Let’s face it. People have been smuggling alcohol into movie theaters for decades. But it took declining box office sales for theaters to finally realize that, guess what? They’d probably earn a lot more (and make guests happier) if they started serving a glass or two.
Probably one of the biggest hesitations behind serving wine at the movies to date is that it’s a mixed environment where underage people are also present. This leads to a liability that requires some hefty insurance. Read: your drinks won’t be cheap, because they’ll have to cover the cost of that insurance. However, if people are already drinking at performing arts theaters nationwide, the concept should be no different for theaters.
Ready to get your booze and views on? Here are five nationwide movie chains to mosy up to.
- AMC Theatres Nationwide – With participating theaters in 25 states, this is probably the largest wine and theater option. Look for the MacGuffins Bar and Lounge, named after the Hitchcock movie term for “a plot device that motivates the movie and fuels action”. Note: currently excludes NYC and DC
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas Nationwide: Freshly prepared food and beverages are delivered directly to your seat. While fine wines are also served, as the drafthouse name implies, a particular focus is given to local breweries. Each location boasts its own unique, local offerings. For example, the NYC location offers a “Shouting at the Screen” series guiding viewers through the world of black cult cinema, replete with drinking games and comedians Wyatt Cenac and Donwill literally shouting at the screen.
- iPic Theaters: With multiple seating options ranging from extra-cushioned leather seats to reclining seats with pillows and blankets, this is your option for drinking and viewing in comfort. The Tuck Room Taverns offer farm to table cuisine and cocktails, along with a beer and wine list.
- Cinemark Cinemas Nationwide: In the theater locator, simply select “Bar/Alcohol” to find if there are locations pouring wine near you. This is your standard viewing experience, with wine as the extra bonus.
- Sundance Cinemas: This is a smaller theater with a more limited movie selection, but potentially the most intimate experience as well. Located in SF, Madison, Houston, Seattle, and LA, viewing options include “private screening room” experiences with rocking chair love seats. For the standard viewing experience, guests can carry their food and beverages directly to their seats.
Know of a nationwide theater chain that’s not on this list? Send us a note and we’ll add it!