Dinner and a movie? Why not make your next night out dinner at a movie? Not only does metro Denver have a wide array of movie theaters offering everything from French films to the latest blockbuster, but those theaters have increasingly interesting gastro delights to supplement your cinematic sampling. You can enjoy everything from gourmet popcorn to full-on three-course meals to adult beverages, sometimes served right at your seat. We crowned the Alamo Drafthouse the Best Movie Theater for Food and Drink in the Best of Denver 2015, but there are many other worthy choices. Here are the five best places to fill your belly while taking in a flick.
5) AMC Southlands 16
23955 East Plaza Avenue, Aurora
Last year, in a mad effort to keep up with the Joneses, the revamped AMC Southlands launched its take on the “dine-in” movie experience with RedKitchen, which delivers restaurant-style food and drink right to your seat in the movie theater. But there are a couple of twists to this service: You pick your seats, then order the food and pay before you sit down via easy touch-screen menus. Food is quickly brought to you by covert waitstaff, and you can request refills and additional items by pushing a button at your seat.
4) Movie Tavern
18605 East Hampden Avenue, Aurora
Years before Alamo Drafthouse began taking its revolutionary idea of food and drink at the movies to cities outside of Texas, Movie Tavern was unreeling that concept here in Colorado. It continues to feature a popular and dense menu full of hearty dishes — the Porky’s Revenge burger, along with pastas, pizzas, wraps and more — and a well-stocked bar whose strong suit is wide variety of margaritas, which go great with the Baja Mahi Mahi Tacos...or any dish, really.
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3) AMC Highlands Ranch 24
103 West Centennial Boulevard, Highlands Ranch
If you’re not down for waitstaff and food flying around during your movie but are still hungry for snacks, you'll love the lobby concession-stand experience at this popular suburban theater. Gone is the long line of yore; it's been replaced by the Marketplace, which has the ease and variety of a convenience store. All of the staples – popcorn (including Chicago style, a mix of caramel AND cheese corn!), nachos and pretzels – are hot, ready and waiting for you, as are a trove of candies and a wall of Coca-Cola Freestyle machines pouring your regular flavors or, if things get crazy, allowing you to mix in extra tastes with hundreds of combos. Want something more substantial than popcorn? The theater also has a staff ready to serve up hot sandwiches and pizzas. Now all you have to do is juggle all that food and your brood into the theater itself.
2) Sie FilmCenter
2510 East Colfax Avenue
Denver’s best home for art-house, foreign and independent film also boasts a majestic concession stand full of as many alternative choices as its screens. Hot, coconut-oil-popped corn with real butter is the staple, but where else do you have the option of eight flavors of Boylen Soda on tap? Not soda savvy? Wet your whistle with everything from Arrowhead, Perrier or coconut water to San Pellegrino or Bhakti Chai. Kosher dogs, vegan cookies, hummus, pretzels and three kinds of craft chocolates all await a nibble, too. For harder stuff, personal bottles/cans of wine and dozens of Colorado beers await your lips, along with liquor-doused Twisted Cream ice cream. All of it is portable, so you can enjoy it with your fancy French matinee.
1) Alamo Drafthouse Littleton
7301 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Watching a film and taking in a meal is the bread and butter of the Alamo Drafthouse, and its menu is still the best for food and drink in the dark. Hot popcorn, compact burgers, leafy salads, crispy pizza, at least 32 beers on tap and more are just an order card away, and you'll barely notice the ninja-like waitstaff whisk by with your food during the best parts of the film. The Alamo has upped the ante over the past year, featuring "craft dinners" — special dishes and craft-beer flights paired with the perfect retro film. And recently the Alamo added an “under 600 calories” menu of delicious vegetarian options starring quinoa, kale and the normally boring “good for you” foods — but giving them a gastronomical zing to enhance the theater's already dramatic flair.