Movie theatres have almost become the new Prefab Homes. Turning run down movie houses into palaces with stadium seating has now become the norm and likely easy to mass produce with its cookie cutter module.
But that is not the case with Landmark Theatres. A few years ago, they converted their Berkeley Shattuck Cinema into a lush, comfortable theatre with business class seats and certain screens you can enjoy food and cocktails from their lounge. They’ve done it again when they transformed San Francisco’s Embarcadero Cinema at the end of last year.
It has the same vibe and class of the Shattuck, but it is not cut from the same mold. The Embarcadero has reserved seating, a wine bar (great for pre and post beers and wines) and an updated snack bar with gourmet items. Oh, and seats so comfortable that you might need to stay for multiple features.
“Reserved seating is a growing trend in the movie theatre business,” says Steve Indig, Senior Regional Publicist for Landmark Theatres. “Most of our patrons are really enjoying it. For popular films at key showtimes, customers can buy their ticket in advance, especially online, and not worry about whether or not they will get in, and they know where they will sit. They don’t have to show up early, but if they do, they can relax in the lounge right up to the time their film starts, and claim their reserved seats.”
Enjoying the lounge certainly does look like a treat. They serve numerous red and white wines, and sparklers, include many California vintners and international wines. Beers include local brews Speakeasy and Anchor Steam, Belgian-style from Unibroue and Ommegang, hard cider, and popular choices like Stella Artois and Red Stripe.
Indig also says that they have a week day happy hour from 4-6pm. Drink specials are $1 off all beers and $5 for house wines: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, or cabernet. Food service in the lounge includes wraps, salads, personal pizza and snacks such as hummus, cheese plates and wasabi peas – all of which can also be enjoyed and shared inside the theatre.
For die hard movie snack fans, your traditional selections are still there as well as freshly popped kettle corn, organic iced teas, Fair Trade chocolate bars, and cookies from Alternative Baking Company as well as hot food options including steak & cilantro empanadas, veggie egg rolls, chicken tenders and curly fries. “We feel our 100% beef Eisenberg hot dog is the best movie theatre dog in town,” Indig adds.
Check out the theatre for yourself at www.landmarktheatres.com. Presently, they are showing several Best Picture Oscar nominees and two sets of Academy Award nominated short films.