iPic Theaters Offer Exceptional Luxury at a Price

By Robert Marich
   Aug. 21, 2015—Here’s a snapshot of a super luxury movie theater with in-auditorium meal service. I patronized the iPic Entertainment theater in Boca Raton, FL, where admission prices are $12-24, or $12-18 on weekdays, and with no discounts for children or senior citizens. With the admission price comes free popcorn really-big leather seats (see the accompanying photo!), courtesy pillow,
The seats at iPic theaters are unusually large (and plush)

blanket, digital technology, high-end food, craft cocktails, and waiter service as the movie plays.  The seats fully recline and stretch to seven feet long.
   Though a small slice of national boxoffice, dine-in-theaters are raising the industry average, which was $8.17 for 2014.  It spiked to $8.61 in the second quarter of 2015. Ten years ago, the national average was $6.41. So in a decade U.S. movie ticket prices spurted 34%, while inflation in that time was up just 22%.
   The iPic in Boca Raton is compact eight-screen multiplex complex that is above an associated but separate restaurant—Tanzy Express offering California Italian food. Its gourmet meals are delivered to patrons in iPic auditoriums one floor up. IPic often develops a restaurant alongside its theaters. Food & beverages are also offered from the less-fancy Tanzy Restaurant.
   The seating is so luxurious and spacious that its auditoriums hold 42-82 seats, which is roughly half the normal capacity.
    iPic Entertainment operates 11 multiplex theaters scattered across the U.S. and has seven more in its pipeline. After those seven open, iPic has a goal of opening four more locations per year, according to Jim Lee, who is VP-marketing & advertising. Lee is also longtime exhibition executive who previously worked at Muvico Theaters and General Cinema movie theater chains. The closely-held exhibitor is led by Hamid Hashemi, who is president and CEO. Hashemi led the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Muvico circuit before founding iPic.
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