Did you tune into the Academy Awards? After setting my sights on the constellation of immaculately dressed stars seated in the front row of the Dolby Theatre, from Jennifer Lawrence in Dior to Hugh Jackman in Tom Ford, I knew I had to step my style game up for a fresh new season of movie-watching. But what to do after you’ve picked the perfect ensemble for a Sunday matinee in front of the silver screen?
Why, make your film-going experience as fashionable as your outfit. Enter the dinner & a movie theatre.
The original, and many say the best, at serving up a hit film and pairing it with a custom cocktail and delicious dish is Austin’s revered movie theatre/restaurant chain, the rustic-chic Alamo Drafthouse. The storied set of cinephile establishments offer freshly made food, beer and crafted cocktails, delivered right to your plush seat and without interruption of the main attraction (up next: James Franco in Oz: The Great & Powerful). A location is set to open in NYC’s tony Upper West Side neighborhood next year, so it won’t be long till Manhattanites get their fill of pear-bacon jam pizza and gin cocktails, among other inventive menu items.
For the past couple of years, Brooklynites have been flocking to their own swank movie theatre, Nitehawk Cinema, which opened in hipster-centric Williamsburg in 2011. Screening first-run films and retro favorites, all extraordinarily paired with creatively titled plates and drinks, I’ve been known to hop over the bridge to catch a brunch screening of Silver Linings Playbook with a Victory Prima Pils in hand, a nod to the movie’s Philly setting. The steampunk decor is surprisingly cozy, and the schoolhouse-like seats are perfect for date night reverie.
West Coasters can get in on the lights, camera and action at Portland’s Living Room Theaters, which program super-indie selections, and, for those across the pond, there’s Secret Cinema, a U.K.-based series of monthly gatherings and screening experiences, complete with performance art themed around that event’s film. (Think “Sleep No More” for the movie-obsessed set.) Rumors of the society beginning New York and Athens chapters run rampant.
For evenings when Netflix simply doesn’t cut it, bring your best look, and your appetite, to one of these decadent movie houses. If you’re going to spend two hours in the dark, you might as well make it look glamorous.