Fort Worth

One of Fort Worth’s first dine-in movie theaters has closed. Will it be missed?

Tarrant County’s newest movie theater opens to the public Saturday

Cinépolis Euless, which is scheduled to open Saturday, is the first of the company’s three luxury movie theaters planned for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (Video by Max Faulkner/Star-Telegram)
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Cinépolis Euless, which is scheduled to open Saturday, is the first of the company’s three luxury movie theaters planned for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (Video by Max Faulkner/Star-Telegram)

A Fort Worth movie theater that became one of the first to bring the dine-in concept to the area has closed.

A note posted on the box office window informed patrons that the Rigmar Movie Tavern was “permanently closed.”

On its Facebook page, moviegoers were directed to the Hulen Movie Tavern location. No explanation for the move was given but it faced plenty of competition, including from Cinemark’s nearby Rave Ridgmar 13 at Ridgmar Mall. Movie Tavern officials did not immediately respond to an email for comment.

When it opened in the fall of 2001 in a shuttered General Cinema location, the Ridgmar Movie Tavern was something of a novelty.

Business was initially slow, attracting just 12,000 people in the first month-and-a-half. In 2002, the theater served 160,000 people thanks to Spider-man packing in the crowds, according to Star-Telegram archives.

Unlike later more upscale movie taverns, the Ridgmar location had a limited menu and didn’t have waiters. Customers ordered at the counter and then servers delivered food to their seats. It did serve beer and alcohol.

Since Ridgmar’s opening, the cinema-restaurant combo concept has rapidly grown.

Studio Movie Grill, Alamo Drafthouse, Moviehouse & Eatery, Cinepolis and many others do the delivery-to-your-seat thing.

AMC has also gotten into the game in Fort Worth this year with its AMC Dine-in Clearfork 8. The Grapevine Mills 30 is also considered a “dine-in” theater.

The six-screen Ridgmar Movie Tavern was the first in the chain when it opened in 2001, and had built as many as 24 theaters in 10 states before the closing the Ridgmar location. In September 2013, Movie Tavern was acquired by New Orleans-based VSS-Southern Theatres, LLC, according to its website.

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Bill Hanna is an award-winning reporter who has covered just about every beat at the Star-Telegram. He currently covers Arlington but also writes about a variety of subjects including weather, wildlife, traffic and health.
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