iPic Brings Luxury Movie Theater Experience to Pike & Rose
You'll find leather reclining seats, craft cocktails and art at the new venue in North Bethesda
Inside an iPic theater at Pike & Rose
The iPic Theaters set to open Halloween night at Pike & Rose dubs itself “The Ultimate Movie Experience.”
And the new theater in North Bethesda backs up that statement with large, red-leather reclining chairs, elegant hallways adorned with art, craft cocktails made with seasonal ingredients and table-side service.
“We really are taking it to the next level,” Jim Lee, iPic’s vice president of marketing, said during a Wednesday afternoon tour of the new venue. The Pike & Rose location is the company’s first on the East Coast. The company opened its first theater in Milwaukee in 2007 and now has 11 other theaters in California, Texas, Washington state and Arizona.
The amenity-filled 47,000-square-foot theater includes eight auditoriums and a total of 782 seats. Lee said the larger auditoriums seat 108 people, while the smaller size seats 89.
Each auditorium offers two types of seating—premium and premium plus.
The premium plus seats are made of orange leather and have larger tables, a push-button reclining system, pillows and blankets. These seats will include pop-out iPads in the armrests so customers can directly order drinks and food, which is delivered by “ninja” servers. The premium-plus area is designed with walkways to allow servers to reach tables without interrupting others.
The premium seats are made of light-green leather and include a small table between the seats for food and drinks. Customers can order from the iPic Express concession stand and bring their food and drinks into the auditorium.
The food menu at the theater is crafted by James Beard Award-winning chef Sherry Yard and includes items designed for “dining in the dark.” According to Lee, that means finger foods that don’t make loud noises when they are eaten. The menu features items ranging from $8 to $18 like warm biscuits, pork wings, fish tacos, an angus beef burger and a lobster roll. Popcorn, candy and desserts are also available for between $5 and $9. Premium-plus customers can get a free small popcorn.
The drink menu offers wine, eight rotating beer taps and craft cocktails. Mixologist Adam Seger describes the drinks as “farm to glass” cocktails. Several of the theater’s fall cocktails include apple cider specially ordered and pressed by Twin Springs Fruit Farm in Pennsylvania that the theater buys at the Pike Central Farm Market across the street.
The menu includes two caffeinated cocktails—a mocha martini and an Irish coffee—designed to prevent customers from falling asleep in the comfy, blanketed seats.
“It’s kind of a perfect storm of awesome,” Seger said about the theater and drinks. “It’s two indulgences at once—a great cocktail and a movie.”
An attached restaurant, City Perch, is planning to open Nov. 17.
On Wednesday, construction crews were still putting the final touches on the theaters, but Lee said everything should be done by the Oct. 31 grand opening.
“Even if the movie is not great, the experience of coming to iPic ,of having that relaxing experience, having your food delivered to you, that makes it all worthwhile,” Lee said.
Tickets for premium seats range from $11 to $13 each, while premium-plus tickets range from $17 to $22. Movies showing for the opening include major release: John Wick, Fury and Nightcrawler, as well as the horror movie A Nightmare on Elm Street and the classic love story Casablanca.
IPic is located at 11830 Grand Park Ave in North Bethesda at Federal Realty's Pike & Rose development, which also includes several restaurants, apartments and a planned hotel.
The theater is the second to open in the Bethesda area in the past month. ArcLight Cinemas is currently having a soft opening at its location inside Westfield Montgomery Mall before its grand opening the week of Nov. 7.
The lobby area and box office. Customers can purchase tickets here or online ahead of time. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
The iPic Express area where customers can order food and drinks. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
The hallway leading to the auditoriums is often filled with servers delivering food. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
Construction crews worked near the unadorned entrance of the iPic Theaters on Wednesday afternoon.