Cinebarre, a new movie theater that bars children under three, serves restaurant quality food and drinks, and requires kids under 18 to be accompanied by a parent, is opening this summer at the Arboretum shopping center.
The theater aims to provide a high quality, grown-up movie watching experience, said CEO Terrell Braly. "It's kind of like a rock-and-roll movie theater," said Braly. "It's really for grown-up people and nice families...We don't want to be the drop-off spot for teenagers to just hang out and be disruptive."
"We take away the things that would annoy you, i.e. the crying babies and unattended tweens," said Braly. "We feel like a few basic things like that are the reason there was a decline in movie attendance."
Cinebarre is a joint venture with Regal Entertainment Group, which formerly operated the movie theater at the Arboretum. This will be the company's first location in Charlotte, and sixth overall. There are also Cinebarres in Asheville, Charleston, Denver, Salem (Oregon), and Seattle.
Prices for tickets will be the same as at regular movie theaters, and the shows will be first-run films with a smattering of popular indie films. Food and drinks, said Braly, will be priced competitively with normal restaurants - no $7 sodas. And, Braly said, the popcorn comes with real butter.
Once in the theater, patrons have a table in front of them, and a server takes orders. The menu includes items such as burgers, pizza, salads, and beer and wine. "Eighty-three percent of all movie-goers go to a meal an hour before," said Braly. "We've combined the experience."
Although Cinebarre usually doesn't allow children under three ("It's not because we don't like them," said Braly, "We just don't like them screaming in the movie theater."), there are "Cry Baby" showtimes every first Tuesday of a film's release, allowing parents to bring their kids.
Braly, who started Cinebarre with Regal in 2007 after founding and then selling a similar chain of movie theaters in Texas, said the company will be quickening its pace of expansion. Cinebarre is hoping to grow into new markets that are two or three hours from its existing markets (as in Charlotte to Asheville), and is currently looking for its next location north of Charlotte.
Braly hopes to have Charlotte's Cinebarre open by the end of July, maybe in time for the new Batman movie's July 20 release. There will hopefully be a movie star at the opening (they got Lou Ferigno at Cinebarre Charleston for "The Avengers"), Braly said. And he said Cinebarre plans on being here to stay. "This isn't just a flash-in-the-pan idea. It's been well-studied," he said.