Pacific Theaters will charge $14 for tickets at its all-reservation ArcLight multiplex adjacent to Hollywood’s historic Cinerama Dome — a price exceeding even the costliest tickets at the recently opened Bridge, currently L.A.’s priciest movie venue.
“It is a slightly higher ticket price than other venues but includes substantial added value,” Pacific chief Christopher Forman said Wednesday.
ArcLight debuts March 22, a week after Pacific opens a new multiplex at a new midtown-L.A. complex called the Grove. Most tickets at that theater will cost $9.50, and there’s a $2 charge for seats in a reserved loge-level section.
Both the Grove and ArcLight are 14-screen facilities and will feature a mix of commercial and arthouse fare. Pacific is positioning its ArcLight-Cinerama Dome complex as a circuit flagship. Plans include an ArcLight speaker series and film exhibits, which patrons will enjoy at no extra cost.
ArcLight parking will be included free-of-charge, compared with a $1 parking charge at southwest L.A.’s the Bridge. Similar to amenities at the Bridge, ArcLight’s stadium seats and concessions are upgraded from conventional multiplex offerings.
The Bridge charges $13 for weekend admissions to its reserved-seat “directors hall” auditoriums, and even its $9.75 charge for other weekend tickets is more than charged at any other L.A. theater. Sources say the venue — operated by a National Amusements affiliate called CineBridge Ventures — has been successful enough so far, but some say the jury is still out own how the aggressive pricing will work out over the longer haul.
Hunger for luxury seating
Similarly, some suggest Pacific is well-positioned to succeed with both its new L.A. theaters, because the city has been starved for multiplexes with stadium seating and other state-of-the-art theater design. But others say ArcLight’s upscale approach is dicey as many of its surrounding neighborhoods — despite some glitzy redevelopment — remain primarily blue-collar.
L.A.-based Pacific plans to export the ArcLight concept to other markets eventually, with the next such theater set to open in suburban Seattle next year. A spokesman said ArcLight pricing policies will be set market by market.
“The ArcLight experience may not be for everyone,” Pacific’s Forman said. “It is geared toward those who love the movies and want to experience them in the highest quality manner.”
Pacific plans to offer frequent moviegoers “membership” plans repping a discount on normal ticket pricing.
Historically, L.A. has generally had the second-highest movie ticket prices in the U.S., after Gotham. But a handful of theaters featuring deluxe food and other amenities are scattered nationwide, and some of those venues have even costlier tix.
On the other hand, neither the Bridge nor ArcLight offer seatside waiter services, as is offered in some other deluxe venues.
“These days, there’s kind of a first-class, business class and coach class among movie theaters,” an industry insider observed. “The deluxe theaters in L.A. are business class.”
(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)