When I was young, I convinced (okay, begged) my Dad to take me to see “The Little Mermaid” no less than six times. Each time we went to the Cinema and Draft House, where he could at least enjoy a good meal while subconsciously memorizing the lyrics to “Under the Sea.”
30 years later, Dads all over Hampton Roads are still enjoying good meals while their kids, and probably wives, are enraptured by the big screen. That’s right, the Cinema and Draft House of my childhood is better known today as the Cinema Cafe, and they’re celebrating their 30th birthday.
They’re partying big time, and you’re invited!
Monday, May 16th through Thursday, May 19th enjoy FREE movies at the Pembroke and Greenbrier locations. The showtimes will be posted on their website on Wednesday, May 11th.
As if that wasn’t enough, they’re doing a special throwback screening to 1986 and are asking the public to vote between four classic movies from 1986. You can choose between Top Gun, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, An American Tale, and Labyrinth. Cinema Cafe’s Marketing and Events Coordinator Caitlin Walker tells me that currently Ferris Bueller is currently in the lead, but it’s been a close one! Vote here.
There will also be a family day at the Pembroke location featuring a prize wheel, a bounce house and lots of giveaways. That’s on Tuesday, May 17th right in the middle of their FREE MOVIE week.
Cinema Cafe started as a “second run” theater chain, but that’s how they could keep prices down. There’s a sweet spot between a first run and an at-home release, and that’s where the Cinema Cafe showed the film. Starting out, and to this day, they offer more than popcorn. Of course you can get your traditional movie fare like popcorn and candy, but did you know that founder John Walker was a co-owner of Mona Lisa Pizza back when he started Cinema Cafe? Pizza is a big deal to him, and the pizza dough at each Cinema Cafe’s full kitchen is hand made.
John Walker grew up in Virginia Beach and it’s still a family-run business, so they know how to make local families happy. “We are a family-run company and believe strongly that we can offer a great time an affordable escape,” says Caitlin Walker. The servers sneak around like ninjas, so you don’t have to sit in front of a dirty plate for the entire movie but if you want a refill or dessert you don’t have to miss a moment.
So during the month of May, make sure to swing by a Cinema Cafe and wish them a happy Birthday! 30 years and going strong… they must be doing something right!