Dinner and a movie … in one place

By on February 4, 2015

We found the most seductive and savory Valentine’s Day date night in Lancaster County. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy an award winning dinner, specialty cocktails and catch a sexy movie on the weekend of its release. With the Fire & Ice Festival going on all weekend in Lititz, couples are advised to take a break from the cold and make a reservation to heat things up Friday or Saturday night in downtown Ephrata.

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Lily’s on Main and Ephrata Main Theatre

Steve and Karen Brown, owners of Lily’s on Main and Ephrata Main Theatre, at 124 E. Main St., are laying down the red carpet this Valentine’s Day with a special menu planned in the restaurant and frozen cocktails available in the theater for the release of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a movie based on the bestselling erotic romance.

“Any smart man will bring his girl,” joked Brown, hinting that a movie full of sexual content is sure to get them lucky.

Of course, the theater can’t make any promises, but from the looks of the movie trailer and the hype the book received, the story is sure to provoke some emotion. The film is released Friday, Feb. 13 and is rated R for “strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language,” according to IMDb.com.

The other movie playing Valentine’s Day weekend is “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.” This might not have the same effect on your date, but could still be fun.

Expecting about 150 guests, the restaurant already has 110 reservations for Saturday night. When Saturday is fully booked, they’ll move people to Friday. Reservations do not include the movie downstairs, but there is a presale for tickets to “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The Valentine’s menu is a smaller version of their dinner menu, featuring soups, appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts.

The restaurant, located on the second floor of the building, features a wall of glass overlooking downtown Ephrata. In the distance, you can see as far as Lititz and Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve, if you know where to look. The same view from a higher angle is available on the third floor where Lily’s on Main has a banquet room available for special events.

Lily’s Valentine’s Day menu includes smoked salmon crespelle, filet mignon, veal Wellington, raspberry chicken and stuffed red snapper. Desserts include berry tart romanoff and New York cheesecake with bananas Foster sauce. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Lily’s Valentine’s Day menu includes smoked salmon crespelle, filet mignon, veal Wellington, raspberry chicken and stuffed red
snapper. Desserts include berry tart romanoff and New York cheesecake with bananas Foster sauce. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

On the first floor, the retro movie theater is one of a kind. One of the only theaters with a liquor license in the area, patrons can enjoy dinner, drinks and a movie without having to step outside.

The Ephrata Main Theatre was once one of three theaters in town, along with The Grand and The Roxy. Today, it is the last standing theater, but attendees enter from Main Street under the original marquee, from 1938. Tickets are purchased from the original box office. Inside, the old floor and ceiling were recreated, a busy pattern of film reels swirling across the carpet. Original neon signs hang in the two theater rooms — the Roxy and the Grand, named after the original theaters.

“In essence, all three are here,” said Brown as he pointed out chandeliers in the theater lobby from 1938. Hanging on the wall at the entrance are photographs from the original Ephrata theaters.

Although historic, the old theater has been renovated. It is now fully digital and the theater walls are lined with lead to trap sound inside each room. There is a stage in the Grand Theater, making the venue more than just a movie theater. They can host weddings, plays and have even held town hall meetings. They also have concerts.

Another modern feature to this theater is the concession stand. Not only do they offer typical theater treats such as candy, popcorn and soda, but they also offer locally made snacks and adult beverages. Beer, wine and cocktails are available for purchase to drink while viewing a movie.

In time for the release of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Steve came up with some themed cocktails. His wife, who has read the book, helped create the names based on things from the book. Be sure to get a taste of the Red Room of Pain, consisting of Grey Goose, triple sec, cherry slush and topped with lime. This perfectly mixed drink doesn’t even taste like it has alcohol in it, which can be dangerous. As far as actual Red Room of Pain, watch the movie and decide for yourself.

The Ephrata Main Theatre and Lily’s on Main offer a romantic one-two punch this Valentine’s Day weekend. So do the “50 Shades of Grey” themed cocktails sold at the theater’s concession stand. (Photo by Lenay Ruhl)

The Ephrata Main Theatre and Lily’s on Main offer a romantic one-two punch this Valentine’s Day
weekend. So do the “50 Shades of Grey” themed cocktails sold at the theater’s concession stand. (Photo by Lenay Ruhl)

Dinner is served at Lily’s on Valentine’s Day from 4 to 9 p.m. Prices of entrees range from $20 to $35.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” shows at 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Purchase a refillable popcorn bucket that you can bring back each time you visit the theater.

As part of the Lancaster Thank a Vet program, veterans receive a free small popcorn at the theater and a 10 percent discount on their bill in the restaurant every day.

To make a reservation at Lily’s call 738-2711. Learn more about the two venues at ephratamain.com.

Lenay Ruhl is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express and Ephrata Review. She welcomes your comments and questions at lenay.ruhl@gmail.com.

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