam
Frank Theaters in Deerfield Beach -  

Tucked in the Deerfield Mall 8, Frank Theaters’ Starlite Café offers classic movie grub plus café extras like crab cake sandwiches, veggie burgers, cheesesteak sliders, and wings. Keep the kids busy with a birthday party and sneak off to the premier 21 and over theater where you can sip signature cocktails the Casablanca and Casino Royale.


  1. I'm from Iowa and we definitely don't have movie theaters like this! I was amazed at Florida's swanky styles (including the valet)and now Ipic has stepped it up to a whole new level. What next? Gold plated arm rests and Gucci 3D glasses?? :)

  2. Actually, the Gucci 3-D glasses already exist:

  3. wow these all sound amazing. As long as they still sell sour patch kids :)