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Title: Anyone been to a Cinépolis?
Description: Mexico-based luxury theater chain

Lisa Larkin - May 30, 2011 08:49 PM (GMT)
The old Ultrastar multiplex down the street from me closed its doors this month and I was surprised to see an application for a liquor license in the window when I drove by it the other day. The theater has changed hands and is being renovated as a Cinépolis VIP luxury theater with a bar and other amenities, like Lazyboy-style reclining seats and waiter service in the theater. I had to go research this online as I'd never heard of Cinépolis before. It's a Mexico-based theater chain with a few locations outside Mexico [Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama], but I think this is the first one in the US. Here are pictures of the auditorium in the Panama City location:

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From wikipedia:

Cinépolis VIP was created in 1999 with the aim to offer a more comfortable and intimate experience to the Cinépolis clients, it is considered one of the pioneers on developing the Luxury Cinema concept.[2] The cinemas are equipped with reclinable seats, catering service and a seat-pick system for clients to buy tickets and select the location of their seats exclusively without queues. So far, 28 Cinépolis VIP Theaters have been opened throughout Mexico and three outside of the country, located in Guatemala City, San José [Costa Rica] and Panama City [Panama]. Cinépolis VIP have been known for their menus and services, offering a wide range of foods and drinks as well as having special lounges such as Sushi VIP, Dulceria VIP, Bar VIP, Cinecafé VIP and Baguis VIP.[2]

In 2009-2010, Cinépolis VIP has a little change on the seats, making it more comfortable, and with a button to call a waiter.

Someone who lives nearby received the following public notice:

Project Description: A conditional use permit for a movie theatre with bar/cocktail lounge. The project proposes to renovate the existing Ultra Star la Costa 6 movie theatre into a Cinepolis VIP movie theatre. Renovations include construction of a new box office, converting from a sloped seating to stadium style seating: reducing the number of theatre seats from 1500 seats to 508 new recline type seats with retractable end tables; adding 497 sq. ft. outdoor patio enclosure with lounge style seating and fire pit; and adding a new kitchen, bar, and eating area within the existing theatre lobby. This is an EARLY public notice and subject to change.

I'm kind of excited by this, but a little dubious too. Theater ticket prices are already really high. Will be people shell out even more for the comfy seats and cocktails?

Terry Barhorst, Jr. - May 30, 2011 09:08 PM (GMT)
We've got something similar in Austin, Gold Class Cinemas. I guess the key concept is upscale, plus extra money gives you extra service. I think the Alamo or something similar is good enough for most people most of the time, but if you want to show off for a date or get extra long as you're willing to pay the extra $$. Maybe they have actual projectionists.

JEFFREY ALLEN RYDELL - May 30, 2011 10:50 PM (GMT)
Wonder how the actual on-screen presentation is.

Chris Stangl - May 31, 2011 05:56 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Lisa Larkin @ May 30 2011, 02:49 PM)
Theater ticket prices are already really high. Will be people shell out even more for the comfy seats and cocktails?

Angelenos certainly got used to paying more for luxury moviegoing environs — ArcLight Cinemas now have four locations in the greater L.A. area. Like the Cinépolis, the ArcLight sells specific seats for shows, is all stadium seating with big comfy chairs (not leather recliners though). No preshow ads or trivia slides, ushers who help seat and introduce the film, TWO cocktail bars and a restaurant at the Hollywood location, Taschen-laden gift shop, concession stand with chicken sausage baguettes (with watermelon BBQ sauce), and 21-and-over screenings for those who crave strong drink. Besides the clean restrooms, maybe the nicest bonus is their points-n-rewards program.

Since an adult ticket is $16 and the environment strives for something like classiness (bottled water? $4.50), audiences tend to shut their mouths and turn off their phones during movies— however, this makes a chatty audience even more irritating. Thus ends my unsolicited ArcLight advertisement.

Steve Erickson - May 31, 2011 04:39 PM (GMT)
Given that 3D movies can cost $17-18, the ArcLight's prices really don't seem that bad. I paid $18 to see THOR and had to put up with pre-show ads, a concession stand selling nothing but overpriced junk food, etc., although the audience wasn't too annoying.

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