But even for an experienced designer, transforming the bones of an old theater into a fine-dining locale was a challenge. The 8,000-square-foot space had never housed a restaurant, and so much of the early work was installing the plumbing and gas lines for the kitchen and bar and then determining how to create a luxurious but functional space.
“Like with any project, it started with listening,” Anderson says. “What are [the clients’] goals and desires? What do they want to accomplish? Then I learned about the chefs and food the restaurant would serve. What I was really creating was an environment for the experience to happen, and the interior and the menu need to relate and talk to each other.”
Sinema’s menu features classically inspired dishes with modern twists, so tying the high-end atmosphere together with contemporary design elements was a must. With the building’s long history, it made sense to develop a theme out of cinema and old Hollywood.
“It was kind of like, how do we bring back the glory of the old theater?” Anderson says. “Because in the 1940s to go to the theater, people dressed up, and it was an exciting thing to do. We really wanted to bring back that feeling.”