In the past, I have been guilty of â€œcinema smuggling.â€œ That is, I have brought snacks with me when I went to the movies, rather than buy them at the concession stand, to avoid the high prices. Recently, however, I learned that theater proprietors make very little on the actual movie, rather counting on snack sales to make a profit. I love the movies, and with summer blockbusters coming out, I decided to see if it were possible to have a good meal at the local multiplex, Lakewood AMC.
I ordered Chicken Sliders with curly fries at $9.70, a small popcorn at $6 with cheese flavor shake at 50 cents, a Dove ice cream bar at $3.75, and a large bottled water at $4.75. The portions of everything were very large. I estimate that the popcorn was at least six cups, but no one in my group liked the powdered cheese sprinkle. The two sliders had large chicken tenders, and the order of curly fries was enough for two.
The hot food started frozen and was prepared by Taden, who worked the ovens and toasters with skill and good humor. The curly fries were crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. They were mildly spicy and good with the sliders, which were hot, crisp, tender and a lot bigger than the little slider buns that were perfectly toasted. They could have used a sauce, and I wish I would have taken one of the little pots of dressing that was offered. I tried mixing sweet pickle relish and mayo from the condiment table, but was not successful.
The Dove ice cream bar was hard frozen and could easily have stayed frozen until I finished the sliders, but I ate it first just in case. It was the same bar you purchase from a grocery store, with a thick chocolate coating and a sprinkling of nuts. It was excellent. Dessert first? Why not?
All these goodies made the movie experience more fun. I would certainly pick something up the next time I go to see my favorite stars in their next big film, to support the theater and to stop smuggling.
IF YOU GO
Lakewood AMC Theater Snack Bar
5721 Main St. SW., Lakewood
Snack bar is open when the box office opens.
Carolyn Augustine, who writes the Senior Eats column, is a freelance restaurant writer.