$29 for a Movie — Really?

Dec 1, 2009

gold-class-seatingWe’re all for the quality movie-going experience, regularly taking the trouble to drive from Pasadena to the Arclight in Hollywood for a primo theater, with large, comfy, reserved seats, ushers, no commercials, clean prints/sound, and a strictly enforced no-talking policy, not to mention art shows, a good bar/restaurant, a fabulous gift shop and regular movie-star sightings. All that adds up to an experience that is well worth the extra few bucks a ticket (tickets are $12 to $14, depending on the time and if you’re a member).

Tomorrow an even posher cinema experience arrives in Pasadena, when Gold Class Cinema opens its One Colorado doors. Occupying the site where the much-missed Old Town Laemmle lived, Gold Class is a swank operation out of the midwest that’s had success with its theater-bar-restaurants. It takes the Arclight premise and ramps up it up several notches, with massive Barcalounger-style seats (no more than 40 per theater), cocktail tables, hidden buttons to summon food and drink, and Ninja-style stealth waiters to deliver the goods without disturbing your George Clooney experience. For this, you pay $29 a ticket.

All this begs many questions. How many people will pay $29 for a movie ticket, and then shell out plenty more for apple martinis and Wagyu beef burgers? Won’t even the most stealth waiters still be disruptive? And in the promotional photo below, those happy, handsome people appear also to be very chatty. Won’t eating, drinking and Barcalounging just encourage people to talk during the movie? If I’d paid $29 for a ticket, that would make me want to hit them over the head with a Ninja cocktail tray.

We wish them luck, and hope for nothing but prosperity for Old Town. But we sure do miss the old Laemmle.


8 Responses for “$29 for a Movie — Really?”

  1. Lian Dolan says:

    Thank you for getting the scoop on this cinema experience. I thought I may go once and check it out. But at $29, for get it! For the same price, I’d rather go to Heart & Sole around the corner on Green and get the one hour foot and head massage. No talking, no apple tinis!


  2. Kathy H says:

    I hope they succeed, since I like to see businesses succeed, but I don’t see myself going there. If I do, I’ll definitely blog about it. Maybe I’ll go just so I can blog about it, come to think of it!!

  3. I hope you and the 2 ladies above go together and bring us back a review of this pricey theatre. I guess the economy is on the rebound as they’ve been predicting…

  4. Mel Malmberg says:

    my memories of eating at the movies are centered in Orlando,FL, where the Rialto-style theater was full of ratty couches and we were served deep-fried catfish by non-stealth waiters…but it wasn’t no stinkin ‘$29, more like $5 and $5 for the catfish (or it might have been crayfish). The screens @ Gold also look small. Having just been to the El Capitan recently I long for the BIG SCREENS. Bring back the big old one in East Pasadena — most recently a Pacific I suppose — it was heaven!
    I too wish for Old Town businesses of whatever ilk to survive. I wonder if they will make their nut on parties and meetings?

  5. Scott Siegal says:

    I give them 4 months tops.

  6. SimpleFoodie says:

    I went yesterday afternoon for brunch ($9 per person) and to see the Blind Side – tear jerker. My wife and I had the best time. After I purchased the ticket I must admit I felt a bit of buyer’s remorse, but that quickly started to change as we rode the escalators down to the plush lounge setting with the very cool full service bar. As we sat in the lounge and sipped on our Bloody Marys and munched on some Bleu Cheese potato chips we ordered our brunch items that would be served during the viewing of the movie. Appropriately all the menu items are finger foods meant for easy snacking in a dark theater. So for our first visit we ordered a breakfast pizza and burrito. A few minutes before the start of the movie we were escorted into the theater to our plush pair of fully automated reclining chairs complete with storage compartments for purses. We were given pillows and blankets that made the chairs even cozier. In between the seats is a small table with an illuminated service button. A few minutes into the movie our food was delivered in stealth mode and we happily munched away. After we were done we pushed the button and had the empty dishes taken away and ordered some comforting coffee. I was so happy and relaxed after the movie that I felt like I was leaving a spa. It was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone looking for a special date night. As we left we ended up buying some gift certificates for holiday gifts.

  7. Ty Burnett says:

    So, my boyfriend took me here for the first time last Monday and I must say…I DO NOT want to ever goback to a regular theater again! Service was A+ and the food and drinks were EXCELLENT! I am REALLY curious as to how they operate their Sunday Brunch…and I would also LOVE to have some kind of event there since the lobby area reminds me of a sheek hotel…I’m in love with this place and will be returning…By the way…the ticket pprices were $22 bucks when I went.

  8. Brigham Yen says:

    I have already gone TWICE since the place opened! The first time was for Avatar (best movie I’ve seen in a long time), and the second time was for Up In The Air (which was just OKAY). I tried their food as well, including: Lobster Rolls, Chinois Chicken Wraps, Bleu Cheese Potatoe Chips, and Calamari. Everything was DELICIOUS except the calamari (which tasted dry and way to overcooked).

    But I agree with the few here that have gone that the seats were SO comfy and it was so nice to be in an actual theater where you could just relax and not have to worry about ANYONE talking or being rude. The bathrooms were clean (one of my biggest pet peeves is going into a dirty bathroom) and well stocked with designer hand soap and lotions. Love it!

    I think this would be a perfect spot to watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see really bad. Avatar 3D was absolutely perfect for my first time there since both the movie and the theater made it just an amazing movie experience.



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