Dan Sherman posted about the luxury cinema business — essentially a theatre that caters to a higher-end customer, providing service and comfort beyond the norm.
We’ve got one in the DC area, in Chevy Chase, Maryland. When they built the cinema, only one of the theatres was in the “high-end” mold. Plush leather seats, large trays for food and drink, a full bar and mini-restaurant. I don’t go often because it’s a 30 minute drive from Northern Virginia (other side of DC than Chevy Chase), but I recall a ticket being around $10 or so. It was nice. If it were closer it’d be the only theatre we went to.
A few months after the opening, the owners said the luxury theatre just scratched the surface of demand, and if they did it again everything theatre would be in that mold. This is not a new story. People will pay a significant premium to avoid inconvenience, discomfort, and get a higher level of service. Smart small businesses can serve this niche very well, but most don’t out of fear, ignorance, or lack of marketing knowledge.
Dan’s post is worth reading. See: Luxury Cinema Business.