On Sunday, my husband and I were lucky enough to get tickets to a VIP Cinema screening of the latest Rocky installment, Creed.
A few days earlier, I had received an email saying that 50 Scene Members would get free tickets, plus $60 spending money, for them and a guest to a VIP Cineplex Cinema Sneak Peek. The Cineplex Yonge-Eglinton & VIP (formerly SilverCity) in Toronto has just added 3 new VIP Cinemas, making it the 9th location in Ontario to receive VIP Cinemas. I was one of the lucky 50!
The highlights of the VIP Cinema experience are:
- Larger, reclining seats that can be reserved
- Menu service at your seat
- Licensed lounge and theater
- Dedicated box office
Reading between the lines, you understand that patrons must be of legal drinking age, so nobody under 19 can attend these VIP Cinemas in Ontario. The VIP Cinemas have a separate entrance and are not near the regular theater auditoriums. In fact, when we went on Sunday night, we did not know where the VIP Cinemas were and had to be directed to a brand new wing of the theater.
The VIP Cinemas are meant to provide the avid movie-goer with the ultimate movie-going experience. As we keep hearing that experiences, not things, are what people seek, these VIP Cinemas aim to provide just that: a chance to be transported for a few hours into the inspirational world of the silver screen.
So, how was our VIP Cinema experience?
We loved it!! As another lucky patron said: this is the business class of movie-going!!
Upon entering, we were greeted by a hostess who asked us if we wanted to eat in the lounge area, at the bar, or at our seats. The lounge area looks like the interior of an upscale restaurant and the bar rivals any downtown one, complete with blue back-lighting. With ample seating in several areas and on several levels, the lounge did not feel crowded. We chose to have our food delivered to our seat – why not?!
As we made our way to the theater, we passed by the concession stand, which looks like the one in the regular theater, i.e. popcorn, fountain drinks, and candy.
We then went down a long corridor and around a corner to the VIP Cinemas. Photos of movie stars hang in elegant frames along the wall. Advertising is kept to a minimum and is done in a classy fashion – not too flashy. There are windows that overlook both Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue and a chandelier hangs fancily on the ceiling. The washrooms are modern, simple, and sleek.
Now, for the theater itself: it is big, spacious, roomy. The seats are extremely comfortable, wide and recline to an almost flat position. Arm rests swing around to accommodate drinks and food. The aisles are wide, making every seat seem like an aisle seat. You won’t be disturbing your neighbors when you recline or get up to use the washroom.
It didn’t take long for our food to arrive. We ordered nachos, quesadillas, chicken parmesan, a strawberry shortcake milkshake, and a salted caramel milkshake. Don’t worry – you can also get salads. Yum! This was living. By the way, we could have ordered alcohol in our milkshakes, given that the VIP Cinemas are fully licensed. We felt like we were the only ones at the theater – this felt luxurious, as my husband would say!!
What about pricing, you ask? Good question. The VIP admission is $24.99 per ticket versus the $12.99 for the regular theater – almost double. Food prices are comparable to a mid-priced restaurant with sandwiches and salads around $10-$12. Concessions are about the same price as non-VIP Cinemas.
Now for the real question: would I go the VIP Cinema again given the price differential? 100% yes!! The VIP Cinemas are an experience in luxury and in making movie-going feel special again. Anniversaries, birthdays, times when you want to see a blockbuster in a more peaceful setting, and special occasions are all perfect excuses to splurge on the VIP Cinema experience.
Special Notes: Tuesday admission is $14.99 per person and Wednesdays are ‘Hump Day’ pricing where $50 includes admission for two as well as two entrees.
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