The Rave at 40th and Walnut streets is hoping to satisfy student cravings.
Crave, a new bar and lounge at the back of the theater, is set to open next Wednesday.
The last time a lounge had been open at this location was about two years ago, when the theater was known as The Bridge Cinema de Lux. Rave Motion Pictures took over ownership in January 2010.
The lounge will feature a casual restaurant and bar, offering moviegoers a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and dessert.
The upscale-style lounge is meant to “enhance the movie-going experience,” said James Wroblewski, the Rave’s general manager.
He believes convenience will be the key to attracting customers to Crave. A box office will also be available in the lounge to make purchasing tickets easier.
Crave will offer food and beverages including beer, wine and coffee. The bar includes a line of televisions, each with individual speakers that would allow each customer to watch a different channel.
Along with the classic combination of dinner and a movie, free Wi-Fi will also be available. Wroblewski hopes the Wi-Fi will encourage more students to come to the lounge to study or socialize.
However, students have mixed opinions on the idea of the new lounge. Some find the idea of dinner and a movie together appealing, while others do not buy into the concept.
“A lot of people are looking for one-stop entertainment,” College freshman Will Breskman said. Having a dining lounge and bar inside a theater is “pretty cool” according to Tracy Wu, a graduate student in the School of Veterinary Medicine.
College junior Jessie Hornung, however, does not believe the lounge will bring in more moviegoers.
“Movie theaters are for movies, and bars are for bars,” she said.
College senior Kambiri Cox agrees, pointing to the fact that many restaurants in the area offer dining options similar to Crave’s menu. Cox added the lounge may be more successful among students if it offers special promotions.
For some, the chances of the lounge increasing the number of student moviegoers will “depend on the quality of the restaurant,” said College senior Haoda Li, who only goes to the movies a few times a year. “If the restaurant is that good, it may improve the chances I go.”
Situated in an area with a high density of restaurants, Crave will be adding to the competition of the local food and beverage scene, Wroblewski said.
With Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar opening in June right next door, the amount of competition Crave faces will “really depend on [Harvest’s] menu,” he said. “We’re going to have to be innovative.”
Wroblewski said the new lounge, in addition to the existing theater, is meant to serve university students in the area. “I want to cater to Penn.”
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