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  • Writer's pictureTony Elvin

Movies with Drinks, what's it all about?

Updated: Jan 22

Not everyone is familliar with the concept of 'movies with drinks' so Jean Stanton, Marketing Manager at The Electric, posed us a few questions about how it all works, how it all started and what guests can expect.

Please introduce yourself

I am Tony Elvin of The Wine Events Company, a qualified Sommelier, ex Hotel du Vin General Manager and Group Wine Event Coordinator. I also like dressing up.

What is the Wine Events Company?

The Wine Events Company consists of Tony and Lucy Elvin, with a fabulous supporting cast of friends and family who come together to create special experiences for our guests. Our events are always fun and accessible, collaborating with amazing partner venues across the midlands.

How did it begin? What part did The Electric play in that?

I was working at Hotel du Vin in Birmingham and was approached by Sam Bishop the Manager at the Electric Cinema at the time to host a Movie and Dine event where you could watch a movie and then enjoy a themed dinner afterwards. We hosted Midnight in Paris at The Electric, followed by dinner in the Hotel du Vin courtyard, with the roof open under the moonlight, accompanied by an accordion player. It was magical.

Sam then asked if we could pair wines with a movie during the film. He’d seen it done before but the people that did it previously had left the country. This sounded like so much fun, so we jumped at it.

When I eventually left Hotel du Vin to ‘retire’ from hospitality and do an entirely different job, there was nobody at Hotel du Vin to host the events, so I kept the gig as a part time side hustle and it has really grown from strength to strength, all thanks to The Electric.

What happens at one of your events?

Essentially, you go along to the movie theatre, we give you a drink when you sit down, welcome you to the event, tell you a bit about your wine or cocktail, share some fun movie trivia and you start watching the film.

Then, just as you are getting into the movie we bring it to an abrupt stop, turn the lights on and I bound back up onto the stage completely ruining the flow of the movie.

But .. we make up for this by giving you your next drink!

This is usually deemed a fair trade, we have a bit of audience participation, share a few laughs and crack back on with the film, stopping only to ply you with more alcohol. If we’re serving cocktails, we’ll even show you how to make them on stage.

How much work goes into setting up an event?

Quite a bit. The drinks are themed to the movie so we need to research and test the cocktails out, or select the appropriate wines, we need to watch the movie extensively to work out when the best points are to stop it. We try to find a cliff hanger moment or maybe a point in the movie when one of the actors says ‘cheers’ or ‘I need a drink’, and we also need to make sure that each stop is fairly evenly spaced out so you’re not drinking two drinks in ten minutes, then have an empty glass for fifty minutes. Whilst this might be quite time consuming, it is also great fun.

How do you choose which movies to work with?