“Jeeves, bring me some Milk Duds!”
He or she may not be named Jeeves, but a waitperson will gladly fetch your candy, popcorn, wine, gourmet appetizers or a full dinner while you enjoy a film at the Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas, coming to Redmond Town Center this fall.
Redmond will be only the second city in the United States — after the Chicago suburb of South Barrington, Ill. — to welcome this ultra-luxurious movie theater chain that is unapologetically targeted to mature and affluent consumers. The company’s been wildly successful in Australia and also has presences in Europe and Asia.
Gold Class Cinemas are small and intimate, with no more than 30-40 seats each and are patterned after directors’ screening rooms.
Reclining seats are arranged in twos, with ample space between them, to not just allow for leg and elbow room but for waitstaff to discretely float in and out as they are summoned at the push of a button.
What will this ambiance set you back? It’s not written in stone, but an estimated ticket price is $35, not counting food or beverages.
At first gasp, that sounds outrageous, but swanky Eastside establishments like Bellevue’s Lucky Strike bowling lanes and The Herbfarm certainly don’t hurt for business.
This is an area where loads of folks don’t bat an eye at dropping $5-6 for a gourmet coffee drink, several times each day.
Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas makes no secret of the fact that these theaters are not geared to teens. But “the demand for luxury movie-going in the U.S. is very strong and by working with our partners, Gold Class Cinemas are delivering on that demand in a way never before experienced by the American consumer,” said Kirk Senior, CEO for the chain.
This is a concerted effort to lure back people who not only have plenty of disposable income but also have grown tired of going to the movies because of crowded seating, noisy seat mates and sticky floors.
There won’t be a walk-up box office window — all seats will be reserved in advance — and whether you arrive early to have a drink or get there five minutes before the movie starts, you won’t be stuck sitting in the front row, craning your neck. Valet parking also will be available.
“The cinema will offer an experience like no other,” said Christina Henning, senior marketing manager for Redmond Town Center. “Redmond Town Center prides itself on being a unique shopping destination and Village Roadshow’s Gold Class Cinemas will enhance the center’s other one-of-a-kind attributes.”
Incidentally, if the name Village Road Shows sounds familiar, it’s because Village Roadshow Limited includes the Village Roadshow Pictures Group that has produced such motion picture hits as “The Matrix Trilogy,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Mystic River,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Happy Feet.”
Downtown Redmond’s often been regarded as a sleepy hollow, especially after dark.
Will this shot of Hollywood glamour change that?
Wait and see.