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Dinner and a Movie (and Drinks!) is the Future of Movie Theaters: Nitehawk Shows How It’s Done

Dinner and a Movie (and Drinks!) is the Future of Movie Theaters: Nitehawk Shows How It's Done

Like your food and your films spicy? Then you might want to check out Nitehawk Cinema’s upcoming “Film Feast” on Wednesday, May 21st featuring the sexy “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” with Mexican food and drink served to accompany key moments in the Alfonso Cuaron film.

Though the popular Brooklyn cinema regularly serves food and alcohol during movies, during special “Film Feasts,” audiences are served during the specific moments in the film that inspired the dishes. 

For instance, at a recent “Film Feast” screening of “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” moviegoers enjoyed “scotch eggs,” a “Papa Burgundy” beer and cheese churro and for dessert, a panda bear claw (timed to the birth of the baby panda at the end of the film).

Given that ticket sales overall are down, Nitehawk is one of a handful of movie theaters around the country, including the legendary Alamo Drafthouse, to serve alcohol to customers, hoping to lure people away from their iPads and home theaters. Interestingly, Nitehawk lobbied to have the liquor law in New York changed in 2011 in order for theaters to be able to serve alcohol.

For the “Film Feasts,” Nitehawk’s Chef Michael Franey develops the menu, while Nitehawk’s film programmer, John Woods, works closely with him to curate the installments.

Here’s how it works: Nitehawk partners with breweries, wineries, cocktail specialists, or guest chefs to serve up theatrical presentations with multi-course dinners. Previous “Film Feats” include beer dinners of “Godfather II with Brooklyn Brewery and “Goonies” with Captain Lawrence, a spirits dinner of “Gangs of New York” with The Dead Rabbit, and the top chef dinner of “American Psycho with Guest Chef Francis Derby.

“Pretty much every single time, when we watch the film, we can find something that will make sense — even something you wouldn’t think would lend itself to an event like this,” Woods told Indiewire.”For example, ‘Apocalypse Now,’ that was one you wouldn’t think would lend itself to this, but that worked out great. ‘Godfather II’ worked out so well it added to the experience in a way that I don’t think anybody could have foreseen. ‘Goodfellas’ was the same way — where you were watching Paul Sorvino eat sausages and peppers — right at that moment, plates of sausages and peppers were coming out of the kitchen and you could smell it.”

Franey said that two of his favorites in the series have been “The Shining” and “The Life Aquatic,” for different reasons. “‘The Shining’ was a little bit more straightforward with its food pairings. We could easily recreate a lot of the things that were going on in the movie and translate that to the plate. With ‘The Life Aquatic,’ there wasn’t so much food in the movie itself, but it was just so visually stunning that I wanted to recreate a lot of the things that were visually going on and translate that to the plate. It was a different kind of creativity.”

Thus, for “The Life Aquatic,” Franey made a sauce with squid ink and shrimp and served it with beet pasta. “It just elevates the film,” said Woods.

Check out Nitehawk’s trailer for the upcoming film feast featuring “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and find out more about the menu for the upcoming “Film Feast” here.

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