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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.