Three community-centric Cincinnati theaters ? all locally owned and managed, serving local and national beer, premium wines, and a mix of the best indie and commercial films. These efforts led to the Esquire receiving recognition from USA Today and CityBeat, which named it Cincinnati's "Best Movie Theatre" for the past seven years. At the Esquire, guests stop by for a diverse lineup of independent features, occasional live musical performances, and special events, including Q & A sessions. During films, guests top off their acclaimed popcorn with real butter.
The Mariemont Theatre is historic in its own right, dating back more than 75 years, also showing today's indie gems. The Kenwood Theatre, on the other hand, changes up the movie-going experience by serving sushi during mainstream flicks. Movie-goers can also dine on Frieda's Desserts and Graeter's Ice Cream as they kick back in the digital state-of-the-art contemporary theater.
Field of Dreams Drive-In Theater offers communal, car-friendly film gazing as well as prefeature entertainment. At the Liberty Center location, around 250 vehicles sidle up next to each other to take in double features rain or shine, and the newly renovated Tiffin location can accommodate up to 500 sedans, stretch station wagons, and highway-ready riding lawnmowers. The flickering glow of Hollywood blockbusters joins forces with the twinkling stars overhead to illuminate clear, cloudless nights, helping to direct hungry movie goers to and from the full-service concession stand, and light the way for made-to-order pizzas delivered straight to each car’s drivers side door.
In addition to its first-run films, Field of Dreams features free, family-friendly games including corn hole toss, ladder golf, and putt-putt golf. Four-legged family members can also watch from the safety of a leash or their very own car seat, and portable coolers and grills are permitted on the grounds with the purchase of a $4 outside-food permit.
Dixie Twin Drive-In transports moviegoers back to the 1950s with a constantly changing selection of first-run films on two outdoor screens, one 120’ x 52’ and the other 100’ x 65’. Cars pull into the drive-in’s tree-enclosed grounds and tune into a private FM radio station, which provides the audio accompaniment to movies’ car chases, star-crossed love affairs, and alien invasions wedged awkwardly in the middle of historical biopics. The theater starts the season with weekend screenings, then kicks into full swing with daily screenings during the warmest weeks of summer.
Rave Motion Pictures screens the summer blockbusters in 20 auditoriums outfitted with stadium seating. The theaters' digital projectors allow projectionists to easily play such gripping tales as Scream 4, a documentary about Sidney Prescott's return to Woodsboro, where Ghostface threatens the townspeople's safety (movies playing subject to change). Stretch out while watching as rows are spaced 48 inches apart from one another, one for each of the states recognized by most public-school systems. Check showtimes online for all the movies screening throughout the summer.
For more than 15 years, Star Cinemas has screened new and recent releases in its clean, well-maintained facilities. The family-owned theater, with locations in Hillsboro and Grove City, offers handicap access and hearing-impaired service and is conveniently located near major highways and out of the sightlines of roving T-1000s.
It's a good idea to arrive early at Movie Tavern, and not only if you hate missing the opening credits. Early birds can peruse the extensive menu of chef-crafted American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. But even after the show begins, the snacks keep coming. Unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. Guests can even sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the full bar before heading in to the theater. The family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies.
As for the entertainment, audiences get to enjoy all-digital presentations of first-run films any day of the week, plus Retro Cinema every Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Audiences also benefit from Movie Tavern's membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free bag of popcorn, plus a free ticket every year on their birthday, special offers, movie news, and invites to screenings and other special events.