Yesterday, I went to watch a movie with some friends. And since PVR had finally launched Gold Class in Gurgaon, I decided to give it a try to see what all the hoopla is about. Before I say anything else, let me conclude that I wasn’t disappointed. But, that is rushing it. Let me recount the experience first. The PVR Gold Class is only available in the brand new PVR at the swanky Ambi Mall (next to the Toll Plaza). If you haven’t been to Ambi Mall, well, that is a topic for a different post all together. I say swanky, because it has some of the best brands selling their wares in it (including BMW, by the way). Anyway, I digress.
Buying the Tickets
So, we landed at Ambi mall to buy tickets for the show of The Incredible Hulk (normally, you should of course book online, which gives you the best chance for landing tickets for popular shows). Their automatic ticket machines were not working, so I tried to find the ticket window. Here’s the first nice thing, while there were lines on the other windows, there was a separate window for Gold Class, with only two people in front of it. As it turned out the two were only there to find out what was Gold class and weren’t their to purchase tickets. That is of course the first and only drawback of the Gold Class: the price.
The cost of one ticket is a whopping Rs. 500. And that doesn’t sound too bad, but since there were four of us, it turned out to be Rs. 2000. Considering that normally, I can get 4 tickets for the price of two (when using BookMyShow.com), this was a large jump. But that was the only downside (and if you think of it, it may not be a downside at all).
Getting In and Relaxing
There is a separate (carpeted) entrance for Gold Class patrons which I really don’t care about, but some people might. The good thing is that since there are only 2 screens which are Gold Class, there would usually not be a large line of people, so once again you don’t have to wait in line to get in. Once you are in, you immediately ascend to the upper level, where the audis are located.
If you are early, then there is a lounge upstairs which you can relax in, grab a snack or just chill. I believe that only Gold Class patrons have access to this area, though I didn’t see anyone preventing others to enter or checking tickets.
Inside the Auditorium
Finally, you get in. You are led to your seats by the usher, and boy these seats are something. First of all, there are only 6 rows (at least in Audi 2), with a total of 44 seats. (No wonder they are charging so much. I calculated that one seat takes the equivalent space of 4 seats in a normal hall – so it’s not charging that much really.
You have more legroom than you possibly need. The seats themselves are LazyBoy like recliners which are super plush. They electrically recline to an angle which is perfect. Your legs are propped up, and your back is at an angle which makes for a very comfortable viewing.
You are given soft blankets if you are feeling too cold. And you are also served a welcome drink, which is some kind of apple juice, though when the brought it, it looked like Champagne (who am I kidding). There are call buttons which will bring an attendant to your seat if you want to order any food or drinks from a menu which my wife found to be interesting enough to comment on.
I am pretty sure that I felt that the acoustics of the hall are better than the poorer cousins (the normal PVR halls) though that could be psychological (my mind trying to justify the cost of this movie). But my friend thought the same. The movie was quite incredible (this means I liked it a lot). And when it was done, I didn’t feel at all tired (primarily thanks to the nice seats). Normally, I get cramped up (I am a tall guy) and may end up with a stiff back at the end of a movie. After this one, I felt refreshed.
The comfort factor can be gauged by the fact that when the movie was over, no one moved for a long while. People were reluctant to leave the comfortable embrace of their seats. Normally, as soon as the movie is over, everyone starts moving out, and you feel like you are part of a great migratory herd moving out of the cinema hall.
There were two other minor things (which may have been coincidences). The movie started on time (no pesky ads). And also, during the interval there were no ads either as there are in normal halls. And I could swear they waited for everyone to get back into their seats before resuming the movie from the Interval (probably my imagination).
I think the price is worth it, if you can afford it. I am going to maximize my movie going to Gold Class from now on. The overall experience is worth it.
In fact, the only bad thing, about the whole experience is that you can’t cuddle with your wife because of the huge chairs (it puts a big gap between the two of you). But if you really wanted to, one seat is big enough for both.