Cinelounge Is Creating Magic with Its Delicious Gourmet Popcorn

Credit: Nerd Reactor

Indoor theaters have slowly been opening up, but the pandemic has made outdoor theater experiences more popular including drive-in theaters. Cinelounge Cinemas is one of few focused on bringing a cool and unique experience to the movie-going audience, and Nerd Reactor was invited to check out its outdoor location, which is aptly called Cinelounge Outdoors. Not only does it offer a cool outdoor experience, but its gourmet popcorn is truly special and delicious that’s available at its theater locations and online.

Cinelounge Outdoors

Credit: Nerd Reactor

Cinelounge Cinemas is all about the film culture, and it focuses on independent films in Hollywood. Its goal is the same for its outdoor location.

“Hollywood is a little different than it was just a couple of years ago,” said Christian Meoli, owner of Cinelounge. “I’m glad that I have a space where you can park right across the street, walk right in, and you can feel safe being in an outdoor venue and watching a new movie. Because we’re the only place where you can see any new movie outdoors.”

For my screening at Cinelounge Outdoors, I watched The Green Knight, a film based on an Arthurian legend starring Dev Patel. There were audio speakers, but with the screening out in the open, it’s recommended to wear wireless headphones. The audio may be lacking, but Cinemalounge Outdoors makes up for it with a very cool setting for the cinema-going experience.

Arena Cinelounge Gourmet Popcorn

Arena Cinelounge Gourmet Popcorn. Credit: Nerd Reactor

The true gem from Arena Cinelounge is its gourmet popcorn. This is definitely one of my favorite popcorn brands, and Meoli has created something very delicious and special. There are 9 different types of flavors, and each has Meoli’s face at the bottom center that acts as a seal of approval. The popcorns are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, preservative-free, and nut-free.

The following are exclusive gourmet popcorns from Arena Cinelounge:

  • Natural Corn Killers – Naked with sea salt
  • APOPalypse Now – Jalapeno
  • Popcorn of the Living Dead – Cinnamon churro with crushed pretzels
  • Once Upon a Time in Popcorn – Mesquite smoked cheddar
  • Truffaut Truffle – Truffle
  • Arthouse Gold – Curry
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Popcorn – Sweet chili lime eternal
  • Popcorn of the Spotless Mind – Rosemary salted caramel
  • Meoli’s Bliss – Bourbon caramel with espresso pretzels
  • Popodile Dundee – Aussie BBQ

Arena Cinelounge Gourmet Popcorn Origin

When Meoli started Arena, there were no concession stands because he wanted people to come to his theater for the film. It was a conscious effort when he slowly started to get into concession. His goal was to offer something cool, different, and unique, and it evolved over time.

“I tried different popcorn blends,” Meoli said. “I tried chips. Long story short and fast forward, I started to create our own blends, and I went from there. I started with one, and it just kept growing. It became about the options for the audience. And how can I stand out? How can we offer our audience multiple options of popcorn? And how can I do it in a way where they can take it home afterward? Ie, resealable packaging.”

Meoli wanted to offer popcorn without having a popcorn machine that was smelly, oily, and disgusting at the theaters. With the pre-packaging solution, the sky was the limit.

“We created the designs, we’ve created the blends and we found partners to up our game to help us fulfill, package and offer it around the country,” said the Cinelounge owner as he points to the bag I’m holding. “What’s in your hand now is the marketing. It’s our best calling card we have. Because on the back, it’s a call to action. This bag helps us stay open, and it helps new filmmakers have a place to show their movies.”

Cinelounge Outdoors is also home to special events including 80s Workout Tuesdays. From now until December 16, 2021 on select Thursdays is Lovett or Leave It, which is a live event featuring Jon Lovett and friends as they talk and laugh about the news.

Cinelounge Outdoors is located at 1625 N. Las Palmas Avenue. For tickets and info, check out https://cineloungehollywood.com/.

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