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- iPic Theaters at The Arboretum of South Barrington
South Barrington, IL
- iPic Theaters at Redmond Town Center
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- Austin, TX: Bob Bullock IMAX Theatre Closed Temporarily for Digital Conversion [1/26]
- Springfield, MA: Entertainment Cinemas - Springfield Plaza Closed [1/25]
- Valley Stream, NY: Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas Closed [1/23]
- Bedford, NY: Bow Tie Bedford Playhouse Closes [1/22]
- Ellsworth, ME: Maine Coast Cinemas 2 Closed [1/22]
- Clinton, MO: B & B Theatres Takes Over Missouri Cinema 6 [1/19]
- Marcus Theatres Adding Amenities to Select Locations [1/19]
- Kelso, WA: Regal Three Rivers Mall 12 & RPX Opens While Regal Three Rivers Mall 5 and Regal Triangle Cinemas 4 Close [1/16]
- 2015 Academy Award Nominations Announced [1/15]
- Students in Select Cities Can See "Selma" Free [1/13]
More and more, I've been seeing stories about movie theaters turning to amenities geared mostly to adults to attract more audiences and in the end, increase profits.
Many years ago, I attended one of GCC's Premium Cinemas, where they had a sit-down restaurant next to a private theater with leather reserved seating. The food was good and the seating was fantastic, but the total price was a little high and the concept was so new, I don't think it caught on. A couple of years later, the concept was abandoned and the restaurant was closed and the theater absorbed into the rest of the screens.
Perhaps the idea was just ahead of its time, because more and more theaters are embracing the idea once again. Just this week, Variety and USA Today featured articles on the options that theaters are trying to get people to walk in their doors.
The USA Today article focused on the efforts to bring alcoholic beverage service to movie theaters and the success they're having getting the necessary permits and licenses from their municipalities.
The Variety article covered the news that Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas will be coming to the U.S. The partners involved in the effort plan to build 50 theaters nationwide over the next five years, with the first locations set for the Chicago suburb of South Barrington, Illinois and the Seattle suburb of Redmond, Washington.
Each theater will be equipped with 40 reclining armchairs with footrests, digital cinema projection, and a lounge and bar, with concierge service and valet parking. What would you expect to pay for such amenities? If you answered $35 per ticket, you'd be right!
Reuters has a story about the Village Roadshow concept, and they have a photo of people enjoying themselves, presumably in a theater like what is being planned. I question whether going to a movie justifies dressing up in a cocktail dress, but perhaps they are seeing The Metropolitan Opera and wanted to dress like they were attending the event live.
Time will tell if audiences are willing to pay higher prices for the upscale treatment, but you can be sure you won't have teenagers texting their friends in the seat next to you at those prices!
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