Saturday, March 29, 2008

Golden Opportunity

I found it amusing to read this piece at It's about how Village Roadshow are planning on expanding their "Gold Class" experience to America. Village are a popular cinema brand down here - I'd hazard a guess and say they're the biggest one - and the Village Roadshow logo occasionally appears before films as they are also a film distribution and financing company.

The Gold Class aspect has been around here for a long time and I'm surprised no American company has come up with a similar idea (the shocked response by American websites makes me assume as much). You pay a larger than normal fee, $35 for Americans apparently, and you get a more intimate cinema with fewer seats (prebooking is essential). The seats are veeery comfy, fully reclinable with footrests. The seats are in groups of two so you don't have to sit next to anyone other than your friend/partner. Before heading into the cinema you can order a drink at the bar or tapas style food and you can request certain things to be sent into you at certain times of the movie. And throughout the movie you can press a little button a waiter comes and you can ask for something.

It's all incredibly exciting for a "night out" although you wouldn't want to make a habit of going. It is way too expensive for that. I went last year for the very first time. Me and three friends saw Hairspray and it was utterly perfect. I had my drink arrive just as the movie was starting and a bowl of wedges showed up 30 minutes in (teehee). My friend received her cup of tea at the half way mark and so on. Village like to show it off as a really romantic evening, but considering the seats are separated by a table with which to place food, drinks and so on it seems like it would be hard to really get cozy together, no?

I can't say that suburbs of Chicago and Seattle would be the first places I'd think of when thinking "high class cinema going!" but I'm sure Village have more business sense than I. Somebody by the name of "fullquiver" writes in the comments that "I winced when my wife and I had to pay $12 a ticket. We usually take the whole family to the drive-in where the seven of us can see a double feature for $20!" I mean, really! This guy is obviously not the target audience of this sort of venture. Hell, I think it should be a rule that any family with five children shouldn't be allowed within half a kilometre of a cinema complex. Period.

...but that's just me.

All images from the Village Gold Class website.

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