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Inside the new River Oaks District deluxe movie theater

LEISURE_iPic-Theater

With luxurious seating, restaurant dining and drinks and the innovative iPic Pods, the dine-in movie experience has reached a new level of luxury.

by Laura Furr

Florida-based iPic-Gold Class Entertainment LLC isn’t slated to open its first Houston location until next month, but the upscale movie theater is in the final phases of preparation.

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iPic Entertainment president and CEO Hamid Hashemi tries out his first venture into Houston at River Oaks District. (Photos: Shelby Hodge)

The theater, located within the newly opened River Oaks District, will officially open ed its doors on Nov. 6, with a soft opening and charity week in the week prior.

Currently, about 200 people work in the theater and venue’s full-service restaurant and bar, which help take iPic’s luxe dine-in movie-watching strategy a little further than similar venues.

Within iPic’s eight theaters, servers attend to “premium plus” visitors at the press of the button. The Houston location will also be the first to include iPic Pods, which group two fully reclinable seats together in an enclosed space equipped with blankets, pillows and storage.

In addition to the luxe theaters, which hold about 50 to 90 people each, iPic’s full-service bar and restaurant are open during theater hours to moviegoers and non-moviegoers alike.

The restaurant, led by Sherry Yard, features shareable plates, as well as burgers and salads. The bar, led by Adam Segar, features traditional cocktails, wines, champagnes and a liquid nitrogen cocktail.

The Houston location will be iPic’s 12th in the U.S. and third in the Lone Star State. It currently has Texas theaters in Austin and Fairview and plans to open a fourth in Irving.

Meanwhile, a number of new dine-in theaters have announced plans to expand in Houston.

In May, plans to build a 42,000-square-foot Star Cinema Grill in Katy were announced. The theater’s flagship location in the expanding Baybrook Mall is also slated to open this fall.

Dallas-based ShowBiz Cinemas announced plans last year to double the number of its theater/bowling alley locations in Houston, while fellow Dallas company Studio Movie Grill also announced plans to open another Houston location.


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