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Luxury theater opens Friday in South Barrington
By Chad Brooks | Daily Herald Staff

Mike Jaffe, developer of the Arboretum, relaxes in one of the suede recliners inside the Gold Class Cinema as part of a tour during the grand opening of the Arboretum of South Barrington. The theater opens to the public on Friday.


Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

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Published: 10/2/2008 11:54 AM | Updated: 10/2/2008 5:43 PM

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Complete with recliners and a seasonal dining menu, the area's newest luxury movie theater opens Friday in South Barrington.

Located in the new $200 million, 600,000-square-foot Arboretum of South Barrington Shopping Center, Gold Class Cinemas offers a much more upscale, intimate night out than your typical evening at the local theater.

"It truly is an experience," said Marissa Denny, a Gold Class spokeswoman.

Each theater has a maximum of 40 seats. Individual reclining arm chairs are assigned to each ticket holder and full waiter service is available inside the theater with just the push of a call button. Gold Class assures other moviegoers won't be disturbed during the movie.

The luxury comes with a price, however. The $35 ticket price is more than five times the national average of $6.88, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

Valet parking is included in the $35 ticket, but the popcorn or cocktails are not free. Patrons will, however, have a professional server who will bring slippers and a blanket upon request.

The theater's menu includes a full wine list, Dom Perignon champagne at $295 a bottle, and food items like duck tacos, Wagyu beef burgers and bleu cheese potato chips.

The South Barrington Gold Class Cinemas is the first in the country. Aside from South Barrington's, the company has theaters only overseas in Asia, Australia and Europe.

Targeting upscale clientele and businesses looking to hold private screenings, Gold Class officials said they hope to open 50 theaters across the country in the next five years.

While it may the be first for the company in the United States, luxury theaters are not new to the suburban area. Muvico VIP Theaters in Rosemont and the AMC Premium Theater in Lombard are others that have opened in recent years with more than the average level of amenities. Even they, though, don't offer the small size and dining options of Gold Class.