CineBistro, which developer Jeff Fuqua said he is bringing to Jacksonville, is a full menu and bar movie theater.It calls itself a “world-class ‘dinner-and-a-movie’ concept.”
Fuqua, principal of Atlanta-based Fuqua Development, said last week CineBistro will join his proposed Exchange at Jacksonville project at southeast Butler Boulevard and Interstate 295.
Fuqua intends to buy 67 acres from the Skinner family for the $300 million apartment, office, hotel and entertainment Exchange early next year and complete most of the construction within about two years.
CineBistro has not responded to calls or emails for comment about the Jacksonville location. Fuqua did not say how many screens or seats he expected.
CMX CineBistro operates 14 locations in nine states, including five in Florida. It is a subsidiary of Cinemex, the Mexican-based movie chain.
In addition to all the technology, it offers options from “blockbuster movies, art and independent films, to special screenings of live music and sports.”
But the food is the big difference.
Moviegoers can dine in their theater lounge seats. The Tampa CineBistro’s menu features lobster roll sliders ($18), wild mushroom and ricotta flatbread ($12), a veggie burger ($12.95) and New York strip steak ($30).
The bar menu includes cocktails ($11-$15), beers and wines. Wines come by the glass or the bottle.
The theaters feature lounges, so patrons can drink there or in their auditorium seats, described on cinebistro.com as “ultra-luxurious, roomy high-back leather rocking chairs or recliners.”
Patrons can uncork a $54 pinot noir as they watch the latest release. Bottles at the Tampa location start at $25.
Wine by the glass starts at $8, while beer is about $6 and up.
Customers reserve seats as they buy tickets through the website or at the concierge desk in the theater.
Customers must arrive 30 minutes before showtime for in-theater service. Service is provided until the start of movie trailers, but not after the movie starts.
After that, customers can order at the bar/lounge and are given a pager to alert them to pick up their food.
If customers finish eating before the movie starts, staff will remove the plates. Otherwise, customers are instructed to put their napkins over their plate and position the swivel dining table away.
There also are concessions that sell traditional movie snacks like popcorn and candy.
CineBistro says that the bar and lounge are open to all guests, including those not seeing a movie.
As for children, CineBistro says most of its locations are tailored to patrons over the age of 21. Each location will have an age policy.
“Our décor, food/beverage offerings and movies shown are geared for an adult audience who appreciate the dinner and movie experience free from the distractions common in traditional movie theaters,” according to the website.
In Miami, for example, CineBistro posts that children older than 3 are welcome for shows beginning at 6 p.m. or earlier, accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old.
After 6 p.m., customers must be at least 21. No children under 3 are allowed at any time.
Admission costs vary by location. But as an example, a reservation on Fandango for the movie “Us” in the Siesta Key CineBistro is $15.99 for 2 p.m. Wednesday and $17.99 for 7 p.m.
CineBistro theaters are available for corporate functions, group celebrations and private screenings.
A TripAdvisor.com review of the Wesley Chapel CineBistro summarized drawbacks as the dining tray isn’t large enough to hold several items and dinner and a movie can be pricey ($80-$100, without alcohol).
Advantages were good service and good food, comfortable seats, a roomy theater arrangement, minimal problems with “chatty guests, and no issue from screaming or running children during a screening.”
CMX CineBistro opened in March in Faqua’s Peachtree Corners Town Center in Atlanta.