By Brian Swartz
Weekly Staff Editor
Movie-goers seeking a different theatrical experience this weekend (or any day of the week) should check out Dinner and a Show, the new entertainment site that Don Simpson opened in mid-February at 268 Odlin Road, Bangor.
The theater’s name accurately describes what happens when the lights dim and the movie starts: Movie fans enjoy dinner while watching the show.
For generations, movie fans have associated theater cuisine with popcorn, soda, nachos and candy. Simpson, who owns the adjacent Movie Magic Cinema and My Fork Restaurant, decided “to take the idea of eating at the movies one step further.”
He explained that “people like to have pizza and popcorn when they’re at the theater. The concept of Dinner and a Show is, they can order from a menu and be served their food just like in a sit-down restaurant, and do this while watching a show.”
Simpson remodeled a large room between the cinemas and restaurant into a theater with tables and seating for approximately 85 people. He installed a large screen, Dolby 5-1 and 7-1 Surround Sound, and a Christy Solarium One project. “It is the newest digital project available on the market today,” he said. “It gives a tremendous picture.”
Movie fans can attend any of the four shows shown daily, Sunday-Saturday; the schedule is available at www.dinnerandashowbangor.com. After fans are seated, wait staff from My Fork Restaurant take orders and then serve food before the movie starts.
The menu includes appetizers, lunch, dinner and a children’s menu:
• Appetizers range from chicken wings and tenders to poutine and onion rings;
• The lunch menu features breadsticks, burgers, pizza and sandwiches;
• The dinner menu — and Simpson defines “dinner” as the 7 p.m. start time for the evening meal — offers many choices, from seafood platters and whole clam dinners to house sirloin, chicken parmesan and sandwiches. Nightly specials will be added to the menu in April.
• The children’s menu features such fare as hot dogs, burgers, macaroni and cheese and popcorn chicken.
Various beverages are available.
As a movie starts, the lights dim inside the theater, and fans can relax and enjoy the film, according to Simpson. Dining on a seafood platter or the house sirloin gives fans “a whole different experiencing in movie viewing,” he said.
“It’s really amazing. Usually our customers have the complete meal served to them before the trailers start,” Simpson said. “They tell us it is a very pleasant experience.”
Dinner and a Show opens daily at 12 noon. The first film starts at 12:15 p.m., and three viewing times follow. Sometimes the theater shows two different films.
The theater stays open “anywhere from 8:30 to 10:30 at night, depending on the length of the movie,” Simpson said.
While Dinner and a Show currently runs movies previously screened in Bangor, “we have applied for first-run films,” he pointed out. He feels confident that Dinner and a Show will obtain the appropriate licenses later this month.
Movie prices are $7 per person, but Dinner and a Show is “offering a $5 [per person] special for the month of March,” Simpson said. Meals are priced separately.
The theater is available for private events, and Dinner and a Show held a Daytona 500 special showing on Sunday, Feb. 24. Free, onsite parking is available. The theater’s entrance is near the Movie Magic Cinemas’ entrance.
For information, log onto www.dinnerandashowbangor.com. To make reservations, call 941-9414.