20 years ago, I was friends with a ton of people who worked at the Painters Crossing movie theater. Apparently not a whole lot had changed there since then… until just a few months ago, when renovations began to make Painters Crossing 9 the first AMC Dine-In Theater in Pennsylvania. (Edited to add: there is a similar theater in Collegevill in Movie Tavern, but that’s not an AMC Dine-In Theater. I haven’t been there, so I’m not able to speak to comparisons- but if you have, let us know about it in the comments!)
The revamped theater opens today, but I got to take a sneak peak yesterday— and I’m totally bowled over by my old favorite theater’s brand new look. Walk into the new lobby where the box office and concession stand used to be, and there’s some high-tech ticket screens and a pretty little bar called MacGuffins (named for a Hitchcockian movie term).
Yes, a bar. No more pre-gaming at a local bar and then having to drive to the theater, you’ve got some one-stop shopping right here. Since there are movies that only my friends want to see with me, but sitting in a theater not being able to chat isn’t much of an adult playdate, this is an ideal scenario.
Or for date night with my husband, who hears me talk plenty on the regular, there is an impressive, gourmet, made from scratch menu. I got to shamelessly stuff myself— I mean taste test— and this is way better than your standard pub fare, but at comparable prices for both the food and the cocktails (ranging $8-$12 for most things).
I highly recommend the bistro chicken mac and cheese, BLT pizzetta, any of the tacos, and nachos, guys. But it’s all seriously good. I didn’t try the waffle sundae with candied bacon, but I plan to tonight. The full menu is here.
There is a kid menu, and my understanding is that the kitchen is very understanding and accommodating of food allergy issues.
And both food and drink can be ordered via digital screen and delivered to you right at your seat. Running late for a movie with the kids? You don’t have to get your popcorn and then stumble around trying to find seats in a darkened theater, or try to sit them down first and then miss the beginning of the movie going back for snacks. Just hit the service button at your seat to order and it will magically appear.
There are two types of theaters: Fork & Screen and Cinema Suites. Fork & Screen has more seats and there are 6 of these at Painters Crossing 9. Cinema Suites has fewer seats, and each one is a plush power recliner. These theaters are more geared towards adults: the selection of movies shown in them will reflect that. Also, I think I heard no kids under 6 after 6:00— I don’t see that on the site, so I need to confirm.
Ticket prices are the same as they were: my 3D ticket for The Edge of Tomorrow that I purchased for tonight ran me 12.50 per ticket, and I saw matinees are 7.50 for adults and 5.25 for children. When you order your ticket you get to pick your seats. How awesome is that?! So even if you are running late, you know that you will have enough seats together and exactly where they are.
When I ordered my tickets online I was a little worried that the movie might be showing in a Fork & Screen theater after I had promised my husband reclining seats; the website doesn’t make that super clear. So to clarify: Cinema Suites is the map on the left, and Fork & Screen on the right. Greyed out circles are seats that are already claimed.
- Order your tickets online in advance. Tickets will generally go on sale a week ahead, blockbusters may go up even earlier. There is a $2 convenience fee per ticket, but if you join AMC Stubs for $12 that fee is waived. So you’d make that back in 6 tickets, plus you receive size upgrades on soda and popcorn and a $10 reward for every $100 you spend.
- Every seat in the house is a good one, but most people will be more comfortable in rows C and back.
- Arrive 15-20 minutes early. That’s approximately how long it will take to get your food like at any restaurant, and that way you can get yourself situated before the lights dim. Unless you’re awesome at eating in the dark, which I am decidedly not. Drinks will arrive more quickly; orders are being processed in a digital hub as they are being ordered.
- Power recliners. There is a button on the side of the chair that will recline your seat. Next to it is a button that will take your seat back up. I tell you this so you don’t look dumb trying to manually re-up your seat (not that I struggled with that for a full minute or something).
- Go with a group and hang out before or after (or both)! This is intended to be a top-notch destination-type experience, more than a movie.
- But make sure to bring your ID. The theater is enforcing a very strict carding policy, no exceptions.
- You can book a theater for a private event. This is very important information I’m filing away for future reference!
I’ll be updating with more after seeing my movie tonight. To me it feels like they thought of everything, what other amenities would you look for in a dine-in theater? Let me know 🙂