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TOPIC: A Recipe for Failure?

A Recipe for Failure? 28 Sep 2011 17:17 #37113

  • JPRM
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Any thoughts on the emergence or viability of high-priced 'deluxe' theaters that have popped up here and there? You know - places with big, comfy leather seats, screening-room style auditoriums, etc.

I've been to a few of these and always leave unimpressed, really. The food and service are never anything special. And once the lights go down and the show starts, the movie itself becomes MUCH more important than the leather chair. I know these places are selling an experience, but...I don't think the experience is all that great. Certainly not worth an extra 5 bucks per ticket.

Am I the only one who feels this way?
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Re: A Recipe for Failure? 28 Sep 2011 23:13 #37122

  • rodeojack
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Kinda depends on how serious the theatre is about promoting the premium experience, in my view.

In my general area there's a theatre that features a full restaurant kitchen and employs a chef and full-time waitpersons. I would expect that place to put out an experience worth a few extra bucks.

On the other hand is a 12-plex that has dedicated one or two screens to what they consider a "deluxe, 21-plus" experience. They offer free admission to sporting events on the hope that beer, wine and food sales will make up the difference. When not running sports, they play adult-oriented fare (not porn), again hoping that premium admission, beer, wine and food sales will make it worthwhile. I've seen the kitchen of this place. It has a couple of microwave ovens and one of those ventless fryers for small orders of cheese sticks, corn dogs and french fries. This would not be an experience that I would consider worth a premium price, unless you're willing to pay for nicer seats, more legroom and a lack of small kids and texting teenagers. For some people.... that's worth considering! :P
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Re: A Recipe for Failure? 29 Sep 2011 01:02 #37123

  • rufusjack
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"Food" for thought:

Most of these theater companies that are now doing this have multiple locations. Companies like this (and even myself when I had 5 video stores) are always testing different products and services at different levels. Now may theaters are expanding these type of services. I will give the benefit of the doubt to these theater chains that are expanding them chain wide that these are a positive to cash flow.

Regarding seating: the trend has been going to bigger seats and more leg room. We have two rooms with couches and love seats and they are our most popular rooms. If I get the chance to have a new facility in the future, all rooms with be at least 50% couches and love seats with the other 50% of seating being the real nice wider seats with more leg room.

What are they worth? I go back to the first paragraph.
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Re: A Recipe for Failure? 29 Sep 2011 05:53 #37127

  • slapintheface
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I do believe thee are room for these theaters to what extent is the question????
Time will tell...
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Re: A Recipe for Failure? 30 Sep 2011 05:40 #37136

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I think there's room for 'em to some extent. For me, the novelty wears off pretty quickly. There are a few of these in my area. One is soooo sedate and low-key that it doesn't even feel like a theater. Not in a nice, relaxing way. There's no popcorn (and no popcorn smell!) and no sense that you're there to have a good time.
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Re: A Recipe for Failure? 02 Oct 2011 13:18 #37146

  • miraclepix
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I think the chairs and food always feels and tastes worse if its a bad movie.
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Re: A Recipe for Failure? 04 Oct 2011 21:46 #37164

  • BigScreen
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I've been to a few operations that serve more advanced fare than the usual popcorn, nachos, and roller hot dogs, with most of them being premium cinema experiences a la iPic/Gold Crown. Marcus Theatres serves additional food items in some of their locations that offer cook-to-order burgers, beef sandwiches, etc. but that operation is separate from the in-theater at-your-seat dining experience that they also offer (I have not tried that out).

The food that I've had in the premium operations was actually very good, and commensurate with the price of the experience. Sure, the food is more expensive than the same items would be at a restaurant, but that's nothing unusual for a movie theater...

Even the burgers and beef sandwiches at Marcus have been pretty good; much better than I expected them to be.

I think the luxury experiences offered at operations like iPic and the like have limited appeal, primarily due to the total price of a night out for two people. It's something that's worth doing for a special occasion, but I can't imagine people doing it on a regular basis. However, if you've been plagued by bad behavior in a theater and you're just wanting to have a night free of such annoyances, maybe the price is a small one to pay.
Scott Jentsch
The BigScreen Cinema Guide www.bigscreen.com
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