Since Day 30's afternoon screening was Get Him to the Greek, a comedy about living like a rock star, I figured, why not watch a movie like a rock star? Ladies and gentlemen, if you have the means, make a reservation asap for Gold Class Cinemas. (video tour here)
After experiencing possibly the worst theater conditions known to man only a few days ago at the Culver Plaza - no air conditioning and half-full, days-old popcorn boxes in the aisles - and the worst film of the summer less than a day ago at the far-from-killer Killers, my sunny summer Saturday matinee at Gold Class (for a comedy that was quite funny) on the other side of town was the proverbial breath of fresh, albeit hot, Pasadena air.
I've spent a lot of my life in movie theaters, but today was a truly unique experience. Part first class airline experience, part ritzy lounge-bar-restaurant, and part private screening room, the Gold Class was an excellent time at the flicks, from the service (friendly wait staff that escorted me to lounge, bar, and auditorium and had no problem shifting my tabs) to the company (my friend Jim Bartoo just back from his movie shoot of upcoming indie horror Creep Van - watch for it!) to the movie itself (a rollicking journey alongside Forgetting Sarah Marshall's rock god character Aldous Snow and put-upon record company aide Aaron Green).
The kicker: you do pay for what you get. Tix are $29, but, if you're a member (and membership is free), they're only $22, and for that extra $7 - $10 per ticket, you will notice a huge difference. During the movie, you sit in recliners that are body-engulfing, remote-control recline all the way back, and have pockets in the armrests for your purses, wallets and iPhones. There are only 32 seats in the entire auditorium, and each two-pair includes a table in between for food and drinks, a small light so you can see, and a call button for waiter service.
Watching Greek's high-living decadence onscreen while eating gourmet pizzas and M&Ms and twizzlers in fancy glass bowls, I kept thinking, this is the ultimate living it up for a movie buff...but is too much? My final verdict: nah.
If you love movies, every half year or so, you deserve to splurge on your passion. You'll spend a good $100 - $150 on you and whoever you take (there are 6 locations right now in California/Illinois/Texas/Washington), but how is that different than dinner, drinks and a movie night out? What these guys have done is distill those elements into one singular good time.
That's not me and my friend Jim...but these folks looked like they needed a picture taken...Chocolate strawberries, yummy...