If you’ve been anticipating seeing a movie in style at Winnipeg’s first VIP Cinema, the new Cineplex multiplex on McGillivray Boulevard is finally open for business.
The former Cinema City theatre underwent four months of renovations, and the new multiplex contains 11 theatres — three of which are VIP Cinemas, the first of their kind in Winnipeg.
With an 18-plus age restriction, a licensed lounge and a variety of specialty foods like calamari and deep-fried pickles, the VIP Cinemas aim to give people a new way to experience the movies.
Scott and Cassandra MacLeod were there on opening night to see the movie Flight. The couple arrived early to check out the VIP lounge and grab a bite to eat.
"I love it. It turns dinner and a movie into a whole different experience," Scott said.
"It might not be something you do every time you go to the movies, but when you want to have a couple of drinks and some food, it’s fun to do it this way."
The chic, blue-lit lounge has a variety of pub-style food. Most entrees are priced at around $10 or $12, while appetizers range from $5 to $10. The lounge offers an assortment of beer, wine, and cocktails that can also be ordered in the VIP Cinemas up until the start of each film.
Although the 18-plus rule might be a deal-breaker for anyone who wants to bring along their kids, Cassandra said it’s one of the more attractive elements of the VIP Cinemas.
"I remember what it was like when I was 12 at the movies and people didn’t want to sit next to me and my screeching girlfriends. It’s nice to just be quiet and enjoy your date," she said.
At $17.50, the ticket prices for VIP Cinemas are $7 more than at most other theatres.
The VIP Cinema is the sixth of its kind in Canada, alongside locations in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.
Michael Langdon, director of communications for Cineplex, said the decision to bring the new theatre to Winnipeg was an easy one.
"Winnipeggers are among Canada’s best moviegoers and we thought the VIP Cinema concept would work particularly well for this reason," he said.
"We’re confident Winnipeggers will absolutely love the new theatre we built with them in mind."