We’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.