We tried it: AMC at Easton Dine-In Theatres

From the August 2, 2012 edition

Few things are more classic than dinner and a movie. But what about dinner at the movies? AMC Easton just opened Dine-In Theatre sections, where guests can enjoy the latest flick while eating a hot meal. I had doubts about the concept (a similar one has been available for a couple of years at the Movie Tavern in Hilliard.) Would I balance a plate of food on my lap while servers walked around the theater, irritating me as they blocked the screen and made noise?

About the theater:

A server showed us to our seats (choose them online or at the box office for $9-15 per person, depending on the time and room) and took a drink order as soon as we sat down. Most seats were arranged in sets of two, with an armrest in the middle and tables on the sides for plates. Each seat also has a tray that swivels to rest in front of you. Need a server during the movie? Use the call button next to your chair.

Servers take orders and answer questions in a whisper while the movie is on. It was difficult to hear my server only a couple of times, during a loud scene. Seeing other servers walking around wasn’t as annoying as I feared. But we were in a pretty empty theater, and it could be a bigger distraction in a packed room.

The overall look of the room is more upscale than your typical movie theater, and it gave off a definite restaurant ambience.

About the food:

The menu is packed with crowd-friendly eats like pasta, flatbreads, burgers, salads and quesadillas. Patrons also can have their pick from a full bar, where specialty frou-frou drinks include a Caribbean Cooler and an Oreo Mudslide.

We started with the Wings & Things Sampler, which included onion rings, cheese sticks, spicy Buffalo chicken wings and Parmesan fries. It was a little awkward to share an appetizer because of the way the seats are arranged, especially for the dipping sauce.

I also tried the Fresh Fruit Salad, a combination of strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple and melon dressed in just the right amount of honey and citrus sauce. Toasted pecans added crunch.

You can order food throughout the movie — including popcorn with free refills. The food tasted better than I expected, and it was a nice change from the usual movie routine.

Photo by Tim Johnson