Dinner with SUN-RAY

Like most movie theaters, Sun-Ray Cinema shows first-run blockbuster hits like Wonder Woman and Baby Driver and indie and art films like Beatriz at Dinner and Kedi. The two big screens also run classics for Throwback Thursdays. A summer kids series has faves on Wednesday and Saturday; $2 for a movie and $5 for the movie AND a cereal bar. !!

OK, enough about the movies. We’re here for the food and drink. The menu at the oldest theater building in Jacksonville offers beer (PBR, Rolling Rock), drafts from Bold City and Intuition Ale Works, red and white wines, hot dogs ($5.50, natural casing or vegan; The Wizard, $9, chili and cheese, classic or vegan), hummus, sandwiches, nachos and brownies. Get fried two ways: in a basket ($5), adding cheese (vegan or classic) or chili & cheese or Swamp Fries ($9.50) with kimchi, egg, marinara, queso and “a dash of spirulina.”

Some dishes are movie-themed. There’s The Godfather salad ($10). with everything but the cannoli; the Wildly Inauthentic Cuban sandwich ($8), which stuffs pulled pork, ham, mustard, pickle and Swiss cheese and presses it all together. On your nine-inch personal-size pizza, try rinotta ($8), a ricotta substitute that’s outta this world. Toppings run from 50 cents to $2 each. Specialty pizzas include Black Lagoon Supreme (kalamata olives, sausage, garlic, pepperoni, and roasted ground sausage sprinkled on top), Godbold, Cowford Pie and Uncle Meat ($9.50-$11.50).

After you order, you get a pager so your server can find you in the dark!

If you’re at a movie, you need popcorn. Sun-Ray has it—and not just any popcorn (small $3, medium $4, large $5.50). Find unusual toppings like zattar, truffle oil, curry powder, and garlic powder. I’d tell you my favorite toppings combo, but then I’d have to kill you.

If you want to keep it simple, try the popular Regular Joe ($8.50), a good ol’ pressed Italian sandwich with ham, salami, provolone, mayo and banana peppers. The tried-and-true combo is easy to eat in the theater and it’s damn tasty. My only complaint? It’s a little skimpy on the meats and it disappears way too fast.

Milkshakes here are surprisingly standard—chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coffee—but still available in classic or vegan ($6). The real surprise? Beer shakes! Ice cream blended with ‘a tasty stout, undertones of coffee and chocolate’ ($7).

This cool haven is the perfect spot to escape sweltering summer heat. Grab a housemade Twankie ($2.75) and a seat and I’ll see you in the movies!