Foodies and cinephiles can get their groove on at the AMC Dine-In Theatres Block 37 ( www.amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/chicago/amc-dine-in-theatres-block-37; 108 N. State St. ).
A "dine-in" movie experience ( a "dovie?" ), the cinema serves guests from an extensive menu and also includes a full bar. ( Specialty drinks include red sangria, Forbidden Fruit, mojito, hurricane and citrus berry smash and others, and range from $9.49 to $11.99 each; in addition, there are hard lemonades, beer, martinis and margaritas, wine and, of course, a large selection of non-alcoholic libations such as sodas, cappuccino and smoothies. )
There's a full bar, called MacGuffin's. "It's a full destination spot," said general manager John Gilbert, a movie lover who's been in the business for quite some time. "You can some before or after a showor even without watching a movie, so we treat it like a bar or restaurant." As for the name MacGuffin's, Gilbert said "we call it that because the name comes from Alfred Hitchcock; it describes something that moves the plot forward without being that important to the overall story, like the arc of the covenant in Indiana Jones or the ring in Lord of the Rings."
When asked if he's concerned about viewers having one too many sangrias, Gilbert responded that the prices tend to deter people from purchasing too many drinks. "Our philosophy year is to serve a lot of guests a few amount of drinks instead of a lot of drinks to a few guests," he added.
The menu ( which, for better or for worse, has the caloric count of each dish ) has "snacks and shares" ( e.g., crispy Brussels sprouts, loaded tots ), burgers, bowls ( like grilled chicken quinoa ), baskets ( such as taco trio and Southern-style chicken tenders ), macaroni-related items and exotic milkshakes ( such as S'mores, mocha or salted caramel ). "Our milkshakes are full desserts," Gilbert said. "The coolest is the vanilla milkshake, which has an entire ice-cream sandwich on top of it. As for burgers, we really like the Royal burger, which has bacon, brie cheese, caramelized onions, arugula, sweet fig jam and the royal sauce." ( Note: As Paula Deen might say, "It's almost 1,500 calories, y'all." )
"What I like about the food menu is that it's empathetic toward people eating in the dark," Gilbert said. "When we think about our hand motions in the darkness, it's hand-to-mouthso that's how the food is here. It's not like you have to cut up a steak.
"Also, we also wanted to develop a menu that has something for everyone no matter what the time of day or time of the week. You may eat differently on a Friday night might be different than how you eat during a weekday lunch date."
"We want to make the experience as wonderful as possible," concluded Gilbert. "People tend to remember their first movie experience; they don't necessarily remember the first DVD they purchased or rented."
It's one thing to sit back in the luxurious chairs and enjoy Deadpoolbut it seems positively decadent ( and more fun ) to do so with a salted-caramel milkshake.