Theaters know that you can stay home and watch movies on your huge 4K TV from the comfort of your couch while eating whatever you want. To entice moviegoers to pay top-dollar to get this same experience, just surrounded by a few hundred other people, AMC is revamping hundreds of theaters to serve full-fledged meals.
AMC announced Tuesday that in an attempt to bring in a younger crowd and drum up sales, it will revamp 400 theaters into Feature Fare locations with full menus that include cheeseburger sliders, curly fries, and other fare more suited to fast food restaurants.
About 200 other locations will be adding items like pretzel bites and hot dogs to their menus.
The largest cinema chain in the U.S. isn’t a stranger to offering patrons food outside of popcorn and boxes of candy. The company already operates a 60-theater chain called Dine-In.
Feature Fare — which will begin opening this summer — won’t be an expanded version of this service, however.
For one, Dine-In offers full-service delivery to viewers’ seats, while Feature Fare appears to be more of a fast food concept where customers order at a counter and bring their food to the theater themselves.
Adam Aron, the chief executive of AMC Theaters, tells the New York Times that the company’s chefs have been testing items — such as stone-fired pizza, hot dogs, and other food — for the new menu for about a year.
Much of that time was spent figuring out just what food items would fit well with the theater experience. For example, figuring out what foods are easily eaten in the dark or which ones won’t stink up the place.
Feature Fare is just AMC’s latest attempt to drum up sales without increasing ticket prices. The Times reports that since Aron joined the company in 2015 it has purchased and retired rival Carmike, reconfigured its theaters, installing advanced sounds and projections systems, replacing traditional seats with recliner-style seats, and increased alcohol sales.