The Alpharetta location of Studio Movie Grill is in a strip mall on Holcomb Bridge Road. PHOTOS BY MELISSA LOWRIE
Dinner and a show at Studio Movie Grill
By Melissa Lowrie
It seems we currently are in a weather pattern that is better fit for ducks than humans. Optimistically, I’m sure by the time this paper is distributed, we’ll be high and dry and wondering when it may rain again.
In the name of indoor entertainment, my kids asked to go to a movie at Studio Movie Grill (SMG). Not your typical theatre, this is a drink, dine and watch a movie establishment. The national chain currently operates two locations in Georgia: Duluth and Alpharetta.
The website may say it better … from studiomoviegrill.com, “SMG is known nationwide as an innovator and leader of the in-theater dining experience. SMG exemplifies the future of movie-going by pairing the latest first-run movies and alternate programming with an American Grill menu and premium bar. Visit any one of our locations for unmatched food and beverage service, 100 percent reserved seating, and the very best viewing experience.”
We went on a rainy Friday for a 10:30 a.m. showing of the new Pixar movie “Inside Out.” I felt a bit late to the party, because there were only a handful of seats available. Apparently all the in-the-know parents reserved seats or tables online. No problem getting us seated together, however, and the seats were fine.
I would suggest getting seats ahead of time on the website for weekends or popular movies. It’s an easy to navigate site; guests pick movie times, location and seats much like choosing a seat on an airplane online.
Canoe Kids watch a movie at SMG where food and beverages are brought to your seats.
The theatre we were in had both tables and long rows of chairs and counters. When we were seated we were each given a menu featuring basic American fare plus offerings from a full bar. (The guy behind me ordered a Bloody Mary … and I probably should have joined him to give you the full experience, but the paper won’t pay for alcohol, sorry.)
Every movie-goer had access to a red button giving them the power to summon a member of the wait staff. Patrons can order food and drinks throughout the movie. We opted for the safe bets: sliders, potato skins and chicken fingers. The food showed up before we were finished with the previews.
My daughter said, “Not a five-star restaurant, but it’s good for a movie theatre.” My son thought the food was good. I thought it was weird it was so dark I could barely see my food. This didn’t bother the kids at all, and probably won’t be a concern for most.
Towards the end of the show, the staff brings a check and are all square before the final scenes. Also worth noting, the staff was well-trained in the art of discretion. They were quiet during the movie and moved quickly and usually in a crouch as not to block the screen.
The kids thought this was a cool way to see a movie, probably because it’s a different experience from a regular theatre. It is an interesting concept and must be catching on, according to the number of locations around the country.
The Alpharetta location is about an hour from Big Canoe. The address and all the information you’ll need is at studiomoviegrill.com.
A last word about the latest Pixar movie “Inside Out.” It was great. The whole family enjoyed it and, without being over the top, had some great messages. It’s about emotions, told through an 11-year-old girl named Riley. Joy, Sadness Anger, Fear and Disgust all play parts in Riley’s mind, working to ensure she’s a happy girl with plenty of joyous memories. A family move from Minnesota to California becomes an emotional turning point. One warning, moms of tween or teen daughters should tuck some tissues in their purses. (They grow up so fast … sniff, sniff.)
Enjoy this last month of summer before school is back in session. Wherever you end up, have a great time with your Canoe Kids.