Reel Talk

Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events Consults on Ambitious Movie-Theater-Dining Concept

If you don't silence your phone, Danny will make you.
If you don’t silence your phone, Danny will make you. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The restaurateur’s growing catering and special operations division has consulted on and developed the menu* for AMC Theatres’ entirely new concept Red Kitchen, a fast-casual operation that’s just opened at a solitary location in Aurora, Colorado, of all places. Moviegoers use a tablet to order beer, wine, and everything from Carolina-style barbecue platters to chicken-and-artichoke paninis, which are delivered seatside, while a push-button built into the plush reclining seat calls the server back to the guest. A rep for the movie-theater chain tells Grub Street that while Red Kitchen currently exists only as a standalone concessionaire inside the mall-based AMC Southlands 16, plans are in place to “expand the concept to other locations down the road.”

The surprisingly expansive two-page menu covers pizzas, hot dogs, corn dogs, paninis, and salads. Red Kitchen’s pickle-and-pepper-topped “Windy City Dog” seems reminiscent of the Shack-cago Dog at Shake Shack. There’s also a New York street-style hot dog, and one made with chicken sausage that’s topped with chutney. It’s not branded as such, but Red Kitchen’s BBQ pulled-pork platter resembles a similar item at Union Square Hospitality Group’s Blue Smoke. No Shackburgers in sight, at least not yet. Maybe someday?

The movie-theater company says it is evaluating possible sites to expand Red Kitchen. While there aren’t any announced plans to bring the concept to New York, in-seat movie-theater dining and drinking is, for some, the next evolutionary step of dinner-and-a-movie date night. Alamo Drafthouse may have scrapped its Upper West Side plans, but the Austin-based chain is coming to Downtown Brooklyn, and another operator called IPic is reportedly planning a 505-seat, full-service theater in South Street Seaport.

AMC Red Kitchen
[Official Site via Denver Post]

*This post has been corrected to clarfiy that the Red Kitchen Red concept belongs to AMC Theatres. Union Square Events consulted on the menu.

Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events Consults on Ambitious