|Address:||23955 E Plaza Ave, Aurora, CO 80016, USA|
My husband and I visited the renovated Southlands Mall AMC Theater this weekend; it is now an “AMC Dine-In Red Kitchen” theater. We were excited for our date night until we added up the bill. It turns out AMC Dine-In Red Kitchen Theater really means Pay Too Much for a Recliner and RIDICULOUSLY Overpriced Food in A Cardboard Box…oh, and some fancy bathroom sink faucets. Regular priced movie tickets are similar to other theaters, but 3D movies are hefty. The biggest price influence is in the food, though, where our bill came out to $43 for one hot sandwich, one cold wrap, two $5.00 each fountain drinks, and an $8 popcorn (only one size is available to choose from). The food was, indeed, delivered to our comfortable red recliners as promised. It was delivered within five minutes of us sitting, instead of the 2-3 minutes promised at check out (but no big deal, 5 minutes is still very fast) - and they are able to delivery it fast because everything is pre-made ready to run out cafeteria style in their “kitchen.” Nothing is special made and definitely not made-to-order, there was no space on their tablet ordering system to request differences if there is a food allergy or other request. Our food was delivered in a cardboard box along with plastic silverware wrapped in a single napkin and was nothing to write home about; I have had better food from theme parks and paid the same price or less for it. My husband’s $12.99 pulled pork platter featured exactly one ice-cream scoop’s (We are fairly certain this was the portioning and serving method) worth of meat, and my $8.49 chicken Caesar wrap tried to be too fancy so the added capers gave it a funky taste that wasn’t for me. Charging $5.00 for a 44oz self-service fountain beverage is completely ridiculous, especially considering there was no service inside the theater to request a refill - or if there was it was never explained by the person accepting tickets, poster board signs, automated tablet taking our food order, person taking payment, or server leaving our cardboard food boxes at our seats. The fancy new Coke fountain drink dispenser ran out of Mello Yellow while we were filling up which meant we had to wait in line again at a different dispenser and try again or choose something else. When I went to the bathroom I had to check out three different stalls before I found one that had toilet paper. But, fear not folks, your money that isnt going towards someone to clean the bathrooms and check for toilet paper, food portions, better food quality, or more food choices IS going towards the cost of their fancy Dyson sink faucets, way-too-many workers in the front lobby not really doing anything, tablets to take your order then another line for someone to pull up your order and pay, their fancy Coke drink dispensers, and (of course) your comfy recliners. At least the service we get the Aurora Movie Tavern includes real dishes and silverware, better food quality and menu choices, and an attentive server who checks on us during the film to get us drink refills, ensure our order is correct, and more. All of that in mind, for my husband and I, this was not worth the hype, cost, or experience. If you are going just to watch a movie the recliners may be worth the beefed up ticket price, but the food was extremely disappointing, especially considering the inflated pricing structure.
Just tried the new dine-in theater remodel of the AMC Southlands. Unfortunately, it fell below expectations. You order your meal before taking your reserved seat so that it can be delivered prior to the show. Good idea - it cuts down on servers wandering the theater during the movie. After paying for the meals, we stopped at the bar to purchase beers to carry to our seats - in plastic cups. When we got to the seats less than 5 minutes later, we were told that the servers already tried to deliver our meal. They did return shortly thereafter with our order - in cardboard boxes. The menu cards show plated food, but we got... boxes. We had ordered the pulled pork platter, which (without a plate) amounted to a big scoop of pulled pork & sauce in the bottom of the box, and two pieces of toast. Fries were in another box. A napkin and plastic utensils accompanied the delivery. The food was reasonable given the price, but no different from standard fast food. No one came to take away the finished boxes before or during the film, so the used boxes sit on the table in front of you for the duration. I did appreciate the plastic utensils though. Another AMC theater that Ive been to used metal utensils & ceramic plates, which make a disturbing racket during the movie. The dining experience was not very different from getting a meal on a plane. The food was similar, as was the experience of eating out of a box. There are other dine-in theaters that do the experience well, if a bit more expensively (iPics). And there have long been AMC theaters that sell beer & hot dogs without having to install reclining seats and raise ticket prices. Trying to cover the middle ground does not seem to work in this case. The AMC Southlands has been a favorite theater for our family since it opened, but the higher ticket prices, and no desire to dine there again, makes it unlikely that we will return often, if at all.
The food here is good. A little on the pricey side, but not much. The sandwiches are very tasty. I wish they had more than one size soda and popcorn. One size negates using my Stubs (AMC Theaters loyalty) card benefit of buying a medium and getting a free "up-size". One of the things I like the most about this theater is the assigned seating. You can go online and purchase your tickets and pick your seats ahead of time. No having to get there early or save seats. And speaking of seats, the recliners are great. Being able to put your feet up and lay back makes it like you feel like youre watching it on your BIG screen tv. Update: Its been two years since they first implemented the "dine-in theater" here and I wrote my original review. I hate to say that in that time, I have to downgrade them from my original 5 stars to 3. The food has gone down hill in taste and proportion, and on more that one occasion, they had forgot to deliver some of the meals we would order. Wed then have to call for someone to come and re-take the order for the missing dinners, disrupting the movie. The other issue is I have the Premiere Stub card which is supposed to give you access in a priority line for concessions. But I and others have stood in that line and watched the cashiers act like were not there rather that serve us. I pay a premium for the food and Stubs membership. At this point Im thinking its money better spent eating before the movie and standing in line like everyone else. Too bad. It started out good. Hopefully they can turn it around.
Pros: love the recliners, they were so comfortable! and the reserved seating saved time, and I liked that you can see how big of a theater you will be in as well as how occupied it is. Price is pretty cheap as long as you go to a matinee on a weekday (comparable to other theaters). Cons: its confusing to order food and unorganized, (there is no one available to explain it, we had to track someone down to ask) you have stand in line to order from a tablet and then stand in another line to pay for it. If you are to buy a pop you will have to stand in yet another line to get it yourself. Not a big deal but all of these combined is rediculous. There is only large sizes of pop and popcorn available, think this is a waste. I dont want to have to pay more for something I dont need nor want, I will just sneak in my own pop and popcorn lol. No icees either! Food is not all that, pretty dissapointing and waaay over priced, hated that my beer came in a plastic cup (got warm way too fast). Price is different depending on what day, time and movie you see...so make sure you plan ahead so you arent surprised. Be prepared to spend $36 for a weekend date night 3D movie as well. We walked away as soon as they told us that total...the recliners are nice but not worth it thats dumb I gladly took my $$ to the IMAX, if im going to spend that much it will be for a huge screen. If only there were a theater in Denver that was a combination of Southlands comfy seating and Movie taverns quality of food and service, then I will gladly pay more.