The Cinemark Bistro XD at Foothills Mall opened on October 29th to little fanfare. Some people probably noticed the red carpet-like searchlights lighting up the sky of midtown while out trick-or-treating on Halloween. While I haven’t experienced a crazy, packed house there, I have caught a couple of movies since it opened. The short version of this review: It’s an outstanding theater with lousy popcorn.
The XD in the title refers to “eXtreme Digital” which is just a fancy and kind of silly way of saying they have a HUGE screen and a crazy loud sound system in the main 225-seat auditorium that will showcase the more blockbuster movies. When the theater opened “The Martian” was in this auditorium; now it’s “Spectre”.
The Bistro portion of the title means there’s food of the burger and pizza variety. There’s also beer, wine and a legit Starbucks. Entrees can be delivered to your seats up until the show starts, otherwise you need to do it the old fashioned way and get it yourself.
Of course there’s still good old soda and popcorn, the latter being typical Cinemark quality (read: not that great). Surpassing all expectations is the reserved seating, notably the seats themselves. They’re big, leather recliners that silently raise your feet up, and even in the smaller auditoriums there’s plenty of room to walk in front of someone in full reclined position. It’s pretty sweet. Also, because of the expansive seating and stadium set-up it’s almost impossible to have somebody’s head in your way.
The bummer is that the neighborhood’s long standing Carmike 10, with its exceptional popcorn, lack of crazy lines, friendly, efficient staff and great access is likely to become a footnote. If there were any way to keep both going, I’d love to figure it out, or at the very least fill my popcorn bucket up at the Carmike and bring it to the Cinemark. Support both! I’ll see you at the movies.