July 28, 2014
Walnut Creek's Century movie theater the latest cineplex to serve wine, beer
So along with buying popcorn and nachos with that neon orang-y cheese, patrons at the Century Walnut Creek 14 will soon also be able to buy a glass of wine or beer. This is according to a "Public Notice of Application to Sell Alcoholic Beverages," posted in one of the windows of the movie theater facing Locust Street.
The application is made to the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and says the license is for a "new wine/beer eating place.
What exactly does this mean? When one in your party gets her Icee, does this mean you can also belly up the concession stand for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or craft beer? And then take your drinks and overpriced and over-salted junior popcorn into the theater to watch the show? Or will the theater create a special bar area to serve alcoholic drinks, along with more upscale food.
The movie/wine/beer trifecta has been going on at a few other theaters in the area.
Cinemark Holdings, Inc., which also owns Walnut Creek's Century theater, opened a new 12-screen high-technology movie theater in Napa in 2012. The theater, in the "heart of the wine country," also features the CineVino Wine Bar with a luxury lounge serving small plate selections, along with wine from Trinchero Family Estates and Francis Ford Coppola Wineries and beer from Lagunitas Brewing Company, the North Bay Business Journal reported.
Cinemark, which is based in Plano, Texas, has opened wine bars in other new theaters in communities in Colorado and Texas.
More locally again, Livermore's independent Vine Cinema and Alehouse, features first-run and independent and classic films (bravo!) for its entertainment lineup. Its alehouse menu serves burgers, caesar salad, pizza and salad along with a wide selection of draft beer and premium wines, including some from Livermore Valley -- for the reasonable price of $5.76 to $6.25.
I'm not sure, but the Sundance Kabuki theater in San Francisco's Japantown may have introduced the upscale eatery and wine bar concept to the Bay Area theater-going experience. One of the hosts of the international San Francisco Film Festival, the complex reopened in 2007 after undergoing a $6 million renovation by Robert Redford's Sundance Cinemas. One enhancement is the balcony bar, where, says the San Francisco Chronicle, you could eat ceviche and tartare and sip a cocktail at your reserved seat in the balcony while watching a film.