iPic Theater Review

Jeff and I received an iPic gift card for Christmas, and last week we finally went and used it at the Fairview, TX location. I had been hoarding it for a little while because I really wanted to wait and see Snow White and The Huntsman. In addition, I figured we could really use the break in the middle of our remodel.

Unfortunately our trip did not start as easy-going and stress-free as we wished. Since we live about 45 minutes from the theater and since we were going to the 7:30 p.m. showing, we left over an hour and half early to accommodate for any traffic. Lucky for us it was RAINING, and the George Bush turnpike was stacked almost the entire way there, making our drive almost an hour and a half long. When we finally arrived, the two-story escalators were out of order, and then we had to wait in line forever to get our tickets because they only had one attendant working at the desk.... but we made it nonetheless.

Aside from the physical wait, the ticket experience was actually a positive experience. I booked online a day early (highly recommended since seats easily sell out), was able to pick my seats (reserved), and when I needed to reschedule, I just called and they changed my tickets to the next day, no problem. I also signed up to be a member online (free) and probably saved about $10 total on my tickets (also recommended). Upon arrival, I just gave the ticket lady my name, and voila, we were in.

The theater itself is very nice and reminded me of a nice hotel lobby, with couches and lounging areas placed throughout. There was also a bar area to hang out in and pool tables for entertainment, but we didn't have time to explore such. I know there were lots of other features that we sadly missed too. I can only assume that it's a hopping place on the weekend, and maybe we can try it out the next time.

The inside of the actual theater was my favorite. We paid the extra dollars and upgraded to the premium plus seats. There are about 24 premium plus seats (I think) split into pairs and laid out in a 3-column by 4-row grid. Each pair of chairs had a small table top in between for dining/drinking purposes. The premium plus seating area was very spacious, and you were far enough away from anyone else to feel like you were having your own personal movie experience. The seats themselves were recliners, were so comfy and the recliner button was electronic so you could position the seat exactly how you wanted it. I personally curled up into a ball like I was sleeping, which could have very well been possible considering each person also gets a pillow and a blanket. They did conveniently come around with complimentary coffee though, right at the point of no return!

One perk of the upgraded seating is that you get an actual waiter for an hour (20 minutes pre-show and 40 minutes into the show). The other seating requires you to bring in your food and beverages from the lobby. If you're sitting in the premium plus area though, I recommend arriving early to order and what not because the server was very slow to start (due to the 10+ tables she seemed to be taking care of). I think she took our drink order, told us twice that she was going to get our drinks, greeted and took orders from multiple other tables and then came back and took our food order before we ever got our drinks. Even though we had arrived ten minutes early, that was still not enough time to get our full order in before the movie started. She also didn't come back by that frequently thereafter, and they don’t have a service call button (or not that we were shown), so we were lucky we ordered everything up front.

The theater has a nice beer, wine and cocktail selection (the cocktails looked yummy), but rather than paying $11 for one cocktail, we ordered a $12 bucket of beer (5 beers), which was plenty. I know iPic is a premium theater experience, but I thought the drink menu prices were a tad steep.

We were hungry and had an entire gift card to spend so we grubbed our hearts out, to the point where I was still paying for it the next morning. The menu was basically an upscale bar menu - starters, salads, sliders, flatbreads, a few entrees and dessert. I was actually expecting a little less of a bar-style menu and maybe a few more entree-type selections, but it sufficed. Jeff ordered the angus burger trio sliders with a side of sweet potato fries (had to order separately unfortunately), and I ordered the braised short rib flatbread. I thought everything was extremely tasty and definitely filling. We probably could have even skipped the fries considering we received a complimentary bag of popcorn once the movie started (nice perk).

We also ordered the big brownie ice cream sandwich (since we ordered everything at the start of the movie), and we were almost too stuffed to eat it. I cannot say that it was the best brownie and ice cream combo of my life (brownie was a little chewy and ice cream was a little freezer burnt), but it was ooey gooey and definitely fulfilled my chocolate craving. Next time I'm ordering the peanut butter s’more pizza though because someone else had it, and it looked phenomenal.

With all personal preferences aside and comparisons to other dine-in movie experiences, iPic as a premium, upscale theater experience definitely hit the mark. The place is very nice, is great for a date night and is also very welcoming of the everyday movie-goer. While the food and drink menus seemed a little pricey for what it was, I thought the actual movie tickets were very reasonably priced, and I will definitely want to return.

I personally would re-work my next visit. First, since it's so far, I would not go to a 7:30 weeknight showing due to traffic. Second of all, if it's date night, I would go to dinner elsewhere first and then just order drinks and dessert at the theater. Or maybe if it was an off-time showing, I would just order a starter or flatbread to share. I must say, it was a little difficult eating a full-blown meal in the dark while leaning over a small table. And finally, I will make sure to buy tickets online in advance again, and I will also make sure to always sit in the premium plus seats. The recliners are just way too amazing. Oh yeah, and I'll bring my parka since my jacket, leggings and the blanket were just not enough warmth for me.

Final note for anyone who lives near the Fairview iPic, there are member discounted menu prices on Tuesday nights!

So that's it, that's my iPic review. I know I was a bit hypercritical, but hey, that's what I do! All photos courtesy of iPic.com since I would have been shunned had I been using my camera in a theater :)

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