RJ Cinema Movie Theater and Taproom Concept Opening in Jungle Jim's Shopping Center in Eastgate

Craft beer, craft cocktails and from-scratch food plus first-run films in the former Eastgate Brew & View

Jul 12, 2019 at 10:15 am
click to enlarge The exterior of RJ Cinema - Photo: Provided by RJ Cinema
Photo: Provided by RJ Cinema
The exterior of RJ Cinema

The former Eastgate Brew & View is getting new life thanks to local entrepreneurs Bob Slattery and James "Jungle Jim" Bonaminio.  

Slattery, a founder of the Slatts Groups, which oversees businesses including Valpak, Slatts Pub, WagsPark and Fifty West (founded by Slattery's son Bobby), and Bonaminio, of the infamous Jungle Jim's, have partnered to create RJ Cinema. 

RJ Cinema Distillery & Taproom — which takes its name from "Robert James," as in Robert James Slattery — will screen current film releases and serve from-scratch food, craft beer and craft cocktails. A ribbon cutting for the new theater will take place 3:30-6 p.m. Monday, July 15. The theater is located at 4450 Eastgate South Drive.

The lobby of the space doubles as a taproom that "dovetails and connects with the Jungle Jim's campus aesthetic," says a release. So you can dine in the theater... or not.

click to enlarge The taproom and entrance to the cinema - Photo: Provided by RJ Cinema
Photo: Provided by RJ Cinema
The taproom and entrance to the cinema

“We offer over-the-counter order/pick-up service, so the in-seat dining experience is still available, just without the uncertainty and constant interruption,” says General Manager Ric Welker. “We’re focusing on executing a simple menu with great ingredients to keep service quick and quality high. Lots of our customers get our food 'to-go' and enjoy it at Jungle's Cigar Pavilion, which is just outside of our taproom.”   

The Eastgate Brew & View dine-in movie theater abruptly closed in January 2018 and the vacant building, which is located in the Jungle Jim's Eastgate shopping center, became a prime spot for the two friends to imagine a new business opportunity.

“I can see my family’s eyes rolling over as we tossed out ideas like the Largest Indoor Dog Park in America, a Trampoline Event Center or an Indoor Sand Volleyball Facility,” says Slattery in a release. “We finally settled on a cinema-taproom concept."

Slattery also recently acquired Norwood's Shumrick & Leys Distillery, which he rebranded as Robert James Distillery. Master distiller Terry Shumrick is still onboard and RJ Cinema plans to host tastings and classes at the theater featuring Robert James Distillery's rum, vodka, bourbon, gin and tequila.