Cineplex to test surcharge on premium seats

Cineplex will launch a pilot project later this year that will give patrons at a Toronto theatre the chance to opt into a new premium service where reserved seats in two middle rows will cost an additional $2.
Premium seats at one Toronto movie theatre will cost an additional $2 when Cineplex launches a new pilot project later this year. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

If your favourite seat at the movie theatre happens to be in a certain two rows, you may soon have to pay more whether you line up early or not.

Cineplex is set to launch a pilot project at a Toronto theatre that will charge extra for reserved seats in two middle rows.

Pat Marshall, spokeswoman for Cineplex Entertainment, said that the new premier service at Varsity Cinemas in the Manulife Centre is all about adding more “choices” for moviegoers.

“We think it’s a great opportunity to provide our guests with another premium option and choice,” Marshall told Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway Thursday morning.

Patrons who shell out more money can get a reserved, “extra comfortable club seat” for about $2 more.

Audience members would be able to purchase movie tickets and reserve their spots in advance, ensuring a comfortable seat in what is usually deemed the best spot in the theatre.

“As with aircraft, you have coach, business class and first class. At Cineplex, what we’ve tried to do is also provide you with a lot of different options.”

Cineplex already offers other premium services. The UltraAVX services cost an additional $3 to $5 and VIP cinemas — which are licensed with reserved seating — have a surcharge of more than $7.

According to Marshall, the popularity of those services is what is driving this new project.

“Guests like that and they’ve shared that with us and we’re trying to offer that to a lesser extent in terms of the premium.”

The price of regular seating will not change, she said. 

“I want to make sure everyone understands it’s not in every seat,” she said. “We’re not changing our base prices.”


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.