Violet Crown offers dinner at the movies
Ever since Regal Downtown closed its doors in November 2014, Charlottesville was left to wonder who could fill such a prominent space on the Downtown Mall. Now, Charlottesville can quell its curiosity: Violet Crown’s warmly lit two-story glass façade welcomes pedestrians in to watch a movie, drink or dine. While the café and mezzanine can easily pass as an upscale restaurant and bar, like its neighbors, the auditoriums offer bigger screens, better sound systems, and comfier chairs than any place on the Downtown Mall.
The $5 million renovation Violet Crown contracted Martin Horn to undertake transformed the single story space into two levels, with bathrooms on each floor. Stroll up the grand staircase from the lobby or take the elevator up to the mezzanine bar, which offers coffee and traditional movie concessions.
Violet Crown’s café and mezzanine bar are supported by a full-sized commercial kitchen which offers a variety of locally sourced cuisine. They’ve partnered with Albemarle Baking Company for breads, Feast! for cheese and Mudhouse for coffee and espresso. Food and drinks are transported via dumbwaiter that delivers to the upstairs mezzanine bar. If you don’t finish your food in time for your movie, you can carry it into the theater with you!
The renovations carved out enough space for 10 theaters. Smaller screening rooms, which seat up to 30, are found downstairs, tucked behind the box office. The larger auditoriums are upstairs, which seat up to to 160. All told, the auditoriums and screening rooms are outfitted with 609 luxurious custom stitched leather seats. Each seat has its own collapsible tray table so you can enjoy your food and beverage while watching a movie. The front row seats in the large auditoriums, and all the seats in the small screening rooms, recline to save your neck from a strange viewing angle. Our project manager, Jeff Sims’ favorite feature: “you can order your seat preference on-line so you can enter at the last minute and not worry about getting a good seat.”
We’ve wondered why it took so long to have dinner and a movie available in one swanky place, but we’re glad you’ve come to Charlottesville, Violet Crown! Check out the new space, sip an adult beverage, take in a movie and try out those amazing recliners here!