Weekend Eats

8 Dine-In Movie Theaters in Greater Phoenix

Where there's a big screen, and a full menu.
Where there's a big screen, and a full menu. Dustin Revell
We are proud of our indoor activities in this city, and when it comes to occupying ourselves in the summer, movie going is right up there. And since absolutely no one wants to take in the latest Chris Hemsworth joint on an empty stomach, more and more movie houses are going beyond the popcorn and soda to full on meals — like starting with appetizers and ending with dessert meals.

To help you catch the latest summer blockbuster with a hot meal, maybe a cold beer, here are eight dine-in movie theater across metropolitan Phoenix.

AK-Chin Movie Theater — UltraStar Cinemas

16000 North Maricopa Road, Maricopa

The AK-Chin Movie Theater, or UltraStar Cinemas, offers all of the above — a 12-auditorium, high-end theater with a gourmet restaurant inside somewhere. Its StarClass Balconies are for those 21 and older and allow beer, spirits, and wine and in-seat ordering for many dishes beyond the bag of popcorn.

click to enlarge Just some viewing snacks, or full meals. - DUSTIN REVELL
Just some viewing snacks, or full meals.
Dustin Revell

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema — Chandler

4955 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler

The Valley’s first location of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the nine-screen theater in Chandler, makes it so filmgoers can catch new movies and re-screenings, as well as special events while enjoying the full service, dine-in experience (i.e. beer and food brought to you). For before the show, the in-lobby bar features 32 craft beers on tap from 25 Arizona breweries, plus cocktails. During the show, you’re free to order everything from truffled parmesan popcorn and burrata bruschetta to a Greek chicken salad, a Royale with Cheese burger, and fish and chips.

click to enlarge Hit the bar, hit your seat, and then let the bar hit you. - DUSTIN REVELL
Hit the bar, hit your seat, and then let the bar hit you.
Dustin Revell

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema — Tempe

1140 East Baseline Road, Tempe

Opened spring 2018, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Tempe is a mostly 18 and over, dine-in movie theater showing first-run, independent, and re-release films. The second Arizona Alamo location, this 32,300-square-foot theater has seven screens, over 750 reservable, reclining or rocker seats, a full-service kitchen and bar, and outdoor patio dining area. You can shower yourself with craft beer, crispy buffalo cauliflower, all-day brunch items like the chilaquiles, and vegan options like a southwestern tofu quinoa bowl.

AMC Dine-in Theatres Esplanade 14

2515 East Camelback Road

You’re in the Biltmore area, so you would expect nothing less than what you’ll find at AMC Dine-in Theatres Esplanade 14 — set just across the street from the Biltmore Fashion Park at 24th Street and Camelback Road. This is the type of theater with luxury seats, plus a full menu with seat-side service. The sole AMC Dine-In Theatres location in Arizona, the Esplanade 14 offers the MacGuffins Bar & Lounge, and the family-friendly Fork & Screen auditoriums. During the movie, spring for the crispy bacon Brussels sprouts or the Ultimate Nachos, go for the grilled chicken quinoa, or just sit back with some chocolate hazelnut churros.

Laugh it up on a full stomach. - FLIX BREWHOUSE
Laugh it up on a full stomach.
Flix Brewhouse

Flix Brewhouse

58 West Buffalo Street, #100, Chandler

Set near downtown Chandler, Flix Brewhouse, as the name hints, is a brewery that also happens to screen first-run films. It offers nine brewed beers from in-house and 38 other draft beers at the ready. Think the Flix Golden Ale, and the Nebulas IPA, as well as wine and non-alcoholic drinks to boot. There’s also “Made in Arizona Mondays” — when all Arizona pints are $2 off from open to close. To eat, there’s a variety of pizza, burgers and sandwiches, wraps and salads, desserts Flix Favorites like bacon-wrapped stuff jalapeños, and even brunch.

iPic Scottsdale

15257 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

The iPic Theaters at Scottsdale Quarter is more like a hotel foyer than anything else thanks to the décor and the swanky Salt Lounge. iPic has a full menu of appetizers, entrées, and cocktails, plus complimentary popcorn. The pleasantries continue straight into the eight auditoriums, where moviegoers find two tiers of plush seats. The lower level welcomes food and drink from the lobby onto the personal tray for each seat (pre-selected by you). There’s also James Beard Award-winning chef designed menu.

RoadHouse Cinemas

9090 East Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale

This is another “eat and drink while you watch the movie” theater experience. RoadHouse Cinemas is a locally owned and operated movie house showing first-run films in spacious auditoriums – meaning they leave plenty of room for your server to bring over orders like the Cool Hand Luke salad, the Moonstruck pizzetta, Glazed & Confused popcorn, and the Robert Brownie Jr. Sundae. There’s also wine and Arizona craft beers going around, including the Goldwater Scotch’dale, Oak Creek Hefeweizen, Santan Devil's Ale, and more.

click to enlarge Feel like well-fed royalty at Studio Movie Grill. - STUDIO MOVIE GRILL
Feel like well-fed royalty at Studio Movie Grill.
Studio Movie Grill

Studio Movie Grill

15515 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale

Opened in 2011, the Studio Movie Grill dine-in theater has nine theaters with a full-service bar and lounge. SMG Scottsdale screens first-run movies and hosts special events, sure, but it also offers cocktails and blackened chicken sliders. Start the movie with edamame or the hummus plate, then move on to the classic chicken Caesar salad, the margherita flatbread pizza, the sesame-seared ahi tuna bowl, or the smokehouse barbecue ribs. But if you just feel like sticking to the basics, there’s also gourmet popcorn, wine, and frozen margaritas.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano