Titles have been announced for Sundance Cinemas' extended opening weekend, and it looks like the new Houston theater is following through on its promise to feature indies alongside sure-to-be blockbusters.
The first lineup presents a nice mix: Martin Scorsese's Hugo in 3D; Werner Herzog's documentary Into the Abyss; Lars von Trier's Melancholia, featuring Kirsten Dunst; Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar; My Week with Marilyn, for which Michelle Williams is already generating Oscar buzz; Women on the 6th Floor, a French comedy by Le Guay; the newest from the Twilight saga, Twilight: Breaking Dawn; and Disney's The Muppets.
The theaters, owned by Robert Redford's Sundance Group, also released the bar menu, which seems reasonably priced and well-curated with items designed to be eaten in the theater. Hungry moviegoers will be able to snag an 8" pizza for $10.95 or less, paninis and deli sandwiches, substantial salads, appetizers and desserts (I'm looking at you, Chambord Chocolate Brownie). A snack bar will feature classic concession fare with a twist — candy, soda, gourmet hot dogs and popcorn with real butter.
Although alcoholic beverages aren't featured on the menu, it mentions an "expert bar staff," so expect classic cocktails, draft beer and "interesting" wines. Those 21 and up will be able to purchase bottled beer and single-serving glasses of wine from the snack bar cooler.
Film buffs can look forward to a swanky atmosphere with an art gallery, reserved seating and amenity fees: You'll pay a premium for a green facility, a focus on customer service, parking validation and no annoying television commercials before the film. The busier the time, the higher the fee (ticket prices will range from $10.50 to $13.50 on evenings).
In anticipation of the opening night on Nov. 23 (the day before Thanksgiving), Sundance will host fundraisers on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22. Excitement's so high that even local microcinema 14 Pews is hosting a Sundance Cinemas Appreciation Party on Nov. 23, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with shuttle service to Bayou Place where Sundance is taking over the spot abandoned overnight by the Angelika Film Center in August of 2010.