Mixing Movies and Cocktails at mad46June 29, 2011 By: Alissa Ponchione
When it comes to movies, it’s the classics — the cult favorites — that play to our nostalgic sensibilities, which is why mad46’s management wanted to put together a summer movie night promotion highlighting those very movies that define us.
Kaitlin McCaffrey, promotions manager for mad46 and Vander Bar, said Summer Movie Nights, held twice a month at mad46 atop The Roosevelet Hotel, is the perfect way to entice sentimental patrons to stay longer, sipping on themed drinks amidst New York City’s skyline.
“What’s going to attract a wider demographic and things that have the best response are nostalgic promotions that are fun and simple; something everyone can get into,” she explains.
The New York City rooftop lounge kicked off its free summer movie nights with a screening of “Top Gun” on June 14.
“All the movies have a theme tied into it so the whole night is based around that. Not everyone comes at 9 p.m. to watch a movie,” she explains, so with the showing of “Top Gun,” specialty cocktails — all $16 — such as The Maverick, Wingman-hattan, Goose Tea and Iceman Lemonade were available along with fun props like Aviator sunglasses, U.S. flag bandanas and "Top Gun" T-shirts.
"It’s not a lot of money to spend on those type of things,” McCaffrey explains, noting that these small accoutrements, “really enhance the experience for the guests already there.”
For McCaffrey and the team at mad46, it’s a two-prong attack. If they can get people in for a happy hour or an after-work drink, staff then can convince them to stay and watch the movie while enjoying a few cocktails. Guests also can partake in trivia that pays homage to the movie while winning prizes, simultaneously socializing with friends and co-workers.
During the “Dirty Dancing” promotion, held June 27, the movie played alongside Mambo dancing lessons and featured cocktails, such as Johnny’s Mambo, the Pachanga and the “I carried…a Watermelon” Martini.
Additionally, McCaffrey is teaming up with liquor companies to help with the promotion. When “Grease” plays, management plans on offering a root-beer-float cocktail made with sponsor Three Olives Root Beer. ABSOLUT will back the “Saturday Night Fever” movie event, where ABSOLUT disco-mirrored bottles from a few years ago will be prominently on display.
“We’ll incorporate [the mirrored bottles] in the decorations,” McCaffrey adds.
McCaffrey makes a point to distinguish mad46 summer movie nights from other outdoor movie nights. The movies are playing, but guests are encouraged to mingle with other patrons, while hanging out on the couches, daybeds and benches that adorn the rooftop. This keeps things fluid, so no one is standing in one spot too long.
“It brings people in, but I think the most important and best part is that it keeps the people there,” she says, “enjoying themselves and drinking and eating, creating a memorable experience that they will come back and talk about, and look forward to the next one.”