Friday, January 11, 2019

My birthday last month at Studio Movie Grill Chatham...

SMG Chatham concession stand, bar, lobby
For the first time in years I went to the SMG Chatham theaters. I met up with fellow Sixth Ward blogger JP Paulus (whose birthday also fell on December 14th) to check out the newly renovated theaters. If you know the history the Chatham 14 was opened in 1997 under the ownership of ICE Theaters and managed in the beginning day to day by a company known as Cineplex Odeon. Of course as of 2014 the local cineplex is owned by Studio Movie Grill (SMG) and renovations were completed in 2017.

Usually I'm a matinee guy and always have been. But in meeting with JP Paulus on our respective birthday for the release of Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse I was going to the show later than normal. I had no idea according to JP that the concession stand would be closed by 6:30 PM. If you want food even if it was typical theater treats such as candy, popcorn or soft drinks you'd have to order them through a server in your respective auditorium.

I realized once I got to my auditorium that I needed to change my seat. I'm probably like a lot of theater goers don't like people sitting in front of you or don't want to sit near anyone. It was a seamless process by cashier in the box office area. Of course if you buy your tickets only you can just walk to a kiosk and use a bar code on your phone to get physical tickets.

What's I've also learned is that there will always be people who like to come to the theater at the last minute to buy tickets. Not complaining I'm often the same way and I'd prefer to pay for cash to buy movie tickets of course can't do that online. I was surprised that as I waited to change my seats in box office how gradually the line got longer and longer for those last minute moviegoers.

At least on this Friday evening the business wasn't great, it was a lightly attended night at least for the Spider-man film. I got some sliders to eat and they were great. The film was also great and to be sure it's a great movie to watch with your family or with children. It's a computer animated comic book film that often feels as if it was lifted from the pages of Marvel Comics.

Let's not forget that in the lobby is a full service bar where you could hang out before or after your movie. Perhaps you just want to drop in and not see a movie. It's there and probably a perfect place to watch the Oscars during that particular season of the year. There are big screen TVs at the bar.

If I have to rate this place, I'd give it 4 stars out of 5. I've been a customer of the Chatham 14 for years even through all the changes in the 21 years it has been in operation. I could say something about the seats in front of us in my auditorium that were covered in tarp because the roof leaked. I will also say I like how they stretched out the auditorium so that the servers could do their jobs. It seems as if they took out a row of seats to accommodate the vision of a full service dine-in movie theater.

Also I had no idea that you could pick up a menu where the greeter used to be. Usually a person that rips your tickets would be located in the hallway just before going to your respective auditorium. It was very easy to find your reserved seating as seats are lettered and numbered.

As stated in another post last year and again in our year end round-up. You need not go downtown to either Showplace Icon or AMC Block 37 Dine-In theaters to get the same amenities you get get at 210 W. 87th Street. Unlike at those two downtown theaters with similar amenities you don't have to pay to park on 87th Street.

BTW, shout out to Harlan Falcon Brian who was one of the managers on duty on that evening.

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