BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — BY MORTY EATOWITZ/Food and Entertainment Critic — The new iPic Movie Theater at Mizner Park makes other movie theaters look like your fourth grade classroom in the mid-80s where your teacher pulled down a broken screen and spent ten minutes trying to thread the projector, only to have the light burn through the film and show a giant bubble.
It’s that good.
While this is a difficult time to talk about movies and movie theaters, the iPic theater does an incredible job of isolating guests from the world, offering a full sight, sound and taste immersion into entertainment. Proof positive: Morty Eatowitz and spouse attended a Saturday evening showing of “Savages,” and not once did anyone in the theater make reference to the movie theater tragedy in Denver that occurred just a day before.
This theater has perfected the art of escapism.
It is difficult to believe that iPic is in the same space occupied not long ago by a family owned theater that — quite frankly — looked old and was old. You have no idea how poorly space was used in the old theater until you walk in and become absorbed by its current form. There is a gigantic cocoon encased bar to your right, a long path that winds past both a bar and full service restaurant to your left, and the old, decrepit escalator has been replaced by a modern grande entrance to an unequaled movie theater experience.
We opted for the “premium” seats which — at $24 each — is not something you’ll likely do every week. However, in exchange for the cash, you get fully reclining chairs (think lay-z-boy), blankets and pillows. You also have full access to a full menu of main courses. A waiter is summoned by pushing a small dimly lit button at your seat. The theater promises a response time of five minutes or less. Food service — and wine — can be ordered as the movie starts. Wait service ends 20 minutes after the opening credits.
Dinner options range from filet sliders (reportedly excellent) to Paninis (good, not great). Dinner for two, with wine, ran roughly $65.
Cheap for movie theater food? No. But when you have a baby sitter on the clock and early Sunday morning play dates, it’s not an entirely bad way to hyper-compress a night out if you’re looking for a few hours alone, but don’t want to spend two hours at dinner, and then head to a theater.
Compared to Cinemark on Airport Road, which is owned by the same company that owns the theater in Aurora, Colorado — there is no comparison. Tragedy can happen anywhere, anytime, and we do not intend to kick Cinemark while it’s down. But the difference between Cinemark and iPic is the difference between McDonald’s, Chili’s and Capital Grille. If you’re looking for a good meal and you are on a corner where McDonald’s is on one side and Chili’s is on the other, you likely opt for Chili’s. If you’re on that corner and Chili’s is on one side and Capital Grille is on the other, you’ll opt for Captial Grille.
In other words: Cinemark is fine until you experience iPic. Once you do, there is no going back.
The only negative comment: iPic needs to move the smoking area far away from its front door. It is an unfortunate contrast to go from the brilliance of the theater and interior environment right into clouds of cigarette smoke as folks wait for their valet-parked cars. It kills the mood for non-smokers, and is completely controllable.
Aside from that, just know that this is not a “walk up and buy a ticket” sort of theater. While there may be tickets available, the good seats — especially if you’re spending time with others — need to be purchased online and in advance.
Morty Eatowitz gives the new iPic theater in Boca Raton five out of five Morties!
Location: 301 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432. The southeast side of Mizner Park.