News Column

A user's guide for Boulder County's newest movie theater

August 7, 2014

By Aimee Heckel, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.

Aug. 07--Get dinner, a drink and a movie -- all at the same time -- at Boulder County's newest movie theater, Cinebarre.

The Louisville-based Cinebarre opened last week, as the second in the state. The other, in Thornton, is tucked away in a strip mall. Louisville's stand-alone version is grander, with plenty of Boulder County-esque features, such as baked kale chips, fresh-made, gluten-free pizza crust and local brews.

We hit up the Cinebarre on its opening night to hash out the pros, cons, ins and outs for you.

Here's our take on how to get the most out of Louisville's Cinebarre experience:

Where to go

Boulder County's Cinebarre is located at the former Regal Colony Square Stadium 12 theater, at 1164 W. Dillon Road. Wind through the Colony Square parking lot until you reach the end. On busy nights, plan to park in the farthest east lot and walking a bit.

This is the eighth Cinebarre in the country.

What to bring:

Your ID if you want to drink alcohol.

When to arrive

I recommend coming about 30 minutes before your show starts, so you can find your theater (there are 11), order a drink at the bar and score good seats.

Tip: The two-chair clusters in the middle row are more intimate, and they're quicker access to exit and avoid the crowds. They're also the easiest access for servers, although the chairs are not crammed in, so there is no "bad" seat in the house. Theaters range in seating from 50 and 170. I prefer the smaller theaters.

If you want to make a bigger night out of it, arrive even earlier and hang out at the bar. The Cinebarre also has pool tables, cozy chairs and private tables scattered throughout the lobby, so you also can order food and drinks here and often listen to live music.

Monday nights you can play trivia in the lobby. Wednesdays are open mic nights. Thursday is karaoke.

Recommendation: For a date night, order local beer (such as Avery White Rascal, $6 for a pint) or wine (the house white is great and only $6) and an appetizer (Mr. Chips and Salsa -- flavorful fresh-made salsa and warm chips -- are $7). The food delivery inside the theater can be a bit slow on busy nights, so it's best not to sit down with a grumbling belly.

The theaters shows short films (sometimes locally produced), informational clips on how to order your food and previews well before showtime, but with the overhead lights kept on. Lights go dim during the feature presentation, which makes it tricky to read your menu and order. So if you come early, you can order with the lights on -- and get your ticket in before the big rush.

How to order food, drinks

Each seat has an assigned server, much like a restaurant.

Your larger-than-normal "luxury rocking chair" recliner has adjustable arms (push them up to cuddle with your date) and a bar-like, shared counter in front of you. Here, you'll find menus, paper ordering sheets and pencils. Write your order on the sheet and stick it up vertically in the allotted slot, so your server will see it. If you need quicker attention, press the call button.

Service is similar to a restaurant, except with whispering and writing instead of talking. If you don't want to be disturbed during the movie, it's best to order before the movie starts.

How do you eat soup and wings in a dark theater?

Carefully. Paper towels are mounted to the bottom of the counter. The surface is far enough away to allow for comfortable sitting, so maybe you shouldn't wear white and order tomato soup.

What to drink

One of the most popular specialty drinks is the Dark & Stormy (Gosling's Dark Rum, Gosling's Ginger Beer and fresh lime, $9), according to Katie Clayton, director of special events for the theater.

Take in an earlier show on Saturdays and Sundays and order a bloody Mary, with a breakfast burrito or French toast and home fries off the brunch menu.

You can also grab a drink in the lobby after your movie.

What to eat

Instead of greasy movie theater popcorn with "butter" that comes out of a yellow-chemical gas pump, try the healthier, tasty version: Rosemary's Baby (popcorn tossed in fresh rosemary and white truffle oil, $9), or my personal favorite item on the menu, The Hulk (a generous portion of baked kale chips tossed with sea salt and olive oil, $9). These chips give you that crunch that feels so satisfying in a movie theater (and delights your neighbors), but you're nomming on vegetables, so you won't feel guilty or sick, even at the late show.

If you want a caloric splurge, order cheese sticks ($10.50) and a side of queso; you know what to do. You can get greasy popcorn and candy here, too, if that naughty ritual is important to you. But why would you want $6 Milk Duds when you can order a chocolate brownie for $7?

My husband enjoyed the beef and grilled onion sliders ($11 for four) and the Last Tango in Paradise, which is like a roast beef French dip. At $15.50, this is one of the more pricy items on the manu, but it comes with a small rockslide of fries and it filled up my Shrek of a hubby, which is an admirable feat.

I could have been fine with the kale chips, but I also got a Cineburger. It was better than typical pub fare and far above fast food. I was surprised by the flavor; I expected Sonic but was happy to taste Real Food that I would order in a quality restaurant.

Annie Lake, of Denver, says her favorite is the Bleu Velvet Burger, with bleu cheese and buffalo hot sauce, $12.50. She recommends trying it with a draft beer by Prost Brewery.

What if you have dietary restrictions?

Who doesn't in Boulder County?

Ask about the gluten-free menu options such as pizza, chips, salsa, sandwiches without the bun and even French fries; the kitchen has a separate fryer for gluten-free fries, so even Clayton, who has celiac disease, can eat them, she says.

I requested my burger wrapped in lettuce, and someone actually drove to the grocery store nearby to get some, according to my server.

How to save money: If you are on a budget, you don't have to order any food. You don't even have to see a movie. The 24-tap full bar, full kitchen and lobby is open to the public until the last movie lets out, which can be after 2 a.m.

So if you're in the area looking for a late-night snack that doesn't involve food that comes in a paper bag, Cinebarre is open late-late.

At $10 per adult, the movie tickets themselves are cheaper than a night at the Cinemark at the Twenty Ninth Street Mall in Boulder ($10.25 per adult at times), according to cinemark.com.

Tickets at Cinebarre drop to $6 on Tuesdays. Children eat free on Mondays. And, as you might expect, those days tend to be packed.

Got a sober driver or a group of adults? Order the Bucket o' Beer, where you can get five bottles for the price of four.

How to survive if you have kids

Food typically takes 15-20 minutes to arrive, according to Clayton, but she says servers are instructed to expedite orders for children. Still, I'd feed the monsters before asking them to sit in a public room and wait quietly while they're hungry.

Pizzas and the roast beef sandwich take the longest to prepare.

A grown-up milkshake (think mudslide) also can help you survive.

Ask about Cry Baby Day, when certain theaters with childrens movies are designated for families and their vocal minis.

What's Cinebarre etiquette?

Tip your server, just like a restaurant. Write your order clearly.

And my opinion? Try not to chomp your kale chips with enthusiastic, loud vigor. Don't drink too much booze. Just because you're in the dark doesn't mean all restaurant manners fade away.

Want to learn more?

Call 303-926-0661 or visit cinebarre.com.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Aimee Heckel at 303-473-1359, heckela@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/Aimeemay.

___

(c)2014 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.)

Visit the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) at www.dailycamera.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel



Source: Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters