Moviegoing in Toronto is about to get fancier.
Are you well off, but not quite aristocratic enough to have a private movie theatre in the basement of your house? Do you love paying $19.99 per ticket for the privilege of watching a movie in a tiny room, where Cineplex employees bring popcorn directly to your seat so you don’t need to wait in line at a concession stand like some kind of hapless prole? You’re in luck: Cineplex announced today that it will be opening three more of its VIP cinemas in Toronto, starting in late 2013.
Currently, Toronto’s only VIP cinema is located inside the Cineplex Odeon Varsity multiplex, at the Manulife Centre, where there are also normal theatres. The VIP theatres justify their premium pricing in a few key ways: they’re much smaller, you can buy alcohol to drink in them, the seats are cushier, nobody under 19 is allowed inside, and there are some specialty snacks on offer, any of which can ordered from your seat. The tickets are an extra five bucks each.
The three new VIP cinemas will be located at the Cineplex Odeon Queensway, the Cineplex Odeon Yonge Eglinton, and the yet-to-be-built Cineplex Odeon Don Mills. The Don Mills VIPs will, in a break with Cineplex tradition, not be located inside a larger multiplex, alongside normal theatres. And so the Cineplex Odeon Don Mills will be 100 per cent VIP, complete with valet parking.
The Don Mills location is expected to open in late 2014. The Yonge-Eglinton and Queensway locations are already operating as normal Cineplex theatres, and will remain open for regular business until construction is finished on their VIP expansions, in late 2014 and late 2013, respectively. Both multiplexes will still offer non-VIP screenings.
Cheers to Cineplex for taking the most democratic form of theatrical entertainment ever invented and imposing a hierarchy on it. At least there will still be plenty of (comparatively) cheap seats for those of us who prefer a different approach to drinking beer during a movie: sneaking in our own.