Drinking at the movies

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Cineplex Entertainment will be starting construction next summer for their new 11-theatre cinema in Kitchener. Three of the theatres will include VIP auditoriums which will be for movie-goers 19 and older. This will be the first cinema to allow the sale and consumption of alcohol in the Waterloo Region.

The theatre, which is being built on Fairway Road across from Fairview Park Mall, will offer patrons the VIP experience where they can purchase alcohol as well as skip lines due to in-seat food and beverage service, reserve seating and indulge in a new menu.

However, the alcohol menu will differ by location. The Kitchener cinema will offer beer, wine, mixed drinks and most types of liquor. Their food menu is more than the traditional popcorn and M&M’s and will include appetizers and sandwiches.

“It’s great because you can watch a movie while having a beer and a burger” said Sara Wilson, assistant for communications and investor relations at Cineplex. “It’s been something that people want to try, it’s something new and something that you can’t really get anywhere else.”

The 43,000-square-foot theatre will have more than 2,000 seats and will be completed sometime in 2014.

“We are pleased to provide our guests in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and the surrounding area with access to the VIP experience,” said Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex Entertainment in a news release on Oct. 15.

James Howard, a third-year political science student at Wilfrid Laurier University, is looking forward to trying the VIP theatre out. “It will be a new experience and I will probably have a lot more fun watching the movie with a little alcohol in me,” he joked.

Third-year Wilfrid Laurier University student Zackary Stern, offered a different opinion when asked whether or not he would try the new theatre out. “I don’t really associate drinking with going to a movie,” he said.

“Drinking is a social thing and not something you would want to do in a dark movie theatre while trying to enjoy the movie.”

Drinking in theatres may be a concern for some, but when asked about any stories of drunk movie patrons Wilson expressed that she has not heard of that issue as of yet. “We have managers there and staff to deal with that if anything happens. Also, our bartenders are Smartserve certified and do not over serve guests,” she clarified

Ticket prices for this experience have yet to be released for the new Kitchener location. However, other theatres generally charge six to seven dollars on top of the regular ticket price.

Cineplex’s VIP theatres have “proven to be popular and very successful,” said Wilson.

There are currently five locations which offer the VIP Experience — Toronto, Oakville  and London, in Ontario, as well as Coquitlam, British Columbia and Edmonton, Alberta.

 

By Jennifer Armel

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