Pricey dishes, noisy atmosphere at Studio Movie Grill make dine-in movie theater unsatisfactory

Photo by Kim Buss
Freshmen Anna Frankel and Emma Boersma look at the menu while seated in the movie theater at Studio Movie Grill. According to Frankel, the dishes were expensive for their good, but not great, quality.

I have always loved eating my dinner while watching a movie, although my parents would never approve.

Studio Movie Grill (SMG) is a movie theater in Rocklin (5140 Commons Dr.) that serves a variety of meals alongside the latest blockbusters movies.

Realizing that SMG offers what I’d always wanted as a child, fellow freshman Emma Boersma and I decided to see for ourselves whether SMG was as great as it sounded.

While we were there, we watched “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”

We ordered our tickets online for $8.50 each and also chose our seats.

When we first walked into SMG’s lobby, it looked a lot like a high-end restaurant. At the front, there was a counter to buy tickets, but the rest of the lobby was full of tables and booths where people were eating and drinking. In the back of the main area was a full-service bar.

But once we moved past the stand where the movie tickets are checked and collected (towards the back of the lobby), SMG took on the appearance of a semi-normal movie theater. The only difference was a long window looking into the kitchen and a counter where servers were collecting food to bring into the various theaters.

The inside of the theater was bigger and more luxurious than the typical movie theater. The seats were leather and slightly larger, though they did not recline.

The biggest difference was a large, wooden tray table that pulled over our seats with a red button to call the waiter.

Except for the distraction caused by the waiters walking through the aisles, blocking the view of the movie, the service at SMG was very accommodating. Our server came within five minutes of being called and was kind and patient. She gave us our menus and showed us how to call her when we were ready to order.

The menu offers starters, drinks and desserts. The entrees range from burgers and sandwiches to pizzas and quesadillas. The drinks are what you would expect (Coke, Sprite, etc.), and the desserts include cookies and cakes as well as ice cream and a variety of candy.

I ordered chicken wings ($11) and a small margherita pizza ($11). Emma ordered a salad ($11) and fried chicken sliders ($9.50).

The wings and salad were served in decorative glass bowls. The order of wings came with six wings, carrots, celery, dipping sauce and lots of napkins. The salad was very big and slightly overdressed.

The wings and salad were far superior to average theater food, but not restaurant quality.

However, the pizza and sliders had very little flavor and were undercooked.

“The cheese tastes like sawdust,” Emma said.

In addition, the movie experience at SMG was not as relaxing as it would be at other theaters. For one, the lights seemed brighter than normal. Because of the background sounds of people ordering, delivering and eating food,  the movie’s volume seemed to have been turned unusually high.

The blaring movie and the ambient noises combined to make an uncomfortably loud environment.

I guess that regardless of the service and quality of food, eating full meals and watching movies in a theater conflict by nature.

It’s easy to enjoy a movie while eating dinner at home because there’s no pressure. You can rewind any time you want, so you don’t need to put your full attention into the movie. You can easily eat a meal and can even use your phone.

Anna Frankel

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