New café finds inspiration in classic films

Week at a glance
September 14, 2012
Column: Talk to the hand
September 14, 2012

New café finds inspiration in classic films

The Silver Screen Café offers a varied assortment of breakfast items, lunch dishes and gourmet pastries, all with a classic Hollywood theme. Photo: Stephanie Greenwood

Old Hollywood posters and movie props adorn the walls of The Silver Screen Café, creating a vintage collage of classic films at the recently opened restaurant located on Wade Hampton Boulevard.

Restaurant owner Jim Tanner’s love for movies inspired him to create the eatery, which features movie décor from the ’30s through the ’60s. Tanner had previous experience in the restaurant industry but wanted to open his own place. He thought a Hollywood-themed restaurant would be unique to the area. “Greenville has a lot of restaurants, but no one has done this theme before,” he said.

Located less than a minute from campus, The Silver Screen Café is a taste of old Hollywood. From the walls to the menu to the tabletops, every part of the restaurant displays a piece of filmmaking history. On the walls, a reproduction of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers hangs alongside The Wizard of Oz memorabilia. Across the room, black birds perch on a branch, representing Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds. Dozens of other vintage movie posters deck the walls and tables, including CasablancaSingin’ in the Rain and Arsenic and Old Lace. Red-and-white-striped popcorn boxes also add a decorative touch to the tabletops.

As for the food? It’s a box office hit. The menu offers a variety of breakfast and lunch items, all featuring the names of movies and actors. Customers can enjoy soups, salads, paninis, burgers, quiche and wraps. Some menu favorites include “The Groucho,” a classic Reuben sandwich; “Mr. Chicken Fruit Plate,” chicken salad served with fruit; and “The Fellini Panini,” made with chicken, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto.

The Silver Screen Café also has a bakery, offering tasty options including chocolate and blueberry scones, cream-filled pastries and chocolate pecan pie.

The food and atmosphere combine to provide customers with a memorable dining experience. “We were looking for casual dining with good food and good service,” Tanner said in regard to his vision for the restaurant. Not only does he want to offer service with a smile, but he seeks to invoke a sense of nostalgia within his customers. He hopes to educate customers about classic films and remind them of old movies they haven’t seen in years. Tanner would love to hear customers say, “Oh, I forgot about that movie. I think I’ll go home and watch that again,” he said.

If the food and nostalgia aren’t enough to motivate the student body to try The Silver Screen Café, the restaurant also offers a 10 percent discount off entrées for BJU students.