Time will tell whether opening a movie theater that charges $35/ticket (which does not include food) during a recession is a good idea, but if you're feeling splurgy and want to dig some of that cash out of your mattress, the new Gold Class Cinemas at Redmond Town Center might be a good place to spend it. I had the chance to experience it recently...and wow is it swanky.
The cinema, which shows first-run flicks, has a large, sleek bar/lounge area in the lobby--all dark tones, deep reds and oranges--where you can rest up (and drink up) in anticipation of your cinematic journey. The theaters (there are 7 screens) hold only 40 people each, which makes for an intimate movie experience and, more importantly, no bad seats.
In fact, the seats themselves are pretty spectacular. They're set in connected pairs (with a small table between each duo), making for a kind of giant bifurcated La-Z-Boy. The touch of a button (each moviegoer controls their own) pops out the footrest and reclines the seat. It's extremely comfortable, especially since the seats are made of soft orange micro-suede leather, which I'm told is stain resistant. It had better be, because the only problem with the luxury seats (aside from the fact that you may sleep through your $35 movie) is that it's hard to eat from the reclined position without dribbling all over yourself.
The seasonal menu is focused on "fine dining without sharp instruments," since you don't want to be looking away from the movie to saw at something on your plate. Wines run $40-$100/bottle, foods run $8 (house salad) to $19 (NY strip steak sandwich). There is no cutlery, so wash your hands in one of the glamorous bathrooms before!
If you find yourself having a need, you can touch a subtle button on the table, which causes a waiter crouching somewhere behind you to scurry out in black Ninja-wear and take your food and beverage order--or bring you a blanket, if all this decadence has given you a chill.
Truth be told it kind of reminded me of the movie WALL-E, where the humans are drifting around on space-age Barcaloungers, having all their needs met via robots, holograms and giant sippy cups. But as long as you can still get up after two hours and function on your own, without much bone loss (or financial ruin), it's pretty entertaining. Plus, Quantum of Solace opens there on November 14th, and you just know this is the way James Bond prefers his cineplexes.