Updated: Wednesday, 28 Apr 2010, 12:38 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 27 Apr 2010, 4:07 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The silver screen is getting swanky in Northwest Austin with the opening of Gold Class Cinemas next month.
This new type of movie theater has plush, reclining seats and call-button service.
Gold Class Cinemas ' grand opening is scheduled for May 7 in The Domain, and the theater is already generating a lot of buzz.
Shanin Smith is no stranger to Gold Class Cinemas. She has already been to the movie theater in Northwest Austin twice. This time, she brought her good friend to what she calls a "first class" movie experience.
"It's a completely different experience," said Smith. "When we got here, they offered us a blanket, a pillow. It's comfortable. Completely different from a normal movie I would say."
Mark Mulcahy is the Vice President of Marketing for Gold Class Cinemas. He said the goal is to provide a stress-free experience.
"Comfort is what Gold Class is all about. We have plush recliners and a call button if you want a server," said Mulcahy.
Instead of packing in the people, the 8 movie screens have just 24- or 40-seat auditoriums.
The cost for a ticket is $22, and that does not include dinner and drinks.
"I would say it's not too expensive," said Mulcahy. "If you look at going to a dinner and a movie. We're going to get you out of here at the same price, but you're going to save time and have a much better night out."
UT Senior Lecturer with McCombs School of Business Michael Brandl said Gold Class Cinemas in Austin makes pretty good business sense.
"In many ways, it makes sense," said Brandl. "It's a little risky, a little gutsy, but no risk, no return. We have higher level of disposable income. We don't see as bad of an uneemployment situation."
Brandl said consumer spending continues to increase even though incomes are remaining relatively flat.
This is Gold Class Cinemas' fifth movie theater to open across the country. Movies at existing theaters are selling out a couple weeks in advance with many movie goers coming as often as three times a month.
"American consumers are difficult to understand, but never underestimate their willingness to want to pay for entertainment," said Brandl
May 3rd is the last day to get a free movie ticket for signing up for a free membership. Once someone signs up to become a member which can be done online, Gold Class Cinemas will send an email on May 3rd with a free movie pass.