LA’s Favorite Immersive Dinner-and-a-Movie Experience Just Added a New Location

Fork n' Film serves multi-course meals perfectly synched up with movies, and they just added new dates and a whimsical new location in Downtown LA.

Photos by Athena Alvarado, Francesca Duncan, and Blanca Vigueras, courtesy of Fork n' Film | Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist
Photos by Athena Alvarado, Francesca Duncan, and Blanca Vigueras, courtesy of Fork n' Film | Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

There may be no word with more cultural force right now than “immersive,” an aspirational concept for every kind of experience, from galleries to sports. Maybe it’s a post-pandemic, pre-apocalypse crisis of the collective soul, an earnest attempt to reconnect with three-dimensional public space, or perhaps it’s just a warmup for the inevitable techno-physical singularity. Either way, immersive events are all the rage, and the best immersive experience in Los Angeles right now, Fork n’ Film, just added new dates and a new location.

The concept is simple: turn the twin pillars of a great date night—dinner and a movie—into one perfect event. You arrive for a movie screening in downtown, settling into your own tables with about 30 other guests. The movie begins, and as key events happen on screen, the team at Fork n’ Film delivers a coursed-out series of fun and interactive dishes inspired by and timed up with the action. For example, Hagrid delivers Harry Potter an iconic birthday cake, and suddenly, a perfect replica lands in front of you, too. Remy the rat makes potato leek soup, and you are delivered a little pot of broth with fistfuls of herbs and spices to drop in yourself simultaneously. Dishes are playful and creative, with lots of flash and smoke, trickery, and whimsical touches like edible paper or a dish served with a lit sparkler.

Photo by Blanca Vigueras, courtesy of Fork n' Film

Fork n' Film has been popping up on rooftops around downtown LA, but for their next act, they’re headed inside—a welcome reprieve from the famously harsh LA winters. They’re moving into the whimsical venue Lilly Rose underneath The Wayfarer DTLA. Lilly Rose has hosted an array of fun events and takeovers, from Mad Hatter-style tea parties to haunted Halloween-themed bar nights, so they’re perfectly equipped to handle Fork n’ Film’s exhilarating over-the-top aesthetic.

First up is the modern Disney classic The Princess and the Frog, which will run through mid-March. The movie is set in New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou, so you know there is going to be a ton of killer food, like Gumbo, Jambalaya, Biscuits, and Beignets, and also wild and fun cocktails inspired by voodoo potions and King Cake. That will be followed by a return to Ratatouille in March and April, an iconic food movie that has been a consistent winner at Fork n' Film.

lilly rose lounge inside the wayfarer dtla in downtown la
Courtesy of The Wayfarer DTLA

How it all started

The immersive dinner experience comes from Nick Houston and Francesca Duncan, two creative types—Duncan is a singer-songwriter, and Houston is a writer—who love food and movies and share an entrepreneurial spirit. The couple had been looking to make a professional move into the food world in one way or another, toying with a few different projects, and the vision for this one was evident to them both. There was a logical, actionable path forward: Find a venue, put on a movie, and serve dinner. So they tried it out, hopeful but not exactly expecting it to blow up—but blow up it did.

Fork n' Film began in April of 2023 with Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, which features the aforementioned cake. The whole meal covered 10 courses, including Butterbeer; a Hogwarts Grand Feast of Creole-inspired drumsticks, pommes puree, and red pepper coulis; and a chocolate and hazelnut Golden Snitch in an ornate box. That movie carried them through the summer, winning a legion of fans who continued to snap up tickets within minutes of each drop and prompting them to bring it back for a short extended run in September.

The Harry Potter dinners were a huge hit and an attention-grabbing win that kept them booked for months. And for their next trick, they intuitively transitioned to an eight-course dinner paired with an iconic food movie, Ratatouille. Of course, the namesake dish is the piece de resistance, but there is also that Potato-Leek Soup, the sparkling mushroom skewer, a salad served in a miniature trash can, and more.

Photo by Athena Alvarado, courtesy of Fork n' Film

Thanks to the clever concept and some savvy choices, like picking an iconic movie (even if it’s one with some baggage) and creating fun and photogenic dishes that are particularly appealing to an online audience, Fork n’ Film was an instant hit on social media. Posts featuring the experience got millions of views, and suddenly they were selling out every date within minutes of going on sale. Celebrities like Keke Palmer and Kristen Bell started coming through, and it grew into a certified hit almost overnight.

“We literally thought that it was just going to be our friends and our parents,” Houston says. But it’s been way, way bigger than that. And there’s a lot more in store for them, too.

They expanded across the country to New York last fall. It may seem like a big jump, but it was a homecoming for the NY native Duncan, a special chance for her to bring a project back across the country. They’re also looking into jumps to other cities, maybe San Francisco or Las Vegas. That would help ease the burden on ticket sales and allow more people to experience the fun.

Photo by Blanca Vigueras, courtesy of Fork n' Film

They’ve been doing this for less than a year, and Houston and Duncan are both still a little bit in shock. “There’s a new moment every day where we’re like ‘oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” Duncan says. And for Houston, he says, “every day I wake up and I’m like ‘are we really doing this? Is this real?’”

But it’s more than real, and there’s much more to come. They’re in the early stages of developing partnerships with major media companies, which could include official toys or merchandise as a ‘course’ of the event or closer collaboration with the filmmakers and producers. But whatever they do, it will be centered on great food and infused with the magic of the movies.

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Ben Mesirow is Thrillist's LA Staff Writer, and an Echo Park native who writes TV, fiction, food, and sports. At one time or another, his writing has appeared in The LA Times, Litro, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Los Angeles Magazine, and scratched into dozens of desks at Walter Reed Middle School.