A recession may be looming, but a group of investors thinks Americans are ready to pony up $35 for a movie ticket.
Village Roadshow Ltd., Act III, Lambert Entertainment and the Retirement Systems of Alabama pension fund have partnered to bring the luxury cinema circuit Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas to the U.S.
The partners will spend $200 million to build 50 theaters nationwide over the next five years, with the first two venues set to open in South Barrington, a suburb of Chicago, and the Seattle suburb of Redmond in October. Others are planned for Fairview, Texas, near Dallas-Fort Worth, and Scottsdale, Ariz.
Each complex will sport theaters featuring 40 reclining armchair seats with footrests, digital projection and the capability to screen 2-D and 3-D movies, as well as a lounge and bar serving cocktails and appetizers, a concierge service and valet parking.
But the circuit will especially push its culinary offerings — made-to-order meals like sushi and other theater-friendly foods from on-site chefs (a service button at each seat calls a waiter). Moviegoers will have to pay extra for any food they order, however.