Thursday, February 20, 2014
AMC movie theater in Mesquite now has comfortable, reclining chairs
Check out all the theater's upgrades now that it has reopened to the public.
MESQUITE The movie theater closest to my house, AMC Mesquite 30, received a major upgrade. It’s being renovated to include AMC Dine-In Theatres, which will allow movie-goers to -- get this! -- watch a movie and eat food at the same time. Stop me if you’ve heard that before.
OK, so the concept isn’t original, but the execution seems to be great. I didn’t watch a movie in the seats, but what I saw of the revamped auditoriums was actually impressive.
The dine-in theaters are separated into two categories: “Fork & Screen” and “Cinema Suites.” The former is your standard Studio Movie Grill-esque experience, but diners are required to be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or guardian (so AMC can preserve a “mature” movie-going experience). The Cinema Suites auditoriums, on the other hand, are for adults aged 21 and older only. The experience between the two is pretty similar — it mostly seems like a way to escape potentially loud kids/teens.
Here’s the other big draw for the Cinema Suites auditoriums, though: power recliners. The new seats in all the auditoriums are pretty comfortable as-is, but these seats lean back into a very nap-worthy position. Useful if you accidentally buy a ticket to a bad movie! (Which shouldn’t happen if you look at our Failed Movie Magic feature every week.) The front row seats in the Cinema Suites auditorium were pretty close to the screen (as you probably expect from most movie theaters), but leaning the chair back seems like it will help quite a bit with neck strain.
If you don’t want to eat and watch at the same time, don’t worry. You still have that option. In the regular auditoriums (you know, where you’ll get that “old school” movie viewing experience), seating has been reduced by about 40 percent, allowing for nicer seats (much more comfortable, and with more cupholders!) and more leg room. Despite losing some seats, however, AMC says that their attendance numbers have actually gone up in these refitted theaters. It makes sense, really. Unless you’re seeing The Hunger Games at midnight, how often do you really go into a theater auditorium that’s actually full? Heck, half full? Taking out some seats in favor of a more comfortable experience makes sense, if you ask me.
The theater’s IMAX auditorium, by the way, is unaffected by any of these changes. It contains the same screen and the same number of seats.
The food selection and even the plates were chosen with consideration to both noise and the ability to “look up and eat,” so you don’t have to be staring down at your food while the movie is playing. The chef at AMC sent me back to the GuideLive newsroom with some food from the menu, which was mostly impressive for what it was. I liked the burger (though it’s hard to screw that up, in my opinion), and the quesadillas in particular got a lot of (admittedly surprised) nods of approval. The S’mores pizzetta desert didn’t strike a chord with us, but we’re all over the age of 12, so that may be a factor.
Before or after the movie, you can hang out at the theater’s new bar, MacGuffins. It … well, it’s a bar.
I haven’t been the biggest believer in the “dinner and a movie at once” theater concept in the past — I’ve only been to Studio Movie Grill once — but I really like what they’ve done to the AMC Mesquite 30. Even the standard auditoriums are an improvement, and I personally feel lucky that my local theater has gotten better. It opened to the public February 20.