A new tenant has opened its doors at The Pavilions at Talking Stick. On May 13, RoadHouse Cinemas, which is owned by Arizona resident Josh Snider, opened its second “dine-in movie theatre” in the state (the other RoadHouse location is in Tucson).
The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured staff from the theatre and De Rito Partners, as well as Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Member Michael Dallas. Samples of food, gelato and drinks were free during the ceremony, and guests were able to tour the new facility. The theatre, previously an UltraStar Cinemas location, underwent a $3 million renovation.
Guests received gift bags and their choice of movie tickets for screenings that evening; movies included Captain America: Civil War, Money Monster, Mother’s Day and The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
“This is not your typical theatre, and that is what we like about that idea,” said Chuck Carlise, president of De Rito Partners Development, Inc. “Josh really runs a restaurant within a theatre, and it’s an experience to a different level. … [The theatre is locally owned and] not a chain, so he can roll with the punches. He can respond quickly if there needs to be a change.”
RoadHouse Cinemas offers reserved seating in spacious auditoriums with large leather electric recliner chairs and push-button seat-side service from waitstaff. Eating and drinking options include a restaurant that cooks from scratch and an outdoor patio with a firepit, as well as a brewery with a sports-bar feel.
“Harkins and AMC both wanted this facility, but we wanted something different,” Carlise said. “We want to make this area a different experience for everyone, and it’s working. The tribe also works very well with us too. The Community members have a lot at stake—this isn’t like Scottsdale where they don’t care, this is the Community members’ land, and [having a theatre like this one] makes it more unique.”
Snider, president of RoadHouse Cinemas, said, “We are a full dine-in theatre, we have a really fun preshow for everyone and all our food distributors and beers are all local. We are having fun with this theatre, and the response has been very positive. The only negative is that [some people say] there isn’t enough seating, but this is a great location for us because it’s right off the 101 freeway.”
Carlise explained that De Rito Partners wants to make the Pavilions an entertainment destination in the Valley.