New dine-in theater at Southgate Mall changing movie-going exper - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

New dine-in theater at Southgate Mall changing movie-going experience

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Missoula's newest movie theater opens on Feb. 26, and customers can expect a different kind of experience. On Saturday afternoon, Thor: Ragnarok was blaring from one of the screens while community members strolled around and got a sneak peek.

"Folks want to maximize their time," says operations director Jay Lamelas. "Here, they can have dinner and a movie at the same time."

The AMC Dine-In Southgate 9 Theatre is a stand-alone building located on the west side of Southgate Mall near the Mustard Seed entrance.

Customers can either use the AMC app to buy tickets and enter the theater or head to a ticket booth and pick out what seats they'd like using a touchscreen. Customers can sit and order dinner and drinks in the bar and restaurant in the lobby, or head directly to their seat inside the theater to order from a server.

"We're going to bring everything to you," says Cecily Dushkin, general manager.

Southgate 9 encourages people to arrive about half an hour early so they can eat before the movie starts, but they can order drinks and food at any time during the movies using a small button on their chair. The spacious theaters are outfitted with fewer seats than a traditional theater, so it's easy for servers to maneuver around. Each seat is a plush, full recliner equipped with a small tray table on the arm rest. 

A full restaurant kitchen in the building offers lunch and dinner items like burgers, milkshakes, and Asian stir-fry bowls as well as traditional movie snacks like candy, soda and popcorn. Customers can start a tab at the beginning of the movie and close out with their server during the credits.

Southgate 9 is also in the process of finalizing a beer and wine license so it can offer local and domestic brews. A craft beer will run $7.29 for a 16 ounce pour, and $9.29 for a 24-ounce glass. Domestic brews like Coors Light and Bud Light are $4.99 per bottle.

Lamelas says the movie tickets will cost $9.99 for matinees and $10.99 for evening showings. He estimates that Southgate 9 employs about 75 to 80 staffers, and 10 managers.

The AMC Dine-In Theatre chain first launched about 8 years ago, and the nearest one to Missoula is in Denver. The AMC 12 Theatre on Reserve Street will continue to operate as normal.