A new cinema complex by Cineplex at Marine Gateway, adjacent to SkyTrain’s Marine Drive Station, promises to redefine the concept of the premiere movie theatre experience for Vancouverites.
Opening this Friday, March 4, Cineplex’s new 11-auditorium theatre occupies a 56,588-square-foot space within two podium levels of the development’s office tower. There will be eight traditional auditoriums on the lower floor, including a 364-seat AVX auditorium and seven normal auditoriums with a capacity of between 96 and 335 seats.
The purpose-built AVX auditorium features wall-to-wall screens that touch the floor, two rows of D-Box motion seats within the upper seating section that are synchronized to move with the action on-screen, Dolby Atmos surround sound, and upgraded and more comfortable seat designs with high backs.
All promotional materials and films screened in every auditorium are received digitally every Thursday through satellite uplink.
“The experience is a big upgrade from what we offer here, and it’s going to be so much more comfortable,” Jason de Courcy, VP of operations for Cineplex Entertainment in Western Canada, told Vancity Buzz.
But what truly sets Cineplex’s Marine Gateway location apart from other theatres in Vancouver is its VIP Cinemas experience, free of any screaming children. Through a separate main entrance, the adults-only (ages 19 and over) second floor of the complex will house three VIP Cinema auditoriums, each holding an intimate capacity with one auditorium seating 123 and two auditoriums seating 114.
Seats in each of these VIP auditoriums are La-Z-Boy-like: The high-back leather seats are fairly large with plenty of legroom, well-cushioned, fully back-reclinable, and built with small side tables that fold out for those enjoying snacks or dinner.
For those sitting on the front row, they will find additional comfort as their seats will also have high-leg recliners and can be converted into a barrier-free, two-seat couch – perfect for couples who may want to snuggle.
Food consumed inside these auditoriums will be delivered by servers, before the movie begins. The theatre’s full kitchen offers a wide and diverse menu, featuring menu options including: appetizers such as calamari, nachos, poutine, ceviche, artisanal cheese board, spinach artichoke dip; main dishes like fish and chips, pulled pork sandwich, chicken parmesan sandwich, buffalo chicken tenders, a variety of burgers, and flatbreads; and salads, desserts, wines, spirits, and premium craft beers. Traditional movie snacks such as candy and popcorn will also be available to premium moviegoers.
Alternatively, prior to and/or after enjoying a flick, VIP Cinemas moviegoers can also have their meals and drinks in the fully-licensed lounge space just before the auditoriums.
The lounge consists of a large full bar with bar stools, high-top tables, booth table seating, lounge chairs, and a large 44-seat, southerly-facing outdoor patio. Portraits of Hollywood stars hang on the walls, including large photo canvasses of George Clooney and Brad Pitt’s characters in Oceans 11 and vintage photos from Warner Bros. Studios.
“There is no rush to get to the theatre to get your seat,” said Sarah Van Lange, the Director of Communications for Cineplex. “The fact that there is a licensed lounge as you enter allows you to have a glass of beer, wine or even a milkshake.”
And the premium experience will still be relatively affordable. Admission into the VIP Cinemas will be approximately $10 more than a regular price ticket.
According to de Courcy, the Marine Gateway cinemas have an overall seating capacity of 1,900, which is similar to the company’s Scotiabank Theatre property in downtown and half of SilverCity Coquitlam – Metro Vancouver’s largest theatre complex.
The new location also fills the market demand and void left by the recent closures of Cineplex’s Famous Players at Richmond Centre and Empire Theatres’ Oakridge Cinemas at Oakridge Centre. 130 people will be employed at Cineplex’s Marine Gateway complex.
Cineplex joins a number of other major commercial and service-based tenants in the Marine Gateway mixed-use development, including T & T Supermarket, Winners, and Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Club. The development is expected to attract 5,000 additional riders to Marine Drive Station on a daily basis.
Main lobby of Cineplex Marine Gateway.
First floor hallway, next to the AVX auditorium.
The AVX auditorium, featuring 364 seats and a wall-to-wall screen.
A look behind the scenes at a auditorium projector room.
Main entrance into the second floor, adults-only VIP Cinemas area.
The adults-only lounge space.
The large bar along the building’s southerly windows.
Booth seating in the lounge.
A wide selection of reasonably affordable options in the menu at VIP Cinemas.
Decorations line the VIP Cinemas area hallways.
The large covered outdoor patio, with panoramic views of the Fraser River.
Front row reclinable seats in a VIP Cinemas auditorium.
A top view of a VIP Cinemas auditorium.
A bottom view of the VIP Cinemas auditorium.
An exterior view of the Cineplex Marine Gateway entrance doors.