Premium cinema gets an “Instagrammable” twist with Event Cinemas’ new Event Boutique concept. Introduced in the chain’s flagship George Street location in June, per Event Hospitality & Entertainment CEO Jane Hastings the Event Boutique will “bring a new level of premium to the cinema experience and build on our commitment to offer a world of diverse cinema experiences all under one roof.”
Event Cinemas already offers moviegoers at just fewer than two dozen of its locations its Gold Class-branded luxury experience, which pairs a film with recliner seats, chair-side waiter service, and an exclusive lounge for hobnobbing before and after screenings. With Event Boutique, things are taken a step further. Two Boutique screening rooms, named The Library and Paparazzi, feature a “bespoke design aesthetic,” says Hastings, which are part of Event Cinemas’ overarching goal of “creating more immersive cinematic experiences.” The Library seats 32 guests and Paparazzi 46.
Hastings explains the two themes: “The Library pays homage to the art of storytelling and is inspired by the millions of stories the world over that come to life on the big screen. Books and scripts are where the story unfolds, and the cinema is where the narrative comes to life, so it was a natural place to start for Event Boutique.” The Paparazzi room is a nod to “the glamour of the red carpet. … We want all our guests to feel like stars.” Both theaters will play a mix of blockbusters, art house films, cult classics, foreign films, and music events and are also available for private bookings.
The carefully curated design of Event Boutique’s theaters is only one element of the premium experience that Event Cinemas aims to provide. Edge Content & Technology, Event Cinemas’ technology department, opted for Christie’s 4325 RGB laser projector and Dolby 7.1 audio, the latter paired with new speakers from Krix.
As with Event Cinemas’ Gold Class experience, a custom designed food and beverage menu is an integral part of Event Boutique. When it comes to crafting a dine-in experience, Hastings cites Event Cinemas’ position as part of Event Hospitality & Entertainment—which operates hotels, restaurants, and bars in addition to cinemas—as a distinct advantage.
“We have a strong team of Australia’s best chefs, restaurateurs, and sommeliers across the Event group who have been instrumental in delivering our customers best-in-class food and beverage,” Hastings notes. “The Event Boutique menu has been designed in collaboration with some of the best artisan and local producers to deliver menus that continue to push the boundaries of premium in-cinema dining.” Food is delivered to moviegoers’ seats with “a sense of surprise and theater.”
If high-class projection and audio, expanded food and beverage options, and luxury seating are key elements of the Event Boutique’s overall experience, it would be hard to deny that its standout component is the theaters’ looks. “Continuing to innovate is entrenched in the Event DNA,” explains Hastings. Here, part of the chain’s forward-thinking attitude is acknowledging the influence of social media.
The word “Instagrammable” was front-and-center in Event Cinemas’ press release announcing Event Boutique; as explained by Hastings, that nod to social savvy—both the chain’s and its customers’—is by no means a one-off. “Social media is a critical channel to engage customers. People are increasingly looking for unique social experiences,” she says. “We believe [in] ensuring all you do is Instagrammable so that customers want to share the experience, enabling you to reach a broader audience in an authentic way. … Social [media] is one of the first channels audiences [use to] discover new and upcoming cinema content. Our job as exhibitors is to sell cinema experiences.”
For now, those who want to get their Instagram on (not during the movie, naturally) can visit The Library and Paparazzi at Event Cinemas’ George Street location in Sydney, Australia. A third Event Boutique cinema is in development in Newmarket, New Zealand, with an opening date to be announced. The chain plans to add additional Event Boutique locations across both countries.