There are more than a dozen such restaurant-movie theaters in other states, but this will be the first one in California. Kansas City-based AMC is promoting the new cinematic cuisine experience during the pre-preview ads on its other area screens, causing moviegoers to gasp and say things like, "Well, I'll be!" Actually, no one said anything at all when the promo flashed across the screen the other day in Woodland Hills, probably because everyone was in the lobby buying snacks. Which you won't have to do anymore, if you choose to multitask at the movies in Marina del Rey.
While some other cities have two options -- casual family-friendly called Fork & Screen or adult upscale Cinema Suites -- the AMC Marina 6 will offer just the fancy-pants version in its six auditoriums, presumably because that's how we roll in Southern California. Instead of a concession stand, there's MacGuffins, a bar and lounge to visit before and after the show. (Maybe during, too, if the movie turns out not to be your cup of tea and you want a cup of something stronger.) You're going to have to leave the kids at home, because this eating/boozing/viewing entertainment is for guests 21 years and over.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office, with prices a few dollars more than at traditional AMC theaters. Every auditorium has reserved seating with extra space between chairs, giving you and your meal lots of room.
People typically arrive 30 minutes before the screening begins. Food and drinks are ordered from the comfort of plush recliner seats, which have a call button so guests can ring for their server at any time -- even during the movie. Everything is cooked on-site, and yes, you can request popcorn and candy if you would rather have that than, say, bruschetta shrimp pasta. (Be warned that the popcorn is pricey, but it's also refillable.)
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We wondered if waitstaff coming and going might be annoying to viewers engrossed in a film, but an AMC employee told us that the servers are specially trained to "do things to try not to distract others." Another employee said there's a certain level of acceptance for servers bringing in food during the film and for hearing fellow moviegoers supply their own dialogue with lines like: "Can you substitute fries for the mashed potatoes?"
AMC Marina 6: 13455 Maxella Ave., Store 270, Marina del Rey; (888) 262-4386.
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