by Walter Bender

We are all entertainment junkies…isn’t that why you all are reading STAGE MAGAZINE? We love the theatre, music, dancing, but sometimes we want to just relax and watch a good movie. If you’re like me and have the super-expansive (and super-expensive) cable lineup, you can usually find something to watch, but what about first-run movies? So you go to the movie theater, but your food choices are popcorn, nachos (in name at least), and candy. Then you go sit in a dirty theater with seating that was obviously handed down from the Spanish Inquisition. Not so much fun, eh? Ah, but there is a great alternative!

In the Providence Town Center, about one block off the Collegeville exit of Route 422 is the Movie Tavern. This, my friends, is a concept that is LONG overdue! As you walk into the building, you see on the right a spacious bar area, where you can have your favorite adult beverage and watch a little tv. You can also order some food, relax, and enjoy yourself. Ah, I know…you’re asking, “Where is the movie part of the Movie Tavern?” Follow me…

Instead of going into the bar, purchase a ticket to one of the eight theaters (including a 3-D theater), all showing first-run movies regularly, with special features showing at times during the week. Then you can stop off for something at the snack bar, which serves popcorn (with real butter, not that chemical stuff they serve in most theaters!), candy, or a beverage…smoothies, frozen lemonade, or a choice of margaritas. Or, you can just proceed into the theater…trust me, you won’t be missing out on your treats.

As you walk into your choice of theaters, you notice the difference immediately…instead of the traditional seating, there are large rocking/reclining chairs, each with their own small table. As you sit, your waiter or waitress takes your drink orders, and asks if you’d like to order something to eat. Yes, I did forget to mention when you show your ticket to the ushers, they give you a menu…this is not just a movie; it’s dinner AND a movie!

The menu is fairly large, with a nice selection of appetizers, sandwiches, pizza, salads and more. There is also a wine list where you can order either a glass or bottle of your favorite. There are non-adult beverages and a children’s menu as well.

I have gone to the Movie Tavern a few times since they opened, and have sampled much of their cuisine. The appetizers are large, in most cases practical for sharing. The sliders are juicy, with an ample side of French fries. My personal favorite choice is “My Big Fat Greek Pita”, a grilled chicken pita with fresh vegetables with a side of their cucumber sauce. Finish it off with dessert (there is a separate dessert menu, and frankly I’ve never had room for dessert) and you have dinner and a movie in one. If you require something during the movie, you can push the button on your table and one of the wait staff will come assist you. About a half hour before the end of the movie they drop off your bill and you can pay before you leave the theater.

For those of you who like to watch your movies without interruption, this may not be for you…the wait staff tries very hard to be invisible, but sometimes they do have to walk in front of you (depending on where you are seated) to serve you or the other guests. However, I did not find it to be intrusive and well worth it for the experience.

The Movie Tavern is part of the new Providence Town Center outside of Collegeville PA. There are plenty of storefronts that hopefully will have merchants filling them soon. For now, there are several shops, restaurants, and the Movie Tavern. Avoid the lines and purchase your tickets online as well as catch a sneak peek at their menu at their web site While not an inexpensive trip, it’s definitely worth the experience.

140 Market Street, Collegeville, Pa. 19426
(610) 831-9500

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