Luxury movie theater chain iPic set to open with ‘naughty cocktails’

Miami Herald




Most movie theaters won’t offer a “Red Room of Pain” Fifty Shades of Grey-themed drink, a cocktail including rose petals, hum, hibiscus and ginger rum, for the opening of the film next month. But movie-tailored drinks are one of the things that set apart iPic Theaters, a luxury theater chain that will open an eight-screen, 550-seat theater in North Miami Beach’s Intracoastal Mall early this summer.

“It’s a decadent, slightly naughty cocktail while you’re watching the movie,” said iPic Entertainment Mixologist Adam R. Seger at a press conference Tuesday for the opening of the movie theater. “I think we’ll sell a gazillion of them. If it’s [the drink] connected to a movie or theme, it’s a perfect storm. Once you experience it you are spoiled.”

Construction will begin next week at the site of the former Intracoastal 8 theater. The new venue will present viewers with a movie-going experience that includes seven-foot wide plush, leg reclining seats with built-in iPads for ordering food, as well as pillows and blankets.

“Going to iPic is not just about movies, it’s a real night out that starts when you purchase the ticket,” said Hamid Hashemi, President and CEO of iPic Entertainment and creator of restaurant and nightlife establishments like the Tanzy Restaurant. “The most common thing that comes out of people’s mouths is — I can’t believe I’m in a movie theater.”

iPic Theaters of iPic Entertainment, established by Hashemi in 2006, is a luxury brand with 11 locations nationwide, including one in Boca Raton. Hashemi sees a potential for several more locations in the South Florida area, including one being developed in Delray Beach.

Moviegoers will have the choice of “Premium” or “Premium Plus” seating in the theater’s 50-80 seat auditoriums. While both levels of customers get to sit in oversized leather seats, “Premium Plus” seating reclines, and includes blankets and pillows and iPads with apps to buy food that will be delivered.

“I know that people really want to be pampered. Our staff are always there, with a push of a button,” said Hashemi. “This is not all about popcorn and soda.”

Weekday ticket prices will range between $12-$18, while weekend ticket prices will range from $18-$24.

Gil Dezer, the president of Dezer Developers, the largest oceanfront property owner in Sunny Isles Beach, which bought the mall for 63.5 million a year ago, estimated that the theater will have more than 200 workers and will bring in 400,000 customers a year.

Heloisa Alves, 28, the director of a Jiu-Jitsu Academy next door to the theater, said that the traffic that the theater will bring should increase business to the restaurants and shops next to the theater, and is looking forward to going there herself.

“It’s more exclusive, it’s more intimate,” she said. “We were worried about the price, but if you go to the theater and pay ten or 12 dollars for popcorn, it’s the same.”

Mayor George Vallejo agreed that the movie theater will help develop North Miami Beach.

“I believe our location is the next renaissance in all of South Florida,” said Vallejo. “Our location is five minutes from the airport, beach, Golden Glades, Aventura Mall. This is where people want to live.”

“If you want to have dinner with the mayor, you’ll find me here,” he joked.

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