July 20th, 2009

2011 July

Cinema Plaza Cafe

The Plaza Cinema Cafe is a movie theater that opened up in downtown Orlando. It opened with a little bit of fanfare. The news covered it and several newspapers did too. The idea was that it was trying to help revitalize downtown, which is totally dead after hours.

The movie theater is a little bit unique because it serves food and drink. The seats are huge comfy chairs that have armrests large enough to hold a small pizza.

The movie prices are fairly normal for the area. $4.50 for matinees and $9.50 for evenings. But if you have the Buy Local Orlando card, your ticket will be half off. So you could watch a matinee for less than $3.00. They don’t have all the most recent movies, but they did have Transformers 2 opening weekend.

The theatre is also on the third floor of a building that has it’s own parking. So during those rainy days, you don’t even have to get wet. The theater will validate your parking for three hours, so no worries about that. And I believe the parking with validation on the weekends is free. We stayed a little too long once and didn’t have to pay.

The food is completely negligible. We ordered chicken satay (decent), a marguerite pizza (undercooked) and popcorn (stale). I wouldn’t suggest getting food there. For the price that we paid, we could have gotten a pretty good meal at a sit sown place.

If you order an iced tea or a large soft drink, refills are free. I believe it’s the same for the large popcorn too, but Chris and I never eat that much popcorn. We can maybe finish a small one between the two of us. So don’t go specifically for the food, but if you’re hungry while you’re there, you will have a huge list to choose from (including champagne and caviar for $90).

The only problem for us is that to get to the theater, between gas and tolls back and forth, it’s cheaper to go to my local theater when all is said and done.

However, if you’re already down that way to shop or to eat, then it is much more cost efficient.

It’s a really nice and clean place right now, but I don’t know for how long. When we went on the weekend, the place was totally dead. But then, all of downtown was totally dead. We asked the employees how well they were doing and they said that Fridays were their busiest nights. It makes sense since people could just go there after work. So maybe that will be good enough to keep them open.

But like most movie theater in this area, they eventually start looking and smelling a little run down. The only ones that keep their nice sheen seems to be the one at Universal. I hope that the theater lasts though and it doesn’t end up like an abandoned building. It’s always so sad to see empty commercial spaces, especially in downtown.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal