It seems like dine-in theaters are popping up all over the Valley these days. Studio Movie Grill in north Scottsdale just opened last month, and I headed there a couple nights ago to see the new Jonah Hill movie, The Sitter.
The theater has a far less luxurious feel than the AMC Esplanade 14 or even iPic Theaters. Instead of comfy reclining seats, you’re stuck sitting upright, and you won’t get any blankets to keep you warm. The inside looks the most like a traditional theater that I’ve seen at a dine-in theater–and my companion mentioned the lobby reminded him of an airport, and the theater itself, a bowling alley.
Like the other two places, though, ordering food or drinks from your server is as easy as pushing the button at your seat. They’ll come and grab your order (the menu is full of American food, similar to AMC Esplanade 14), and they’ll deliver it to you throughout the movie.
Movie tickets are $9 Sunday-Thursday and $11 Friday’s and Saturday’s, which is way less expensive than iPic and around the same price at Esplanade. I heard people are arriving up to an hour early for weekend movies, so be warned.
We drank and ate during the movie. We got a pitcher of domestic beer for $15, which I thought was a good deal considering the two of us drank two beers each from it. For food, I ate a grilled cheese sandwich ($6.25), which came with French fries. I actually really liked this grilled cheese sandwich, since the bread was thick and there was lots of cheese, and the seasoned fries were thickly cut and tasted great. Some regular movie theater concession stand items at non-dine-in theaters are just as expensive, so I thought the food prices here were really reasonable.
Though the food and prices were satisfactory, based on the less comfortable atmosphere, I’d still pick AMC Esplanade 14 out of the now three dine-in theaters I’ve tried. And if you’re going to go to a dine-in theater any time soon, don’t make The Sitter your movie of choice.
I thought it might be funny because I like Hill and think he generally picks solid roles, but the movie was as predictable and corny as any baby-sitting movie I’ve seen. Even the cute kids couldn’t make me recommend it to anyone.