The first thing I thought when I entered the Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas in Del Mar Highlands Town Center was that this was going to be something completely different, new and exciting. It felt like the high tech, luxury and culinary worlds got together and said, “Hey, let’s combine forces and create a movie going experience unlike anything that’s been done.” They were aiming to revolutionize the movie-going experience and I’d say they pulled it off quite nicely.
The lobby and lounge area has contemporary leather furnishings, a full bar with local craft beers, fine wines and cocktails, a concession stand serving gourmet food and a dining area to sit down and enjoy a meal. There are touch screen monitors for guests to screen movies before purchasing tickets and online reserved seating options available to pre-purchase your exact seats. So yes, the lobby and lounge area is fully tricked-out and a great place to meet friends before or after the movie for a bite to eat and a drink.
The auditoriums are where things really get interesting. They have fully reclining leather seats that offer ample space between each row and an armrest between every two seats that lifts to create a couch-like loveseat. I mean really, I’ve never experienced such comfort in a movie theater, ever. Fully reclining? I mean come on; I felt like I was flying first-class Virgin Atlantic, but better. Every seat also houses its own swivel table and waiter service so you don’t have to leave to grab a snack. There are two 21-and-older auditoriums that offer full bar service for having a cocktail or pairing a glass of wine with your food.
So speaking of the food…this is a food column right? Cinepolis is equipped with a full kitchen and, of course, the previously mentioned in-seat service. They say that service is barely noticeable and I would think, based on the space between seats, that that is probably the case. Besides standard movie fare like popcorn and candies, there is also a sizable menu. Appetizers include a cheese plate, teriyaki beef skewers, Angus beef sliders, Philly cheese torpedoes, mini corn dogs, quesadillas and flatbread pizza’s to name a few. The samples we tried were all quite good. Prices for starters range from $8 to $13.
Seafood options include fresh, handmade sushi rolls, coconut shrimp, tuna yakatori, and herb crusted calamari. All these options are in the $11 to $13 range, and the rolls we tried were surprisingly good. This is not a place to go for sushi, but as a treat during a movie it’s a nice option.
There are some fun wraps and Panini’s, including a prosciutto Panini and a grilled shrimp Caesar wrap. Sweet potato fries and a beer battered French fry plate could be fun to munch on with a cold beer, as well. Prices in this section go from $8 to $13.
The desserts are where things start to get really interesting. I could totally see having dinner before a movie and going to town on this menu: Chocolate fondue, tiramisu, raspberry cheesecake brulee, gelato, ice cream…that’s just a few of the options.
Heck, I’m assuming they even have a dessert wine to go with all these sweets. All the desserts are under $11.
Of course, there is a full coffee, tea and blended bar with all the typical fancy selections you would expect, plus smoothies and milk shakes.
I am also very happy to report that the movie classic snacks are well represented with some fun touches including cheddar cheese popcorn, cinnamon rolls and Nathan’s famous hot dogs with plenty of topping choices for a very respectable $2.50.
So yes, food and drink options exist for just about everyone at Cinepolis but those options do come at a price. The average ticket price is $16 so if you throw in a couple of drinks and some food you are probably looking at around a $60 to $80 movie and dining experience for two depending on what kind of food you go for. That said it’s quite an amazing theater experience.
If you just go for the movie, the $16 ticket is well worth it given the level of comfort and movie viewing technology that includes High Definition, 3-D and surround sound. It’s worth a visit for sure.
Check them out at cinepolisusa.com and look for their La Costa location coming soon.