America’s great movie theaters

If your local mall movie theater has tacky, uncomfortable seats and is popular with loud teenagers, it may be time for a field trip to one of Village Roadshow’s Gold Class Cinemas. The Burbank-based company hopes to reinvent the cinematic gold standard by constructing 50 upscale theaters nationwide that will feature valet parking, made-to-order meals that include sushi, and reclining armchairs complete with an embedded waiter service button. Each theater will have a 40-person limit. The tickets may cost an unprecedented $35 — popcorn and sushi are extra — but they’re gambling that enough cinephiles will appreciate the perks.

With the rise of affordable high-tech home entertainment systems, digital downloads and DVD rentals-by-mail, theater owners are updating their theaters to lure in audiences hooked on plasma screens and iPhones.


Film Business

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