Movie Tavern Soon To Offer Dinner and A Movie — In One Place

Movie Tavern Soon To Offer Dinner and A Movie — In One Place
Eat, drink, watch a movie at Movie Tavern, a new theater coming soon.

“Wouldn’t it be great to be able to have a beer and a pizza while watching movies at the theater,” or words to that effect, triggered the idea behind Movie Tavern, the dine-and-drink-in-your-seat theater chain.

With the tag “Great Food, the Latest Movies, and a Full Bar,” Movie Tavern, founded in 2001 in Dallas, now has 24 locations in 10 states, and soon it will open its first Arkansas location, at Little Rock’s Gateway Town Center.

Movie Tavern’s 45,649-SF Little Rock location will have 11 screens, each with full-service dining and reclining seats, a total of almost 1,100 of them. Danny DiGiacomo, Movie Tavern’s vice president of marketing, expects the $12 million project to open in the third or fourth quarter of 2017.

Movie Tavern’s menu varies slightly from location to location, but DiGiacomo said each location offers full-service casual dining. The menu in Baton Rouge, for example, features Garlic Fried Shrimp ($14.25), House Chicken Tender Basket ($11.25), Chicago Style Foot Long Dog ($9.95), Chicken Caesar salad ($11.95), a variety of burgers and as part of its “light and fresh” menu a Peach Vodka Spritzer ($9), plus beer, wine, margaritas and other cocktails.

The original concept, DiGiacomo said, featured counter service, where movie-goers would order at a counter and their food and drinks were then delivered to them in the theater.

At full capacity, Movie Tavern, which offers first-run movies, will employ 175-200 workers.

Each seat — reclining, remember — will have a swivel table and a call button, almost eliminating the need to ever leave. “You’re going to love it,” DiGiacomo said.

Movie Tavern, which is owned by VSS-Southern Theaters LLC, based in New Orleans, is in growth mode, DiGiacomo said, with plans to open three to five locations each year.

“There’s such great opportunity with the cinema eatery segment of our industry,” he said. “There are so many ways that people are able to consume movie media nowadays. We have iPads. We have smartphones. We have on-demand at home and so on and so forth. So providing still that movie-going communal experience out of home is our passion.”

Although Movie Tavern offers alcohol, DiGiacomo said the chain has few problems with drunkenness. That’s because, he said, “Our concept really appeals to families. Mom can have a glass of wine and Dad can have a beer, and the family can enjoy a nice meal and great service while watching a blockbuster movie. It gives a well-rounded, enjoyable experience for the whole family.”

The ground-breaking date hasn’t yet been determined, he said.