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OGDEN — A new movie theater in Ogden is bringing a big-city idea to Utah: a dine-in movie theater with semi-gourmet food.
MovieGrille has been serving upscale finger foods since October, showing discounted new release films after first runs and cult classics. The theater focuses on experience, filling its four screening rooms with 60 to 78 recliners and roomy stadium seating that allows your food to get to you without interrupting your movie experience.
The theater, at 2293 Grant Avenue in Ogden, was the brainchild of Cottonwood Heights local Adam Jackman. He teamed up with Jeff Robinson to found the business five or six years ago.
“We really sat down and examined the theater experience in Utah. We realized there was a real lack of innovation when it came to movies in Utah,” Jackman said. “We chose Ogden just because we love the demographics. It’s perfect for our concept.”
The model they used has spread in places like Texas and Portland, where theaters serve food and drinks to its patrons. Though Brewvies in Salt Lake City has been offering a food and drink experience for years, Jackman and his partners aimed not to just serve pub food, but semi-gourmet finger food like paninis, burgers, pizza, salads and appetizers.
“The pub-style food really doesn’t take a jump up from what Megaplex is offering these days. They are starting to increase their food quality with having some of the small restaurants — like Cafe Rio — inside,” Jackman said. “You do have the capability of getting decent food, but we wanted to take it up even a step from there.”
MovieGrille is not a new-release theater, instead running films between one and six weeks after a film’s release, depending on its performance in the box office. The theater also features Free Movie Mondays, showing classic films.
“We want to give people a chance to see that on the big screen again,” Jackman said.
Currently, three screens are in operation. Though its other screens are family friendly, the fourth will be an adults-only, upscale theater, focusing on the experience of date night, Jackman said.
“I think that (children in the theater) keeps a lot of people away. I think if you’re going on a date, depending on the film, there are a lot of experiences with crying children or children running around. It’s a big distraction,” Jackman said. “I’ve personally traveled around so much and been to these intimate theaters where it’s adults-only, there’s no distractions. It’s just a different experience. We don’t think that should be the concept for all four of our screens, but we figured one of them would be a good idea to test out.”
Patrons can choose to purchase food — whether in the theater or lounge — or just watch a film. Tickets cost between $4.50 and $6 each.