I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of a movie nerd. Ok, “nerd” is harsh. I’m a movie enthusiast. So when a movie I’ve been waiting to see screened in limited release, I went to the VIP theatre in the Queensway Cineplex in Etobicoke one afternoon. The perfect choice of venue for a two and a half hour movie, I might add.I’m quite particular about my movie watching experience. If you’re looking at your phone after previews or have kicked my seat more than twice (intentionally or not), believe me, you’ll hear about it. Yes, I’m that person and proud of it! So needless to say, the VIP theatre is a good fit for me, especially during the Awards season.
Although a VIP theatre outing can be expensive, if you’re looking to elevate your movie watching experience once in a while, it’s worth the $19.99 ticket. And since the VIP area (theatre and lounge) is fully licensed, it is for adults only. Sorry kids, you can’t sit with us. Outside the theatre, valet service is offered if you just can’t be bothered to spend five minutes to park the car yourself and you feel over-the-top indulgent that day. Personally it’s bit much for me, but hey, who am I to judge?
Much like in real life where celebrities and other important society figures don’t share the same space with us commoners, the guests of the VIP theatre arrive through a separate entrance where they are greeted by a host. There are self-service machines for ticket purchase, or a dedicated box office where you can purchase tickets and check your coat. While arriving at the main Queensway theatre on a weekend afternoon can be panic attack inducing from the crowds and noise, the VIP theatre creates an opposite effect. Walking into the main lounge area feels a bit like a boutique hotel lobby. There is a long bar, and a cozy eating area for pre-movie drinks or post-movie dinner.
The area leading into the screening rooms offers additional seating and a small popcorn and snacks counter. Cozy lounge chairs and tables run along the wall, perfect if you want a quite place to chat before the movie starts.
There are two screening rooms and each one offers equally comfortable, oversized seating and in-seat dining where you’ll be able to order off the VIP menu. I was surprised by the number of options – everything from small bites to full plates, not to mention dessert! I chose a California burger with avocado and goat cheese, served on a brioche bun with a side of french fries. It was delivered right to my seat within minutes and it was delicious.
Most of the items on the menu are what you would find at a casual restaurant or a pub – nachos and guacamole, mini perogies, poutine and burgers. But you can also choose a heathier options like Asian noodle salad or baby kale ceasar. If you’re a sharer, there are tasty shareble plates as well. Bruschetta flatbread, artisanal cheese and charcuterie are perfect to munch on with a bevy in hand.
Have you been thinking of trying out the VIP experience to catch up some of the Oscar nominated films but can’t quite justify the price of the ticket? On Tuesdays, tickets are offered for $14.99. The VIP theatre experience is very much like flying business class. Once you’ve done it, it’s tough to go back to economy. Big comfy seats, yummy snacks, even shorter previews before the movie… Until next time, VIP theatre. Until next time.