If you're a fan of stand-up comedy, you'll know that there are certain hack bits about how much food at movie theaters costs nowadays. These are tired jokes that don't take much thought, but they actually don't take into account one thing --- what about the food at a dine-in movie?
A what?!? You've probably heard of a drive-in movie, but this is not the same thing. In fact, the notion of a dine-in movie is relatively new in the movie theater industry, but it is one of the biggest trends around. About twenty-five years ago, someone had the crazy idea of trying to combine a solid movie theater with a well-rounded restaurant-style menu, including service at your seat. While the style of theater has been known by different things, what you got was the birth of the dine-in theater. Most people called it insanity and felt that it couldn't be done on a larger scale. Food service would interfere with the screening, and there'd be too much commotion in general.
Focusing solely on the food alone, critics felt that you'd need to churn out quick-to-prepare items, which meant pre-frozen food that was fried on the premises with little to no fresh ingredients. Considering one of the other perks to this dine-in movie experience was a chance to order a beer at your seat, the combination of beer & fried foods made it come across like a cheap bar. Boy, were those critics wrong!
The idea not only won over naysayers but has come to be one of the biggest trends in the movie theater business, with most of the biggest chains in the world converting & building new theaters to fit the dine-in model. Moreover, the attention to detail over what food is served at dine-in movie theaters is astounding, creating the perfect amalgamation of "dinner and a movie".
Chances are that you've probably got a dine-in movie theater close to you, but trying new things might not be one of your strengths. That's OK. Maybe a look at some of the menu items might change your mind:
The Duke --- Who can pass up a killer burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, BBQ brisket, and onion rings as ingredients?
Kickin' Fried Chicken --- Don't do the fast-food chicken sandwich wars. Just have a gourmet one. Juicy chicken breast, pepper jack cheese, mango-jalapeno slaw & chipotle-Sriracha remoulade all give this sandwich some sizzle.
Steak & Avocado Salad --- Keep it simple with some perfectly-cooked skirt steak, avocado, pico, and chili sauce on lettuce.
Hawaiian Tuna Poke --- Sashimi tuna marinated in an unctuous Asian-inspired sauce & served with pita triangles, diced avocado, and tomato.
Breakfast Sausage Pizza --- Dazzle your tastebuds with scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, caramelized onions, and three types of cheese.
Turns out the food at a dine-in movie has a little more to offer than just salty popcorn & boxes of candy, huh? If you're of age, you can also try some of the award-winning craft beer brewed on the premises (depending on the theater), and, of course, don't forget about the first-run movies. Looks like going to the movies has come a long way, and man, is it awesome!
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