When was the last time you went out to watch a movie?
In the world of streaming, straight to TV shows, and the ability to order anything from your couch; we are seeing less people venture out for their movie going needs.
However, in time for National Popcorn Day, Cineplex sent me a care package and a reason to pull on my coat and venture out into the rain for a warm night at the movie theatres.
My closest Cineplex theatre is the newest one located at The Amazing Brentwood, and I have been meaning to review them for some time now, so this just seemed like the serendipitous reason to do so.
Honestly, if I am going to watch a movie at a theatre I would only be persuaded to do so if it was VIP. An experience similar to what I would have at home, but more grandiose. (I forgot to mention, we have a projector, so our regular television watching is already on a larger screen). Where the theatre has us beat is the size and the clarity of the screen.
To be honest we chose the movie based on the convenience of time. The one that was playing next, which happened to be musical Wonka. A film I didn’t think I would like, but actually enjoyed with a feel-good happy ending.
We went early to avoid the rushed scramble to get tickets and snacks, and to make it in time for trailers. (If I am going to do this, I want the whole and full experience).
VIP ticket holders are granted access to their VIP restaurant and bar. I remember ordering cauliflower bites and a poutine from their kitchen when they first opened, and not enjoying either; so decided to pass on that disappointment again.
The ordering situation is a lot nicer here, like an actual restaurant. No concession stands and queues. For the full date experience you can dine in their bar/lounge and have the ability to speak more freely, in a well lit area. Or head straight into the theatre to claim your seats and get comfortable. With VIP, there is no scramble to stake out the best spot, you choose your seats when you purchase the ticket. I like it in the centre of the centre, but honestly the screen is so large that from most angles you don’t miss much.
The seats aren’t your regulars fold down chairs. These is basically a compact sofa designed to comfortably seat two, like a love seat. There is no centre arm rest to separate you and your companion, unless you choose to move it down for some space. But without it you can cuddle up close to one another. This was especially our case, as our Cineplex care package included a travel ready fleece blanket and a stuffed popcorn carton plushie to snuggle with. This was much appreciated as I often get chilly in movie theatres.
Although, for those without a blanket you can turn on the heated seats. Much like you would have in a modern vehicle, they warm you up with three available settings. At this point all I needed was a massage function.
And best of all the seats fully recline lazy boy style with feet extended and back at full tilt. And they are situated far enough from those to your right and/or left that you can use your phone during the previews without interfering with anyone else’s experience.
Our seats are also equipped within a side table, large enough to set a plate of food and drink on, without encroaching too much in your personal space. And there they can remain, accessible as you slowly snack through your 1.5-3 hour movie. Think airplane side tables.
We would enjoy a giant fishbowl cocktail that was well enough to satiate two, and a regular bucket of popcorn of the same volume. The former was the “First Class” with Aviation gin, peach and strawberry purée, lime, mint, and soda. More punch and spirit, but the novelty of a giant cup is well worth it.
As for the popcorn we had it with layers of butter throughout the regular bucket size. And we were smart enough to bring our own shakers to the theatre. This way we could flavour with either dip pickle or salt and vinegar, and it would help add longevity to a cold bucket of room temperature popcorn as the movie wore on.
You can either order before you come in and have the staff bring it to your seats. Or a menu is tucked away and you can utilize their in-theatre servers to order from it. They stand at the base of the inclined theatre seats and continuously scan the crowd for a raised hand. Once they get the signal they ascend, take your order electronically, and later return with it and the bill to be paid via debit/credit machine.
We would enjoy the show in the comfort of our spacious seats, lined against larger aisle that don’t bother others when you have to leave mid movie to use the washroom.
And after the movie is over, there isn’t a mad dash to exit and fight for a toilet. The VIP experience includes access to the VIP toilets.
In short, this was a nice experience and a great way to update our memories of what watching a movie is like. So many more bells and whistles that what I grew up with. What a great way to celebrate National Popcorn Day with Cineplex.
And for the month of February Cineplex has a new promotion for each Tuesday of the month. A general admission ticket is $5 and a small popcorn is only $5 plus tax. So $10 gets you entertainment and a snack. The last time movies tickets in Canada cost $5 was 25 years ago. For more details check out their website.
Cineplex VIP Cinemas Brentwood
3106, 1920 Willingdon Ave Unit 31-06, Burnaby, BC V5C 0K3