Theatre Box – one sweet splurge

Luxury and sugar in San Diego's Gaslamp

The Sugar Factory Burger at the Theatre Box comes with a half-pound of Angus beef, crispy onions on a brioche bun.
  • The Sugar Factory Burger at the Theatre Box comes with a half-pound of Angus beef, crispy onions on a brioche bun.

I love seeing movies in theaters, but it’s hard to leave home when you have a big screen TV, streaming and DVD options, big easy chairs, and food available for delivery.

Theatre Box

701 Fifth Avenue, Downtown San Diego

That cruel fact has forced some movie chains to up their game. Case in point: the [Theatre Box,][1] a new luxury theatre in the Gaslamp where the Reading theaters were located for a few years.

The Theatre Box is marketed as a luxury theatre destination that offers high-end food and drinks and comfortable seats that are adjustable — the perfect complement to a tentpole movie like Aquaman.

The theatre screens are on the second floor of the building, while the [Sugar Factory,][2] an ice cream parlor that sells candy by the pound, and the American Brasserie, a restaurant like the Incredible Cheesecake Factory take up downstairs.

The citrus roll is tangy and light -- an alternative to popcorn

The citrus roll is tangy and light -- an alternative to popcorn

The overall feel is a tween’s idea of luxury. Seriously, I think my son was disappointed when the movie was over and he had to leave the theater and go home to a house where the chairs are smaller and don’t lean back.

Movie theater food doesn’t have the greatest reputation, but the Theatre Box items are good enough to make this a definite splurge option for families, teens on dates or anyone who wants to temporarily live large while sitting in one place to for two hours.

The Caesar Salad with steak

The Caesar Salad with steak

My son got the Signature Sugar Factory Burger ($14): a half-pound burger made from Angus beef, with lettuce, tomato and crispy onions on a Brioche bun. He loved it, though the burger seemed big enough to dislocate his jaw — in the world of “living large,” that’s meant to be a compliment.

The fries that came with the burger were crispy.

I went lighter. I started off with a citrus roll ($7), enjoyed the Caesar Salad with steak ($12 for salad, plus $12 for the steak). The dressing was tangy, but not overpowering, the croutons were crispy with a bit of cheese; the chopped pieces of steak were a medium rare.

The Grape Crush

The Grape Crush

When it came time to eat the Chocolate Chip Ice Cream sandwich, we couldn’t finish it.

The Theatre Box sells a range of fruity and chocolate drinks. A lot of these drinks can served with or without alcohol. My son had the Berry Bliss ($26 with booze, $19 without), and it was almost too sweet.

Same with my non-alcoholic choice: the Grape Crush, an upscale version of grape soda that was so sweet, I couldn’t finish it. The drinks might taste different with alcohol, but more balance of other flavor components would be my preference.

The Berry Bliss Goblet

The Berry Bliss Goblet

Another slight nit-picky detail: Safety regulations (ugh) forced the theatre designer to put these metal bars in front of each of the upper level seats, and these can cut off the bottom of the screen. So I couldn’t see Jason Momoa’s feet.

I predict the Theatre Box will become a popular destinations for birthday parties, and other splurge-type events.

[1]: https://theatrebox.com/ [2]: https://sugarfactory.com/location/sugar-factory-san-diego/

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