August 13, 2014 6:46 pm

Adults only? Companies bank on desire to leave the kids at home

TORONTO – It’s not a nightclub, but a place you would normally find children.

Workers are putting the finishing touches on Canada’s first stand alone, adults-only movie theatre in Don Mills. The Cineplex VIP cinema will open to the public on Friday.

“This is the first theatre we’ve actually had an auditorium with all-reclining seats, so we’ll see If audiences like that,” said Pat Marshall, vice-president of Cineplex.

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The company now operates 11 VIP theatres in Canada, but all the rest are attached to conventional movie theatres which welcome customers of all ages.

The new VIP theatres are aimed at adults, including couples out for a “date night,” says Marshall. Alcoholic beverages are for sale along with a wider range of food items that would be found in a typical theatre.

Reclining plush leather seats with about a metre between seat rows provides a more luxurious movie-going experience.

“You have a date night with someone or just meet up with friends and no interruptions from children in the theatre,” said one woman outside the theatre, when asked if she likes the concept.

Another said: “I think that is a great opportunity for people without children to enjoy entertainment without the distractions of children and family “

Retail consultant John Williams, president of J.C. Williams group, called the movie theatres a “real smart move.”

Williams says adult consumers often have disposal income, time on their hands and a desire to get away from distractions.

“That is a great combination. I think adults are a great target market,” said Williams, who described the theatre idea as a kind of business class like you’d find on an airline.

It comes at a higher price, like the premium airline seat. At $15, on Tuesday, to $19 or $25 a seat on other days of the week.

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