Over Easter weekend, I traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the University of Michigan spring football game (GO BLUE!). I did not drive back home until Monday because I did not want to get stuck trying to find places that would be open on Easter Sunday. I figured it was much easier to stay in Ann Arbor for an extra night (college campus – diverse population – better chance to find things open). My daughter and I had a lovely Easter Brunch at a local hotel and then that afternoon we went to the movies. My family has a tradition of going to the movies on major holidays since they are usually less crowded.
We tried a theater chain that we do not have where we live….Emagine Theaters. We chose this theater because the showtimes fit our schedule. Let me say…we were not disappointed in the experience. In fact, we wish more theaters had a movie going experience like this.
First off, it had an extensive food menu featuring wood-fired pizzas along with other finger foods that are easy to eat in a darken movie theater. They also had traditional movie snacks like popcorn and candy. There is even a “healthy” popcorn option called Poppin’ Olive made with sea salt and olive oil.
Once my daughter and I found this out, we decided that we would have Easter Dinner here in order to get the full Emagine experience. We decided to split a basket of chicken tenders (4) and fries. We each got our own drink. The chicken tenders and fries cost $9.75 and a 22-oz. drink for each of us cost $5.00. The movie theater had four or five Coke Freestyle machines which are just wonderful because you get just about any Coca-Cola product available.
Any food item, except the popcorn and movie candy, gets delivered to your seat. How do they find you? Unlike traditional theaters, Emagine Theaters have assigned seating where you pick your seat when you purchase your seat like going to live theater show or sporting event. When you pay for your food, they scan your ticket and the receipt prints out with your seating information. So, my daughter and I order our food and got our drinks. Now, it’s time to head into the theater.
This is where I was blown away. Every seat was an extra-wide leather seat that reclined. To make up for the extra-wide seats, the number of seats was lower than a traditional movie theater. The extra comfort more than makes up for the lack of seats. The space between the rows was wider as well. Everyone had room to stretch out.
Surely, the ticket price was higher than other theaters. The answer is no. These seats for 4:35 pm (which was considered matinée) cost only $6 each. A matinée, at a local theater in Ann Arbor, cost $8.25/adult and $7.25/child. A matinée, at my local theater, cost $10.45/adult and $9.95/child. In addition, a 4:35 pm showing, at home, would be a full price showing. Not only were there fewer seats, at Emagine, they cost less. So, how does the theater generate seat revenue? Easy, the theater was completely sold out for a movie, Beauty and the Beast, that had been out for over month. They make up their costs by not having empty seats.
After about 10-15 minutes in our seats, our food was delivered to us.
The tray fit into the cup holder between the seats. The food hit all the important considerations: it was hot, it was good, and it fairly inexpensive. We passed on getting any sauce for the chicken tenders and the fries came with two packs of Hunt’s Ketchup which also went unused (Heinz Ketchup all the way!). About halfway through the movie, my daughter went and got a refill on our drink so for $5.00 the drinks were refillable….BONUS! Total cost for Easter Dinner and Movie:
2 tickets: $6.00 * 2 = $12.00
2 22-oz. drinks: $5.00 * 2 = $10.00
1 chicken tenders and fries basket: $9.75
Total cost: $31.75
For my daughter and I to see the same movie at roughly the same price at my local theater, just the tickets would cost $23.95 and we haven’t even gotten food and drinks yet. Plus, we would have standard stadium seating that does not recline.
All in all, we enjoyed our experience at Emagine Theaters in Saline, Michigan and wish they would expand to other locations. It was a great viewing experience.
Thanks for reading!