Monday, May 7, 2012

Get Out of Clairemont: Cinéoplis Luxury Cinemas in Del Mar

Doesn't look like a movie theater, does it?
Cinéoplis Luxury Cinemas in Del Mar
by J&J

What do you get when you combine bistro food, a full bar and a big screen, first run movie?  If you are sitting in a fully reclining leather seat (that becomes a loveseat with a flick of the armrest!) and there's someone to serve you food and drinks at your have Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas.

Christina makes a great Mai Tai!
On a recent Monday evening we got out of Clairemont and headed north to the closest of Cinépolis' two locations in the area, the Del Mar cinema (the other is in La Costa; more are planned for Southern California). We selected our movie time so that we could take advantage of specials on food and drinks (from 3-6PM Mon.-Thurs.).

Since the theater is in a shopping mall, parking was abundant and easy. The lobby of Cinépolis is modern and sleek, but warm. The staff (which outnumbered us when we arrived as the first patrons of the evening) were unfailingly friendly and helpful. Our tickets for reserved seats were waiting at will call, and after retreiving them we moved to the bar. Bartender Cristina Vallarine (who as luck would have it, is from Clairemont) served us delicious Mai Tais, and we ordered the meat and cheese plate from the appetizer menu. 
Meat and cheese plate appetizer
While the "Artisan cheeses" advertised on the menu turned out to be industrial pre-cubed cheddar, swiss, and pepperjack, with the addition of a side of plain mustard that we requested, it was sufficient. Next time I would choose something more freshly prepared; the sliders looked good. 

A few minutes before showtime we strolled down to the theater showing "Hunger Games". Unfortunately this wasn't one of the "21+" shows at Cinéoplis, so we couldn't have another Mai Tai delivered to our super-comfy reserved seats, but anything else we wanted was easily summoned with the push of a button (If you are in love with the idea of drinking alcohol at your seat, check the online schedule carefully for a showtime that includes this service.)

We flipped the armrest out of the way and reclined our seats so we could snuggle close. A small side table attached to each chair was a convenient place to put food or drinks.  "Man I wish we had a set up like this at home," I thought to myself as the houselights went down and the movie began.

As far as the movie goes, it was exciting, a little emotional at times, and pretty violent.  But no matter what movie you see, the sound and picture quality at Cinépolis is great, and with the recliner you can see the screen at the perfect angle for you.  

Tickets for adults are $19.50 and there's a .50 cent service charge to buy them online ahead of time so it's basically $20 each for adults. You do get to choose the seat you want online as well.  Of course any food or drinks you order are extra. 

All seats recline and the armrests swing out of the way
We had a great time enjoying the novelty of a bar/restaurant at the movies, and the seats and service were top notch.  Yes, the tickets are more expensive, but you really are buying a different experience than the run-of-the-mill multiplex. 

If you've been looking for a way to put a new twist on that old standby, the movie date, Cinéopolis is the place to go!

Cinéopolis Luxury Cinema
12905 El Camino Real  (Del Mar Highlands shopping center)
San Diego CA 92130

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