Last night we brought in the New Year in a low-key family friendly way. By trying out the new and growing phenomenon in movie theater culture called “dine-in theaters”. The dine-in theater experience includes dinner and a movie, as well as cocktails, all served in cozy recliners. There are several companies that offer this experience – at least 3 in the NYC area. They include iPic Theaters in South Street Seaport (plus about 15 other places throughout the country), Alamo Draft House in City Point BK, Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, BK and AMC Theaters are offering a few dine-in options in NJ.
We chose iPic in South Street Seaport for our dine in experience.
At iPic, you have the option to choose Premium Seating with oversized extra cushioned leather seats, or Premium Plus Seating with oversized leather recliners (for $12 extra per seat). Premium Plus seating also includes tableside food service. In the Premium Seating section, you have the same food options as Premium Plus, only you get them yourself and bring them back to your seat.
Since it was New Years Eve, we went all out for the Premium Plus Seating – what a fun experience! It is recommended you arrive 20-30 min before the film start time so you can get your order in with minimal disruption. We got to the theater and found our seats – giant leather recliners complete with your own personal blanket and a pillow. Each set of seats has a table between them with a little blue button on it that can be used to call for a server at any time during the film.
After we took our seats, we were greeted by name from our server as she took our drink order. Soft drinks came with unlimited refills while, of course, cocktails were charged per drink. It was nice to see that drinks were not priced any higher than I would expect to see in a bar in NYC ($12 -15 for a glass of Chardonnay). We placed our dinner order and settled in to watch the film. Before our food came, our server brought us each individual bags of fresh popped popcorn with unlimited refills. The menu at iPic focuses on the classics with a gourmet twist- pizzas, sliders, truffle fries, warm cookies, warm pretzels, as well as some traditional candy options. Our food was delivered to our table just as the lights went down and the previews began. During the show, our waitress noiselessly appeared several times to check on our progress. Our refreshed wine glasses and dessert appeared like magic over our shoulders as she crouched behind us like a ninja. About 20 minutes before the movie ended, the check was delivered, and when the lights came on after the movie we were all settled up and ready to go! What movie did we see? Who cares! The whole experience was so fun, the show almost didn’t matter at all.