Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Civilized, kid-free cinemas

Upscale movie theatre opens Friday, offering reserved seating, an elegant lounge, food and alcohol service

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Opening Friday, the movie Flight dramatically details the downward spiral of an alcoholic airline pilot played by Denzel Washington.

And at the newly launched Cineplex Odeon McGillivray and VIP Cinemas, you can enjoy a stiff drink while you're watching it.


The former Cinema City at the corner of McGillivray and Kenaston boulevards relaunches Friday after a four-month, $4.5-million renovation that saw the second-run facility transform into a first-run multiplex with eight regular theatre auditoriums and three special VIP cinemas, the first in Manitoba.

With cushy seats, extra leg room, an elegantly appointed adjoining lounge and the ability to order food (anything from calamari to cheeseburgers) from your seat, the VIP cinemas cost $7 above the $10.50 price of a regular movie ticket. (The premium is $10 if the movie is in 3D.) But for upscale cinema-goers, the adults-only designation may prove irresistible.

"The first thing you're going to find when you walk in the auditorium is a giant wall-to-wall screen, Dolby Digital surround sound, (and) large leather seats with a table at your seat to make it easier to put your food and beverages down," said Cineplex vice-president Pat Marshall as she conducted a media tour of the multiplex Tuesday morning.

"Plus every seat in this house is reserved, so you can pick exactly where you would like to be in the theatre auditorium."

The regular cinemas have a concession area remodelled to include the usual popcorn, pop and candy counters as well as TCBY frozen yogurt, Pizza Pizza and Outtakes, Cineplex Entertainment's proprietary hot food counter. On Friday, those auditoriums will screen Argo, Cloud Atlas, Flight, Fun Size, Hotel Transylvania, Pitch Perfect, The Man with the Iron Fists and Wreck-It Ralph.

If Flight may prove to be an uncomfortable choice of film programming for a movie theatre that serves alcohol (alongside Argo and Seven Psychopaths), bear in mind the new James Bond movie Skyfall is booked to play the VIP theatre next week.

Remember that when placing an order with VIP lounge bartender Leanne Dipucchio: Your candy floss martini should be shaken, not stirred.

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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 31, 2012 B5

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About Randall King

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

His dad was Winnipeg musician Jimmy King, a one-time columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. One of his brothers is a playwright. Another is a singer-songwriter.

Randall has been content to cover the entertainment beat in one capacity or another since 1990.

His beat is film, and the job has placed him in the same room as diverse talents, from Martin Scorsese to Martin Short, from Julie Christie to Julia Styles. He has met three James Bonds (four if you count Woody Allen), and director Russ Meyer once told him: "I like your style."

He really likes his job.


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