In January, officials from Realty Capital, Flower Mound, and Lakeside DFW Land Ltd. traveled to Austin to tour The Moviehouse & Eatery.
Mark McLaughlin, director of operations for the upscale dine-in theater company, served as their guide.
“I was explaining to them that many of our customers regularly drive 20-30 miles to get here,” remembered McLaughlin. “I’m not sure they bought it.”
“We were walking through the lobby as he was telling us this,” said Peter B. Stewart, president of Lakeside DFW Land Ltd., “so I asked a random customer.”
“Sure enough,” he laughed, “she lived about 20 minutes away.
“I’m sure she passed quite a few theaters on her way there.”
Shortly thereafter, The Moviehouse sealed a deal to locate its newest facility at Lakeside DFW. (The company is also building a facility in Keller that will open in October.)
“The Moviehouse & Eatery offers a good example of the kind of retailers and restaurants we’re looking for at The Shops at Lakeside,” said Jimmy Archie, managing parter of Realty Capital, master developer of the project.
“We want to give people of all ages lots of reasons to come and spend their free time at Lakeside,” he said.
“Combine the appeal of the Moviehouse with our urban, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, parks and trail, and that creates the kind of place where individuals, couples, families, and groups of friends can spend hours being entertained.”
In 2013, The Moviehouse & Eatery attracted 379,000 visitors to its suburban Austin location.
Yelp reviews suggest that the family-owned company has found a successful formula.
“It’s all about good food and outstanding service,” said McLaughlin, who has worked in the industry for years, including stints at both the AMC Fork & Screen and Alamo Drafthouse.
“Every theater shows the same movies,” he remarked, “so we work hard to build a loyal following by creating a memorable experience with our food, service, and offerings.”
Ninety percent of The Moviehouse menu made-from-scratch items ranging from appetizers and pizzas to sandwiches and hamburgers. Naturally, popcorn remains a big seller.
The Lakeside Moviehouse & Eatery will feature 920 recliners in its eight auditoriums. To make every seat desirable, the front row is located 22 ft. from the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling screens (rather than the industry standard of 10 ft.).
And kids are welcome.
“The Moviehouse,” said Archie, “fits in nicely with the Lakeside strategy to attract area residents of all ages as well as people living 20-30 minutes away.”