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TOPIC: VIP boxes

VIP boxes 09 Dec 2004 20:25 #28762

  • reelman
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Anyone have any experience with VIP boxes or suites? That is, an exclusive area within an auditorium which would cost more to sit there. It would have premium chairs, fantastic legroom, and other amenities like free popcorn to make this attractive to a discriminating segment of the audience. I'm finalizing plans for my 4-plex and want some feedback from all of you. I'm considering this for the largest of my auditoriums.
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Re: VIP boxes 09 Dec 2004 21:26 #28763

  • muviebuf
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Skybox VIP suites are nothing new and have been incorporated into theatre design since the 1920's. They would usually be located in the mezainine or balcony, have a large picture window, piped in seperate sound, with large chairs or couches. The 1939 Senator Theatre in Baltimore still has one of these rooms adjacent to its projection room.

I am not sure how else you could do this today other than a totally seperate VIP auditorium.

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Re: VIP boxes 09 Dec 2004 22:11 #28764

  • reelman
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My idea is to use a section of my projection booth for the separate enclosure. All of the auditoriums feature stadium seating and the booth floor will be about 6 feet above the floor of the top row of seats. To the right of projector(from inside booth)there will be an empty space as platter and soundrack is to the left. My idea is to create a walled-in space which will have access from steps and a door in the rear wall of the auditoium into this "booth room". A VIP suite could be done rather easily this way. I'll let my architect figure out the details. I'm just wondering about whether you feel the idea has any merit. I'm looking to create a certain "high-roller" feel in atleast the main auditorium. This will compliment the casino that is in town.
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Re: VIP boxes 10 Dec 2004 00:09 #28765

  • D. Bird
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Glass it in and let it double as a "crying room" (for those with children in tow). Other ideas: controllable volume, for those who like tolerable levels, what about food service (by intercom or personal service). Free popcorn? Nooooooo! You can charge more for the premium tix, but you'll still be charged full %...

[This message has been edited by D. Bird (edited December 10, 2004).]
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Re: VIP boxes 10 Dec 2004 00:27 #28766

  • reelman
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Already have a crying room set in the hallway leading to all the theatres. The largest auditorium will be Dolby Digital...how would a glassed in room with separate volume control/speakers sound? Would the room have to be soundproofed against the regular auditorium volume? The food service angle is obviously something to exploit. We don't intend to do much beyond the basics plus a few goodies...hotdogs, pretzels, maybe ice cream. I will have several restaurants around me that might make the basis for a special menu.
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Re: VIP boxes 10 Dec 2004 02:04 #28767

  • outaframe
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Minor soundtrack leakage from the main theater would not be a problem 'cause it's just more of the same sound you have piped into the glassed-in room... I would not have the sound level in the glassed-in room adjustable by the customers 'cause every one of 'em will have a different idea of what level is correct... You would set the level in there just as you do for the main theater: so the dialogue is pleasant and intelligible, and the effects aren't overwhelming...
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Re: VIP boxes 10 Dec 2004 02:06 #28768

  • Adam Fraser
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How about right on the auditorium floor make a separate room with a separate entrance. Similar to our cry room here www.pinestheater.com/cryroom.jpg
But centered in the auditorium in the rear.

We have toyed with the idea of making it a VIP room but being off centered and only having mono sound in the cry room has stopped us from doing so. It also does a good job in its current use.
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Re: VIP boxes 10 Dec 2004 07:45 #28769

  • reelman
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Adam, I've always loved the pictures you have posted of your theatre. I've been in the biz 20 years now and seen lots of theatres but I am always amazed when I see one of yours. It's so unique. Your idea might work for me even though I'll have stadium. I'll talk to my architect and see what the $$ would be on small rooms at the rear. He's got one room currently configured in the hall. Thanks again for another look at your place. Do you have more pics online?
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Re: VIP boxes 10 Dec 2004 09:18 #28770

  • jimor
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I don't want to rain on your parade, but I can't help wonder about security concerns in this day and age. It might be a spot too popular with the younger set for 'goofing off' if it is closed to the view of the audience and any of your staff on patrol. Would a video camera in there, perhaps the infra red type to see in the dark, be an answer? How will you react if a girl is molested --or worse-- in there? Would such a secluded area encourage more vandalism, roudiness, and perhaps 'imported' booze? Will it become a rumpus room for unattended brats as moms go off to the women's room for a smoke? Or will they just smoke in there if it is prohibited in the auditorium? Therefore, how fire safe will the room be? And if there are fire sprinklers in there, is it so close to an exit that vandals can set off the sprinklers and then dash out an exit? How often will it be 'trashed' and then dependably cleaned? Just some food for thought, since we all want to look before we leap.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: VIP boxes 10 Dec 2004 12:55 #28771

  • muviebuf
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Much of the movie-going experience today - particularly for those movies which need to be seen on a big screen - is the multi-channel digital surround with good subwoffers.

It will be difficult to do that in a small room - unless the room would have its own seperate sound system. Seems impracticalto me both from a cost and engineering basis.
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Re: VIP boxes 12 Dec 2004 00:58 #28772

  • Adam Fraser
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Reelman, go to www.pinestheater.com and click on tour for more pics, we also have pics on cinematour and film techs picture sections. Thanks for the kind words.

We strictly control entrance to the room with a key when not in use and regular checks when in use, although this may not be optimal for a multi screen operation that couldn't have tight control over the room.
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Re: VIP boxes 12 Dec 2004 23:48 #28773

  • reelman
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. After thinking about this over the weekend, I am still intrigued by the concept. I do intend tight access to the room(or rooms?) via key or magnetic card similiar to a hotel. Monitoring via camera is also something to consider to prevent anything unwanted.
As for sound consideration, how about not glassing it in. How would that arrangement sound? And finally, thank you to Adam for the link to your website. Once I go live with my site and have pictures, I'll post the link. Construction is to begin in late June '05.
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Re: VIP boxes 11 Feb 2005 17:07 #28774

  • TomL
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I am an architect currently pursuing an MBA. I'm doing a class project on this topic for an entrepreneurial class. My wife and I recently returned from New Zealand where we experienced such a concept. I hear they are in Germany as well. It seemed to work extremely well.
We experienced two different theaters – the set-ups were similar but scaled differently. In each case, there were two-to-three rows at the very back of the theater slightly raised above and separated by a low wall from the general seating (no glass). The area was fitted with plush reclining seats with a small table between each pair of seats. The theater offered free popcorn and soda (each in small containers, self-serve) plus pre-movie-start table service offering spirits, coffee, candy, and light food. The seats were part of the general theater space, which I think is key - who wants to go to the movies and sit in an enclosed box!!?? - Yike!
The cinema was in a good-sized city offering a large pool of people supporting attendance throughout the week. We went once mid-week and again on Saturday. Each time the VIP section was sold-out with couples both young and old. It was premium priced and well worth the experience.
For this class project I will be doing extensive research and developing a business plan. If you are interested, I’ll let you know if I think it is a viable scenario.
Please forward questions and comments. Thanx.
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Re: VIP boxes 11 Feb 2005 17:35 #28775

  • John Pytlak
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I recall several theatre have "VIP Seating": The new Mann sixplex on Hollywood Boulevard (next to the Chinese), the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, Loews 34th Street in NYC, etc. Some theatres have a few of their smaller auditoriums with luxury seats that give more of a "screening room" feel (e.g., AMC Empire 25 in NYC, screen 8).

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
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John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: VIP boxes 11 Feb 2005 23:01 #28776

When you all say "premium priced", what kind of mark-up are we looking at?

Since I'm not particularily familiar with the exact contracts, is there anyway to sell the ticket price (regular) combined with a sort of service chanrge? Example: If one ticket costs $5.00, and the VIP costs $7.50, then could you just charge $5.00 on the till and automatically charge a $2.50 charge from a concession menu on the same till? If popcorn and drinks were included in VIP, then maybe this would be possible?

If you don't understand what I'm talking about, then I'll clarify.
Since 1987
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