A new, state of the art theater is soon opening in Los Angeles and it’ll do something few theaters do: charge a sliding amenity fee to all tickets. Depending on what day and time you go to the new Sundance Sunset Cinemas in West Hollywood, CA, you’ll be charged an additional $1-$3 on top of the standard $12 admission to account for reserved seating, WiFi and lack of commercials. And while this might sound like something to get up in arms about, it certainly seems like a more customer friendly option than similar theaters who charge a premium for these services as part of their standard ticket price. Read more after the jump.

Located on the corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset in West Hollywood, Sundance Sunset  is scheduled to open August 31. It’ll have reserved, plush seating, an outdoor patio, free WiFi, art gallery, food, liquor, small tables between seats and no commercials.

That’s the reason for the amenity charge, which results in a maximum ticket cost of $15. Regular tickets are $12, matinees are $11, seniors are $10 and children is $9. Plus the following fee:

Show Mon-Thurs. Fri.-Sat. Sun.
No. 1 - 12 p.m. None $1 $1.50
No. 2 - 2 p.m. $1 $1.50 $2
No. 3 - 5 p.m. $1.50 $2 $2
No. 4 - 7 p.m. $2 $3 $2
No. 5 - 9 p.m. $1.50 $3 $1.50

Here’s the explaination from the official website:

At Sundance Cinemas, all seats are reserved at all times. For most shows, there is an amenities fee which helps us to provide an excellent movie-going experience. We present the finest art, independent and world cinema, our building was constructed utilizing a large percentage of post-consumer grade materials, a large number of recycled and recyclable products, we buy meats, produce and other goods from local vendors, we do not show annoying television commercials (a huge source of revenue for most theatre circuits), free wi-fi throughout the building, we support and exhibit local artists on our walls and in our retail shop – plus we have real butter on our popcorn!

The theatrical experience can be an expensive thing and while the idea of paying an “amenity fee” might sound bad or confusing in principal, the fact that it changes based on the time of day is actually with the consumer in mind. Plus, Sundance has been doing this for some time now at their other locations in San Francisco, Seattle and other places.

$15 max for a ticket isn’t bad, especially when you look at everything you’re getting and in a major movie market like Los Angeles. I’d be curious to know if people accustomed to commericals in major chains elsewhere would pay a few bucks more to not worry about that and have their seat reserved.

Additional source and image: Hollywood Patch

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