Since cinephilia and a crippling dependency on alcohol naturally go hand in hand, a number of multiplexes and single-screen theaters alike have taken to giving the beer-swelling masses that which they most desire over the last several years. This is part of a larger move at upscale establishments to provide ever more amenities: assigned seating, a tendency toward indie films and, occasionally, even table-side service.
With the recent news that ArcLight Pasadena has received an expanded wall-to-wall liquor license — i.e., attendees may now purchase booze and bring it into any screening, not just those marked 21+ — it seemed a good time to take stock of the ever-growing number of movie-houses that similarly encourage patrons to mix cinema and cocktails.
AMC Marina 6 Dine-In
The meal is as much a part of the experience as the movie at AMC Marina 6, where you order from your seat and have your bounty brought to you there as well. Plus, their alcohol menu may be the most extensive of any Los Angeles theater: wine by the bottle or glass, beer on tap or in the bottle and a full cocktail bar including martinis, margaritas, cosmopolitans, mojitos and other specialty drinks. Of those, the Oreo Mudslide (vanilia vodka, Kahlúa, Baileys Caramel Irish Cream and oreos blended into a vanilla shake) is by far the most alluring.
All four ArcLights (Beach Cities, Hollywood, Pasadena and Sherman Oaks) serve alcohol, with the chain’s website making special note of wines, bottled beers and cocktails as well as “ArcLight signature martinis.” Aside from the Pasadena outpost, said spirits must be imbibed in either the cafe area or select 21+ screenings.
Cinemark 18 XD
Formerly the Rave, and even more formerly the Bridge, the 405-adjacent Cinemark 18 XD has a full bar. Beer, wine and mixed drinks are all available to enjoy with your movie of choice.
In addition to a rotating selection of red and white wines, DTLA’s primary art-house serves craft beers from such California breweries as Angel City Brewery (also located downtown) and Escondido’s Stone Brewing. The most low-key theater on this list, it's also the most reasonably priced.
Both iPic locations (Pasadena and Westwood) have extensive alcohol menus to go with the rest of the chain's luxe accommodations, including the largest (and most potentially expensive) wine selection of any theater in the city, liquid nitrogen cocktails and any number of margaritas, beers and traditional cocktails. Health-conscious moviegoers may be drawn to the VitaFrute cocktails, with the organic lemonade (VeeV acai spirit, lemon and organic agave) sounding the most appealing.
Sundance Sunset 5
All shows are 21+ at the Sundance Sunset, whose current food and drink menu includes two different sparkling wines, four reds, five whites and a rotating list of specials, plus twenty different beers and an ever-changing selection of canned craft brews. Spend as little as $5 on a hard cider or $36 on a bottle of Brut Rose sparkling wine.
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