My Experience Renting a Private Movie Theatre


movie theaterOne of my personal top frustrations in 2020 was when the Wonder Woman 84 premiere date was pushed back TWICE. I had dates set on my calendar, an outfit ordered, and a very excited 6-year-old.

Finally, they announced they would release the film both in person and on HBO Max. We had waited so long, and missed movies so much, that we did BOTH! We streamed the movie on Christmas Day when it came out. But we missed having a huge bag of popcorn and our candy.

Then, I saw a TikTok video of a family that rented a movie theater and loved the idea. We rented out a theater space at AMC in Johnston and I want to share my experience with you.

Renting a Movie Theater

The AMC private rental cost either $100 for a “fan favorite” or $150 for a new release. You can host up to 20 guests and you still get all of the food that is typically available. I invited my daughter’s closest friends, my coworkers, and my family. The rental was my gift to my fellow warrior mamas, but you could split the cost with some of your guests.

Masks were required in the theater but could be removed when eating. Since we had the theater to ourselves, we could decide how we wanted to space out. 

There was PLENTY of room to space out, and we all got exactly the snacks we wanted. The concession stand was open and serving everything the same as pre-pandemic. In fact, one mom even had the GENIUS idea of getting a glass of wine!

After seeing the film at home, and in the theatre, I can confirm that nothing beats the old-fashioned movie-going experience. I do hope theatres can survive this pandemic and at-home streaming. This is one fun creative way to still have that old experience.

Renting out a movie theater is a great option for a special family gathering or birthday celebration. 

Other movie theaters you can rent in Des Moines Area

The Palms Theatre & IMAX in Waukee

B&B Theatres in Ankeny

Century 20 Jordan Creek in West Des Moines

Have you rented out a movie theater? 

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Niki Smith
Niki grew up in Earlham, Iowa and now lives with her husband Ryan, daughter Riley, and son Merritt in Johnston. Riley has an observant stare that inspired the Facebook page Riley Is Not Impressed. Niki is an assistant director of public relations, social media at Drake University where she runs the university’s main social media accounts. She is also the director of the world-famous Beautiful Bulldog Contest. She has an Olde English Bulldog named Dexter, but he is ineligible to compete because she already knows he’s the most beautiful bulldog. She serves as President on the Board of Directors for Animal Lifeline of Iowa, which is a special needs, no-kill animal shelter. Niki is a two-time graduate of Drake University with a bachelor’s in journalism (2008) and a Master’s in Communication Leadership (2015).


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