Fancypants movie theaters taking over?

In the age of Netflix and OnDemand and YouTube and Hulu and gigantic home theater systems, movie theaters sometimes have to get creative to keep you coming in and spending your dollars. At least, that’s what I hear.

As someone who last saw a movie in the theater that didn’t involve animation or endless commercials on the Cartoon Network about… ummm… a year ago…? More than a year ago? Look, it’s been a very long time since I spent money at a movie theater unless I was taking my kids to see something, is my point. As someone who nearly always goes to the theater for a kid-friendly outing—and who really enjoys saving the date-night films for take-out Chinese and my comfy sweats—I am somewhat confused by this news about so-called deluxe cinemas:

Get ready for the $35 movie ticket.

That’s the estimated price of tickets for a new deluxe cinema to open this year in suburban Chicago, one of 50 U.S. multiplexes set for construction during the next five years through a new $200 million joint venture headed by Australian entertainment conglomerate Village Roadshow.

The theaters will boast boosted amenities, including plush reserved seating, special parking privileges and upscale food and beverage offerings with seat-side waiter service.

Wait. What?

$35/ticket for a movie? Isn’t the whole point of people skipping the theater that they’re trying to save money? Sometimes you want the Real Theater Experience, sure, but is special parking and seat-side waiter service really going to enrich your outing that much? Personally, if I pay even $7.50 for a movie ticket, you had best not be talking during the movie where I can hear you. I paid my money, I want to watch the movie. A waiter showing up beside my recliner (do you love that picture of folks reclining in their eveningwear? I do) while I’m trying to watch a movie is just going to annoy me.

On the other hand, folks who want to see a movie without any kids in the audience might love this; I can’t see families shelling out the dough for the deluxe treatment.

Would you go to a $35/ticket movie?

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