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Article by Jim E. Martin
Top Photo by Rhonda McAnally
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MovieLounge Imagine a movie theater featuring top first run movies on two separate screens, a full-service gourmet restaurant, a fully stocked bar with a top notch bartender, a 3,143 square feet ballroom and reception area, and a stage with a state of the art sound system featuring the very best of local musicians live. Now, imagine them all in one place under the same roof. That's the concept Dwight Curry and his sister Lynne Curry Weidman were striving for when they began plans for MovieLounge.

Originally from Fort Smith, the Curry's have been in the lodging business for years. When it came to doing something in their hometown, they decided to try something completely different bringing something truly unique to the city. While researching their venture the siblings visited a lot of similar venues across the country, movie houses that serve restaurant-quality food and beverages. As a result, they've taken the best of what they've seen and put it all together to create something they believe will be an asset to the area by filling a niche in upscale entertainment.

Opened in June of 2012, this premiere place at 7601 Rogers Avenue, right in the heart of the River Valley in a strip mall in what used to be Circuit City, offers a one of a kind experience in dining, entertainment, and of course, movies. It's hard to describe. You can't say it's "like" anything because there's absolutely nothing to compare it to.

In an interview with KUAF, Lynne Curry Weidman stated they were taking a different approach to their business than some others they've observed. "From what we've seen, most of them are theaters trying to get into the food business," she says. "We're coming about it from the opposite direction, we feel like maybe that will put us a step above."

The main thing unique to MovieLounge is that the entertainment is not set on any one format. While other venues are strictly "dinner and a movie," MovieLounge has so much more to offer to both business and personal events. It's the perfect place for the office Christmas dinner or the class reunion everyone has looked forward to. Wedding receptions, school proms, even the military ball have all been held at MovieLounge. From an intimate birthday party to a large-sized corporate event, MovieLounge has the space you need.

Built with an emphasis on making the customer happy, its family-based atmosphere surprises most folks who first come in wondering "what is this place?" You see all types from the nicely dressed young suburbanite to the old hippie in a t-shirt and jeans. Kids are welcome too.

And the cinemas, about those seats: not your typical theater chairs. They're in pairs, high-backed and comfortable with a swing-out table you can comfortably eat a meal from. There is also a drink holder. You can order a full dinner and cocktail from their menu or just have the traditional theater popcorn, candy and a soft drink. A red button on the arm of the chair summons a server to take your order so you never have to leave your seat. Once you've experienced a movie at MovieLounge, you will not want to go back to a conventional theater.

While they started out showing mostly documentaries, indie films, and second and third run movies, they have branched out and are now showing first run major motion pictures. With plans to expand in the near future, they will be showing even more of the movies you want to see.

Movie theaters, restaurant, and lounge are open seven days a week.

7601 Rogers Ave. 479-226-3595

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