Now Playing in Selected Theaters: Fine Dining

Now Playing in Selected Theaters: Fine Dining

Food & Drink

Now Playing in Selected Theaters: Fine Dining

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By Cari Martens

How does this sound for a movie theater experience? You spend $29 for a movie ticket, get seated in cushy chairs with plenty of legroom and select from a menu that includes steaks and other upscale entrees priced in the $14 to $20 range.

Photo: Lawrence K. Ho/L.A. Times

As reported by Richard Verrier and Jessica Gelt, writing for the Los Angeles Times, the Australian theater operator Village Roadshow Ltd. believes the same kind of success its luxury Gold Class Cinema experience has enjoyed Down Under can be duplicated right here in the U.S.A.

The reporters quote Graham Burke, chief executive for Village Roadshow, who says ‘Our secret agenda in America is: Not only are we going to make money, we’ll make a lot of money. . . . This will shake up those exhibitors, and there are a lot of them, that have poor offerings. You go into some of these places and there’s gum on the floors. Gold Class is the opposite. [Customers] get treated like royalty, like a king.’

Roadshow currently has four Gold Class theaters operating here in America, with two in affluent Chicago suburbs, one in Redmond, Wash., and a new one that just opened in Pasadena, Calif., which sold out 8 of its first 11 nights.

The company hopes to open 30 more such theaters in the next five years.

Looks like this could be a growing trend. AMC Theaters, one of the nation’s largest chains, has been experimenting with casual and upscale dining in theaters in Kansas City and Atlanta, and has expansion plans for more next year.

If you’re a movie buff who’s hungry for something more than buttered popcorn, you might want to keep an eye on this trend.

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