(Update as of August 2019: Banquet Cinema has temporarily closed with rumors that they may be closing for good. We will update this page as more information becomes available.)
Forgive me in advance, but I’m about to write a gushing love letter to what might be my new favorite hangout spot in Oklahoma City: Banquet Cinema Pub. Long before I became a father, one of my favorite things to do was to catch a movie at the theater – but those days are few and far between now that we’ve got two little ones to juggle and make sure they’re not killing each other (or one of us) and that they get into bed at a decent time.
So when my favorite director (Quentin Tarantino) announced the release of his 9th film, I knew I wanted to be one of the first to see it. My jump reaction was to buy a ticket at the nearest AMC Theater, but I was reminded by a well timed Facebook post that there was a new, kind of quirky theater that had just opened up, and nothing says ‘quirky’ like a Tarantino film. I made my way over to Banquet Cinema Pub’s website to book a ticket, and off I went to the show.
Entering the doors of Banquet Cinema Pub, I immediately knew this was no ordinary cinema. Directly in front of me was a bar and concession stand. To the left, tabletop shuffle board, and to my right was a pool table. Spread far across the entire floor were tables and bar tops with plenty of seating for those who were enjoying food and beverages. I grabbed a menu and took a glance to see just how broke I was going to be after getting my snacks at this fancy new theater. You’re not going to believe this…
Popcorn was $2.50. TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS. Sure, it’s not the 15 gallon drum of popcorn that you get at AMC, but it was a small cereal box sized serving that was plenty for what I needed. So that meant I could look at other items on the menu. A slice of pepperoni pizza? $3.50. Alright – $6 for popcorn and a slice of pizza means I can look at the beverage menu – and lo and behold, I can get an entire pitcher of Coors Banquet for $8.
I wiped the joyful tear from my eye as I handed over the $14 for pizza, popcorn and a pitcher of beer that would see me needing two bathroom breaks during the course of my 3-hour film. I couldn’t believe the value of the menu here.
I grabbed my number and headed to Theater 1, which wasn’t hard to find seeing as there are only 2 theaters in the complex, and it was easy to spot with a giant yellow “1” painted on the outside of the doorway. The theaters here are small – less than 100 assigned seats in each room. There is a bar top that sprawls across each row for food and beverages, and each seat has a cup holder so you don’t have to lean forward to grab your drink every time you want it.
The seating is comfortable, and I thought that each seat gave a great view of the screen. The audio wasn’t anything you’d find at the Dolby cinema – but it was perfect for a theater of this size and atmosphere. You could hear every word perfectly, and the sound wasn’t distorted at all.
When my movie was over, I glanced over at Theater 2 and saw that they were showing Jurassic Park late that evening and so I checked to see what it would cost to see this classic film: and it was a whopping $4. Just to note – I paid $11 to see the “new” movie, and the classic movie was much cheaper – and looks to be that way for all future showings of classic films listed on their site. These prices, of course, are subject to change.
Not only does Banquet Cinema Pub specialize in new and classic movie screenings, they also host a wide variety of events on a weekly basis, such as Bingo and Trivia Nights, and it’s not uncommon for live music to be heard here on the weekends.
Overall, this might be my new favorite place to hang, catch a movie and some good food, and just relax when I’m looking for a quick getaway or a date night with the wife. If you love movies, and you’re looking for something outside of the norm (I’m firing shots, AMC…), get out of your comfort zone and check out Banquet Cinema Pub in Downtown OKC.