Read MoreHoliday fireworks fizzle at the boxoffice
Founder and CEO Tim League said when he started the company he knew he wanted to change the experience of going to the movies.
"I came at this with an outsider perspective, and a frustrated perspective," League said. "We don't show ads before movies,we're very strict about no texting and talking during movies. From the very get go those were very basic things we did that annoyed me about going to the cinema."
He said offering food along with the movie instead of just candy and popcorn has been a part of his model for a long time, and a way to compete.
"I'm a dad now, I really understand the need to be efficient," he said. "If you can crush together dinner and a movie, you're a step ahead."
Read MoreAfter AMC and Regal, Cinemark gets DoJ notice on antitrustprobe
Some big national chains have the same idea.
AMC Theaters is adding bars and hot food at concession stands, and theaters that serve dinner, spokesman Ryan Noonan said.
Noonan said almost a third of AMC theaters now have a bar called "MacGuffins."
"It's proved to be extremely popular," he said. "We now have over 100 MacGuffins across the United States. We're continuing to roll them out."
At concession stands, customers will be able to find options like chicken tenders, pizza, french fries, mozzarella sticks and jalapeno poppers, Noonan said.
Motion picture association spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said she thinks the cinema industry is innovating, and year-to-year data about box office sales do not represent the industry as a whole.
"I don't think you can draw extended trend lines when attendance is so dependent on which films are out," she said.
League said the release of the new "Star Wars: Episode VII" and other expected summer blockbusters, 2015 will see a bounce back.
DISCLOSURE: Comcast, which owns CNBC parent NBCUniversal, is a co-owner of Hulu.