CineBistro promises dinner, movie under one roof

By Matt Butner - bio | email
Posted by Sean Van Damme

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)- Dinner and a movie at the same time- it sounds good, but there are potential pitfalls.

"I guess it would depend on how close the people are next to you- if it's going to be crowded," said Mary Bradley, who was intrigued by the concept on a recent trip to Stony Point.

The people behind CineBistro say they've thought of that, and more.

"The chair sits on a platform that's almost 6 feet deep, which allows you plenty of leg room, nobody's kicking the chair behind you," said Jeremy Welman, COO of Cinebistro's parent company.

The meals are served prior to show time.  Patrons sit in oversized leather theater-style chairs with swiveling tables attached. After the meals are served, the wait staff disappears.

"After the movie starts, we do not serve in the auditorium," said Welman. "We do not interrupt the movie experience."

The concept has worked so far for Cobb Theaters, which runs five CineBistros in Florida, Georgia, and Colorado. The Richmond version is set to debut this fall.

"I think Stony Point Fashion Park sells itself, and I think Cinebistro recognizes that- and this is the location they chose for one of their few locations in the country," said Stony Point GM Joe Frye.

CineBistro bills itself as a gourmet restaurant and a high-end digital cinema showing first-run movies. It's for adults only- a full bar means you must be 21 to get in. Welman says they won't compete directly with the area's other movie theaters.

"I think what we appeal to are folks that are probably not going to the movies on a regular basis today- maybe grew tired of the current experience at the multiplex," Welman said.

Richmonders will soon judge for themselves whether or not the concept works- a grand opening is planned for late October or November.

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