Upper Darby will get the first area location of Studio Movie Grill this summer, according to a report today from the Insider. The Texas-based chain specializes in luxury cinema seating with full-scale food and drink service right to your seat. The Upper Darby theater, replacing the former (and much maligned) United Artists 69th Street at 53 S. 69th St., is reportedly targeting a late-July opening.
It's not the first movie theater to serve alcohol and food in the area, but it will be closer to Philly proper than any other competitors that will bring alcoholic beverages right to your seat. (Currently, you have to travel to the Movie Tavern in Collegeville or the AMC Painter's Crossing near Chadds Ford for that privilege.)
According to the theater's official website, this SMG location will have 1,100 total seats (with reserved seating) across nine auditoriums, and promises "over 60 premium spirits, signature cocktails, local microbrews, and house favorites like the Studio Grande margarita" available both in your theater seat and in a separate bar and lounge for those that would rather dine before or after the film.
Foodwise, the menu is dubbed "American grill" and features standards along the lines of chicken tenders, potato skins, wings, and pizza. The Sacramento Bee reviewed a recently opened Sacramento location earlier this year and found that "the food made the Cheesecake Factory look like the French Laundry" (and questioned the wisdom of trying to enjoy a meal while taking in violent war-movie imagery). At that location, "even the popcorn [...] is terrible," mused then-critic Blair Anthony Robertson, who found it oddly sweet.
Still, you'll be able to push a button and order another round mid-film, which holds its own appeal. SMG is currently running a contest that could net you a year's worth of free movie tickets to the new theater.