Wandering into the Moolah Theatre and Lounge is a bit like sneaking into some rich guy's house and bribing his staff to let you into his audio-visual play room.
The small theater is not your usual movie house. We went to see the second-coming of "Avatar," because apparently we were the only people who missed the first round.
Though date-friendly, the theater is sort of on the manly side. Maybe it's the leather couches, which are drifting dangerously from well worn to worn out. The balcony is closed during the week, but the views are great when it's open.
We arrived for the 9:30 p.m. show, which meant we didn't leave the 173-minute film until after midnight. Thank goodness the place is made for comfort. We started in the bar and ordered a few specialty drinks paired with the film.
The James Cameron $750 Million Margarita ($10) was a blend of premium tequila, triple sec, lime juice, blue curacao and sour mix. It was a lovely shade of teal and quite tasty. And though we contemplated ordering a Pandora Punch ($7) — made with three kinds of rum and a blend of orange, pineapple and cranberry juices — we ended up with Shark Attacks ($5) because they seemed like a better-tasting mix of vodka and lemonade.
Oh yeah, the "Jaws" trilogy was playing in the mini-Moolah, which is a great little den, as well as on the screens at the bar, so you didn't have to miss the action.
We ordered pizza ($13 whole or $3.50 a slice) from the concession stand and ate it at the bar before the movie started. For dessert, I had dark chocolate-covered almonds ($5) from Lake Forest Confections in Clayton, also available at the concession stand, but my companion preferred popcorn mixed with peanut M&Ms.
We were pretty drowsy by the end of the movie, but we vowed to come back for Bloody Marys and "True Blood" at 8 p.m. Sundays, followed by "Mad Men" and Manhattans in the mini-Moolah, where the shows are free.
• Bottom line: A nice, cozy spot to get lost for a few hours. You can slip into the screening room for a communal experience of what's-on-TV, venture into the dark theater for the latest film or sit at the bar and socialize. There's not a bad seat in the house.