This Movie Theater Serves Hot Pot Instead of Popcorn

Some worry the simmering broth will detract from the moviegoing experience

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4:32 PM HKT, Mon October 16, 2023 1 mins read

A retro-style movie theater in Chengdu is spicing up the cinema experience by allowing customers to order hot pot while watching films.

Cinker Pictures is known for its theaters inspired by historic screening houses in New York and London. Their latest location in Chengdu features an exclusive hot pot dining area where moviegoers can enjoy a hot meal right from their theater seats.

Photos and videos circulating on Chinese social media show tables equipped with individual hot pot pots filled with broth, meat, seafood, and vegetables. Customers can cook their ingredients right at their seats and dip them in sauces, just like they would at a hot pot restaurant.

Offering hot pot in a movie theater is a first, even in China where the meal is held as a beloved staple.

The unusual concept has garnered both praise and criticism online. Some think hot pot will enhance the movie experience, while others cite concerns about noise from eating and cooking smells detracting from the films.

“I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my hot pot or the movie,” writes a user on Weibo. "Both eating and watching should be taken seriously.”

“Thank you for slurping through my whole movie,” reads one comment on Reddit.

Others, though, were thrilled.

“To the rest of the movie theaters in China, please make it available!” writes one user.

For now, the hot pot theater continues to generate buzz with its innovative approach to movie snacks. It’s the ultimate mix of comfort food and entertainment that engages all the senses — whether you love it or hate it.

Images via Xiaohongshu, Weibo

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