Most of the movies I have gone to in recent years involved cartoon characters, stale hot dogs and sticky seats. So imagine my delight when a new theater moved into the next town over which allows you to sip a martini while you catch a movie! I am a huge fan of Date Nights (make sure to check out my series on the blog), and jumped at the chance to plan one at ArcLight Cinema in Glenview ASAP.
ArcLight has a different concept than many other theaters in the area; they treat your visit as an experience. First of all, the majority of their tickets are sold on their site (www.arclightcinemas.com) or at automated kiosks in the lobby. You are able to view a floorplan of the theater and reserve your exact seats- no waiting in line, no getting stuck at the front of the theater if you are a back row kinda couple. Also, they don’t allow late seating, which means no one gets in after the movie has started! There is nothing more frustrating than someone blocking your view as the opening scene starts.
After picking our seats at one of the kiosks, Bart and I relaxed in the bar and enjoyed samples of their menu. You won’t see a plate of chewy nachos here- we dined on Ahi Tuna Poke, Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta, Pork Belly Sliders, Margherita Flatbread, and Chicken Wings. I was truly blown away at the quality of food- this is on par with a fine dining restaurant.
They have 5 beers on tap at all times, with 4 out of the 5 from local breweries such as Emmett’s in Palatine (you MUST try the Hoptweet). With over 14 types of wine, I am sure you can find something to please your palate. More in the mood for a martini? They have a selection of custom recipes in addition to a full bar. Best part- you can bring your cocktail with you to your seat!
If more traditional fare like popcorn and candy is your preference, they of course have the traditional options. But why not go for something new- like freshly made caramel corn? Or even a latte to replace the standard jug of soda? Everything is meant to be “quiet” and enhance your experience- the popcorn is served in tubs instead of bags, the candy is served in boxes instead of crumply packaging.
After you have your drink of choice and head to your theater, you might notice the original artwork on the walls. They try to rotate and feature local artists, and if something strikes your taste, many pieces are available for purchase.
As the previews started, I noticed something (or a lack of something, I should say)…there were no commercials or advertisements. After 3-4 previews, the movie just started right in and the lights cut out completely so we were in a “black box” setting. The stadium seats were comfortable enough for my 6’5″ husband to sit through the whole movie, which is saying a LOT!
And the movie started…I am not going to ruin it for you with spoilers, but I have to say that I had a few truly jaw-dropping moments. Bart and I both talked about how old we were when Jurassic Park came out in 1993 (I was in 6th grade), and how the series has been a part of culture growing up.
The storyline, according to IMDB, is as follows:
22 years after the original Jurassic Park failed the new park (also know
as Jurassic World) is open for business. After years of studying
genetics the scientists on the park geneticly engineer a new breed of
dinosaur. When everything goes horribly wrong, will our heroes make it
off the island?
In terms of the characters, Chris Pratt is an excellent leading man. He is believable, and lends a physicality to the role that I doubt many other actors could accomplish. I was surprised that almost none of the original cast was in the movie- the only one I recognized was the scientist, played by BD Wong. Bryce Dallas Howard as the female lead was an interesting choice, and she nailed the look of an uptight business-focused PR gal. (I also covet her hairstyle and makeup application- perfection!)
Overall, while the storyline wasn’t new (very similar to the first movie), I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was incredibly entertaining, fast-paced and didn’t hold back! The original Jurassic Park was a pioneer in CGI (computer-generated imagery), and it is amazing to see how far this technology has come. I say check it out in 3D at ArcLight for a truly in-depth experience!
ArcLight is currently offering a membership in their movie club for FREE at the Glenview theater- you receive $1 off all online ticket purchases, free ticket opportunities and more. Sign up here!
A HUGE thank you to ArcLight for hosting my husband and I- what a perfect Date Night location, we can’t wait to come back!