How many failed efforts, how much mediocre movie cuisine must this Cowtown endure?
You know, before somebody gets the picture that upscale, dine-in movie theater food is not a viable proposition in Kansas City.
Because no less than six (count ’em) theaters have tried it, with disappointing (at best) results.
The two in Zona Rosa promptly went toes up. Cinemark on the Plaza has been in the game for more than 10 years, but its single, small auditorium is so tiny it feels like a rich guy in Hallbrook’s home theater. And who even remembers it exists in the grand scheme of things anymore.
AMC lost its you-know-what at the Mainstreet downtown before passing the baton to Alamo Drafthouse last year. But sources say that neither did enough biz to wad a popgun, and as a frequent flyer at both theaters, I can tell you the food was and remains, mediocre at best. Ditto for AMC’s Fork & Screen and Cinema Screens at its 30-plex in Olathe.
Standees in Prairie Village – the most recent entrant – started with a bang before falling on its face after losing a pair of key food staffers early on. Whereupon it reportedly went into something approaching a tailspin. Since then Standees cut loose some its high priced staff and has redone its menu to include a kids menu. Still the jury is out on the results. In other words, it’s far from the grand slam it’s owners hoped it would be.
Cinetopia’s motto: “Official Home Of Dinner And A Movie!”
By the way, that exclamation point belongs to Cinetopia, not me.
Cinetopia’s Vinotopia Family Restaurant & Bar describes itself as an “Upscale American Grill” – we’ll see.
It’s dinner menu includes Salmon Du Jour, Grilled Tilapia, Duck, Bistro medallions and MaplePecan Pork Shanks.
Hey, and it’s got a kid menu, too. Complete with cheeseburgers, hot dogs, pizza, kids mac & cheese, chocolate layer cake and a double chocolate brownie.
And since Cinetopia isn’t a start up like Standees, chances are they’ll get their shit right, regardless of who local celebrity chef Debbie Gold may spirit away.
The $64 million question: Will KC finally support in-movie dining?
Our track record here to date makes that suspect. Then again, for what would appear to be the first time ever, a big time, legitimate movie exhibitor is about to swing for the fences without cutting nearly the corners others seem to have cut.
So stay tuned…