Although I love movies, I usually don’t like the experience of going to the theater with other people. I don’t need to hear talking, mobile phones ringing, babies crying, fighting, anything else that takes me away from enjoying the movie. I also hate people kicking or bumping the back of my seat during the film.
Those same annoying things happen on planes, but can be avoided with first class travel. Now there is a first class option to see movies. Gold Class Cinemas has taken the luxury concept to movies and the movie-going experience and it works.
A part of the privately-held IPic Entertainment Company, Gold Class Cinemas now has six ultra-luxury movie theaters operating around the United States, each featuring a full bar and restaurant, and service at your seat. Watching a film at a Gold Class Cinema is like taking a luxurious private jet, when seeing a movie in a normal theater is like flying Southwest on a “C” boarding pass. Once you experience it, you will never go back. The company recently was even featured on the “Ellen” show, which brought them a wave of publicity.
First cool thing, you select your seat online, in advance. Like when making an airline reservation, you can see a seat map and pick where you want to sit. The theater is a standard size theater, normally holding 150 people, now only seating 40 in this luxury configuration.
You have nice, wide, comfortable seats. Loveseat-style with an armrest in the middle that raises like in a car backseat. Perfect for romance! In front you have a small table where they serve wonderful food and drinks while you watch the movie. Another great thing is the space around the seats, no more seat back kicking.
They have a lounge and full bar with great comfort-style food. You can have some drinks and appetizers in the lounge, then head into the theater, to your assigned seats. The big, comfortable seats have an airplane-style call button to order drinks and food as you watch the movie.
The Pasadena, California location we visited has six screens and shows first run films all day with the first show around 11:00 a.m. and the last show starting around 10:00 p.m. They do show some 3D films. There is no dress code, but you will see people dressed nicely. All ages are welcome, although we wish they had more screenings where kids were not allowed. It changes the atmosphere and distracts from the experience.
Funny enough, the website promotes you can come to the cinema for the food and drinks only, you don’t actually have to pay for and watch the movie. The food and drinks are that good.
In addition to the location I visited in Pasadena, California, just outside Los Angeles, the Boca Raton, Florida-based chain has five other locations, with a sixth that just opened in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tickets were $29.00 per person for the movie and popcorn. Drinks and food, which were excellent, are extra and the same price as in a restaurant.
We had the ranch beef and chicken burger sliders which were delicious and perfect for the movies; we really loved the brioche buns. We also went for the pizza, with Italian sausage, which was really well made and tasted great. The sliders were $18 and the pizza was $15. We spent just over $100, including drinks and tip for the evening.
Gold Class Cinemas
One Colorado Pasadena
42 Miller Alley, Pasadena, CA 91103
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