Opening night at the Eat-O-Plex

posted by Michael Zoldessy on July 5, 2007 at 7:34 am

A story looks into the current trend of building more upscale dinner/movie theaters. Claiming the theaters of Texas as a major influence, they delve into some of the problems that arise from such a setup.

It’s Friday night at the Parkway Speakeasy Theater in Oakland, California, and we’re eating dinner while watching the movie Grindhouse. Yes, that’s right, dinner. Baba ghanoush, a burger, and beer delivered right to our seats on a lumpy old couch. Our fellow movie-goers are mostly tattooed twentysomethings, and it sort of feels like we’re in a friend’s living room.

If a new trend born in Texas takes off, funky little cinema-eateries like the Parkway may become a thing of the past. Recently, a flashy new breed of combo restaurant-theaters where you can eat in your seat has emerged from the Lone Star State and may be coming soon to your hometown. These are multiscreen operations showing first-run films and offering food like that of the casual-dining restaurant chains popular throughout most of the country

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