The VIP Treatment

For my birthday yesterday, Gail took me on a “date” to see The Dark Knight. I’ll post a review of the movie itself later (in a word: wow), but right now I want to review the experience. We went to the new Silver City Oakville, which has two “VIP auditoriums”. For an extra $5 on top of your regular ticket price, you get some perks:

  • access to a licensed bar before your show
  • a smaller “more intimate” theatre (though with the same size screen)
  • digital picture and sound
  • assigned seating
  • leather seats that are very comfy
  • wider armrests between seats (convenient because the guy sitting next to me must have been at least 350 lbs)
  • in-seat service before the movie starts
  • nobody under 19 allowed in (because it’s licensed), so you don’t get those noisy teenagers who won’t stay off my lawn

Gail was sure that she saw a description of this service somewhere and it said that there were no ads before the movie, but there were. I couldn’t find a description of the VIP thing anywhere on the website, which I thought was rather odd — you’d think they’d want to promote the hell out of this.

This is a brand new service, I think — the Oakville theatre only opened within the last few months, and there’s only one other theatre in Canada that does it (downtown Toronto), so they haven’t worked out all the kinks. The assigned seating thing was weird because you can’t choose your seats when you order the tickets, or even change them once they’ve been assigned. So if you want to sit in the middle but it assigns you seats 1 and 2, too bad. If you like to sit near the back and it assigns you row A, too bad. However, if it’s busy and you need several seats, it’s good to know beforehand that you have them all together. Another drawback is that you can’t bring alcoholic drinks into the theatre itself, you need to finish them in the bar area. However, they do have a non-alcoholic key lime smoothie thing that was mighty good.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the whole VIP treatment. For an extra $5 each, I wouldn’t do it for every movie (plus the theatre is further away from our house), but we do have VIP tickets for The Mummy on Friday.

Update (Aug 2): We saw the Mummy yesterday in the VIP theatre. This time, we didn’t have time for dinner beforehand, so we tried out the in-seat ordering thing. I had nachos and Gail had mozzarella sticks and popcorn. It wasn’t cheap (something like $27 for those things and a medium Coke), and then when using their fancy wireless technology to place the order, she marked down the wrong seat or wrong theatre or something. They took our order during the previews, and ten minutes into the movie Gail had to go out and ask where our food was. Because they couldn’t find us, they just left it sitting on the counter for at least 20 minutes, so my nachos were lukewarm and the melted cheese had re-hardened. Not very appealing. They did upsize our drink and offered to upsize our popcorn as well. I suppose it was one mistake that could happen anywhere, but it’ll probably be a while before we do that again.


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