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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

May 12, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Been to Gold Class Cinema lately?

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the Redmond opening of Gold Class Cinema, an ultra-posh moviehouse where tickets cost $32 and elegant food and drink can be delivered to your theater seat (for a price). It struck me, at the free press event I attended, as a very nice place but one that most moviegoers couldn’t afford, and I wondered how long it would last. Readers’ comments, at the time, were split down the middle: many saying that the prices were an outrage, others countering that the theater was a great place for a once-in-a-while date-night splurge.
So what was the fate of GCC, which had the misfortune to open just as the economy was tanking? Well, it’s still there, but it changed ownership last fall; still called Gold Class but now owned by a company called iPic Entertainment. (News reports from the time cited that Gold Class Cinema’s financial performance — the Redmond location was one of a national chain — was “disappointing from the outset.”) The theaters have been reconfigured, with some of the recliner seats removed and replaced with non-reclining regular leather seats, and there’s now a two-tier ticket policy: $18.50 ($15 if you’re a Gold Class member) gets you a “premium” non-reclining seat, to which you may not have food or drink delivered, though you may order food at the snack bar and carry it to your seat; or $27 ($22 members) buys a “premium plus” recliner, free popcorn, and food/drinks delivered to your seat (during the first 20 minutes of the movie only). Lower prices, to be sure, but also less service. Anyone gone to the movies there lately? What did you think of the experience?

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