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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

October 17, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Dinner at Cinebarre

You know how there are always things in your life that you keep meaning to do, because it seems like they’d be fun, but you never really get around to it? Dinner-and-a-movie at Cinebarre was on that list for me, ever since I went there a couple of years ago after dinner. And I finally got around to it, just last night. (In my feeble defense, let me note that a) it does not always take me two years to get around to doing something, but time does fly, doesn’t it?; b) Cinebarre is a bit of a drive from my house; and c) I really do go out to the movies a lot. Just not there.)
Anyway, it left me wondering — why don’t I go to Cinebarre more often? And why don’t you? (For the record, the Sunday-night screening of “The Ides of March” which I and a companion attended — I’d already seen the movie, he hadn’t — had a grand total of eight people in its audience.) For those who haven’t attended, Cinebarre is a multiplex (formerly the Regal Mountlake 9) that’s been nicely remodelled as a cinema/eatery; theaters have been reconfigured to make room for counters in every row of seats, with space in front of each counter for servers to scoot (nice bonus: plenty of legroom). You can order dinner (salads, burgers, pizza), drinks (beer, wine) or traditional movie fare (popcorn comes in a big silver bowl) before or during the movie, summoning your server by writing on an order form and sticking it upright in the rack on your table.
And how was the food? Pretty good. I had the Fight Club (everything on the menu has a movie-themed name, which is cute but a little misleading, as Fight Club is not a club sandwich, as I had thought, but a chicken burger), which was fresh and tasty, with some excellent fries and cold white wine. A nice change from popcorn and Diet Coke, to be sure. The various servers were very sweet and accommodating, and I was impressed when one noticed that we’d only eaten one and a half of the four cookies we’d ordered for dessert (they come in batches of four). “Did you not like them?” she asked, adding that she’d noticed that the cookies were a little burnt. I said well, they were a little crunchy, and she immediately offered to bring another order. I said no, thank you, and was pleased to be told later that they weren’t charging us for the cookies. Just one service glitch: The check was dropped mid-movie, with the server not asking if we wanted anything else, and by the time she came back, quite a while later, there wasn’t time for one more drink. Ah well; next time we’ll know to speak up.
Overall, it was a lot of fun, though perhaps best suited to comedies or movies that don’t require extremely focused attention; it’s a little distracting to be wondering when the waitress will return, and I couldn’t help being way too interested in noticing what other people were having. But the screen was big and the movie looked good, despite the lights not being entirely dimmed. All in all, nice place. Are any of you regulars at Cinebarre? What’s the best thing on the menu?

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