The most popular movie theater in the U.S. is in Phoenix—one of just eight theater chains nationwide that serve up movies the way that they were released—with more than half of them in downtown Phoenix.
But it’s not the movie stars, the high prices or even the fact that some of the biggest movie stars in the business call the studios and their locations home. Rather than the “Hollywood of the U.S.,” the Valley is home to a lot of movie lovers who just want to watch the latest blockbuster, but can’t get to it.
And that’s where Starplex Diner comes in. Its name means “the movie theater by the diner”—and it’s a model of efficiency that’s been built up by the community of Starbros around the city’s bustling intersection of two major roads that lead to all the great movies of our time.
The downtown Phoenix restaurant was founded in 2010 by local entrepreneur Tim Heaney, who brought together five employees to start the restaurant after seeing the success of one-night stands he’d tried at restaurants and bars at the nearby Skyway Plaza Mall near his home.
On any given day, the eatery’s menu offers nearly 30 different kinds of entrees that look appealing to both movie-goers and family dining crowds alike. With more than 80 seats (and an additional 50 back in its basement), the Diner seems to cater to every imaginable crowd, from people who love to eat outside and want to sit on the porch to those who want to relax on the front porch and watch the Arizona Coyotes at the nearby Chase Field.
There’s something for everyone here, from the family picnic and family-style dinner to the romantic lunch on the patio or the weekend movie night.
That’s why the company that owns Starplex Diner is so interested in bringing their concept to Chicago. But for now, it’s still a two-mile drive from the Valley, and so the plans include opening a location in Midway and expanding to other cities along the Chicago’s northwest side.
The project is being called Starplex Diner, a nod to the franchise’s origins and the name of the building at 1350 N. Halsted and a nod to their location on a highway that has seen its share of traffic accidents.
In fact, the project, which is currently being funded by private donations in the form of a crowd-funding campaign, began as a two-day scavenger hunt through social networks. The
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