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AMC Esplanade 14 Reopening as a Ritzy Fork & Screen Location in August

​Movie theater proprietors are a pack of nervous nellies, and rightly so.

Cineastes and buying up gigantic high-tech televisions left and right for their posh home theatres. Everyone seems to get their fix with Netflix these days. And, worse yet, Hollywood is practically itching to stream just-released movies directly to consumers.

What's a panicky cinema owner to do? Besides fighting the whole early Video on Demand thing like mad, they're tempting moviegoers come out to the ol' picture show (particularly with their cash in hand) by transforming their theatres into swank cinematic destinations.

In the case of the AMC Esplanade 14, at 2515 East Camelback Road, the trend means closing its doors for the summer and reopening in August as a high-end cinema establishment called Fork & Screen

Similar Fork & Screen theatres have been built into AMC locations in six other states, including Texas and New Jersey. The intent is to entice the more upscale "dinner and a movie" crowd into a theatre location that in recent years has been like a ghost town at times, even during the weekends.

When it reopens in August, the location will ditch the arcade games in its lobby in favor of a tony, nightclub-style bar and restaurant called MacGuffins. Other changes include top-shelf cocktails being served, and a slew of posh seating and ritzy décor touches. 

The Esplanade 14 will also boast several "cinema suites," which are smaller-sized theatres with luxury recliners, reserved seating, and a "personal call button" that summons a waitress. (Hope no one minds you making a drink order during the epic climax of the latest Fast and the Furious sequel, pal.)

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.

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