Movie ticket sales broke all $$$ records in ‘09 as the economy bit into restaurant and live and recorded entertainment where receipts plunged painfully. A Cineplex 3D fantasy matinee or late date provided an escape hatch for far fewer dollars than an Alaska cruise or Euro-tour.
Beyond a small cut of admissions it was the concession stand with its exorbitantly priced popcorn, candy and colas—that beefed up profits for the theatres.
Now brace yourselves for a deluxe show-going concept successfully introduced in Australia. At the Gold Class Cinema launched in Pasadena last month, patrons relax in a dim-lit lounge before a $29 posh reserved seat digital screening.
There’s personalized service with sophisticated food fare prepared to order by Chef Matthew Herter, whose fancy finger food specialties include fried calamari with ginger and lemon ($14) or a New York strip steak sandwich ($19) that can be accompanied by a favorite wine or bubbly followed by a pricey sweet treat and coffee. You’ll be sated but far from stuffed by the tasty tid-bits.
Full houses during the holidays indicate that, for those who savor and can afford such an outing, the time for dinner and a movie in one elegant setting has arrived. On the bright side, there are no noisy tots, distracting adolescents or sticky seats and you need only park the Lexus once for the entire adventure.
A ‘Family Tree’ Food Festival
To lure your appetite away from the microwave, the Winter ‘10 Dine L.A. annual event will have over 200 participating restaurants serving specially priced event lunches and dinners from Thursday, January 21, 2010 through Friday, January 29, 2010.