The movie theater will close for remodeling and return in late May as a Cinebarre, where moviegoers will be able to eat while they watch.
Based in Asheville, N.C., Cinebarre operates three theaters: one in Asheville; one in Mount Pleasant, S.C.; and another near Denver, Colo.
It's a chance to do dinner and a movie in one place, said Terrell Braly, who co-owns Cinebarre with the Regal Entertainment Group, the company that owns the Regal Mountlake 9.
"It's primarily finger food, such as pizza, hamburgers, chicken, steak sandwiches, veggie burgers, but they're all made from scratch," Braly said. "You could have a pizza and a beer for about $12."
The Mountlake 9 building at 6009 244th St. SW will be gutted beginning next week. One of the theaters will be remodeled into a kitchen. In the eight others, the equivalent of every other row of seats will be replaced with a table that runs the width of the theater.
Customers place their orders at their seats -- most are placed before the movie starts but may be placed at any time during the show, Braly said. Moviegoers enter to see a full bar in the lobby. The theaters do not have snack bars, Braly said.
Children under 6 will not be allowed, and those ages 6 to 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
Other companies employ a similar concept. Gold Class Cinemas operates upscale venues in Redmond and South Barrington, Ill., and Oregon-based McMenamins has dinner-movie venues.
Patrons outside the theater Monday gave the idea mixed reviews.
"I think it sounds like a good idea, but I don't think it'll go," said Gigi Johnson of Kenmore.
Matt Ervin, 18, of Lake Forest Park, loved the idea, though he was disappointed to hear the theater would be closed for nearly three months. The scheduled reopen date is May 29.
"I've been here twice this week," he said.
Mountlake 9 was built in 1994, according to city of Mountlake Terrace records.
Cinebarre expects to hire about 125 people at the Mountlake Terrace theater, Braly said. Business has been good, he added, saying that's why the company is expanding.
Cinebarre has had its eye on the Seattle market for some time, Braly said.
"We've always looked at the Seattle area as being just prime from the demographics," he said.
He used two words to describe the remodeling cost -- "extensive" and "expensive," but declined to reveal numbers.
While the company likes the Seattle area and is planning on opening more theaters, it's not likely to add another in Seattle anytime soon.
"We don't want to oversaturate the market," Braly said. "We're not a neighborhood thing, we're a destination entertainment experience."
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439, email@example.com.
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