A movie theater in Switzerland decided to take comfort to another level by replacing those often uncomfortable seats with double beds. For real. The experience of watching newly released films has come a long way from those times when you had to check the newspaper for showtimes and arrive earlier to get a good seat. Many new releases don’t even screen at cinemas anymore, opting for streaming platforms instead, but as long as there are still plenty that go for a traditional release, the cinema experience won’t die.
But like with many other things, this experience has evolved, often for the better. Now, cinemas around the world only share their showtimes on their websites, sell tickets online or in automated kiosks, and have numbered seats so you don’t have to worry about not getting a nice spot. However, something that hasn’t changed much are seats. Many theater chains have done their best to offer better and more comfortable seats, but they are still not quite there yet – unless you live in Switzerland, where you can experience a new level of comfort at the cinema.
Cinema Pathé in Switzerland opened a “VIP bedroom” section earlier this year that offers maximum comfort as the seats were replaced with double beds. This special bedroom has 11 beds with adjustable headrests, soft bed sheets (which are clean and replaced before every screening), two pillows, and bedside tables for the drinks and popcorn you won’t have to pay or queue for. This VIP experience, which costs around $48.50, includes complimentary drinks and snacks, as well as your own pair of slippers, just in case the double bed wasn’t attractive enough.
Because Cinema Pathé aims for the ultimate comfortable cinema experience, other VIP rooms include one with double sofas instead of seats (with their respective side tables, of course), and a kid’s cinema with bean bags, a ball pit, and a slide instead of stairs. Of course, they are not the only ones to offer this type of “home vibe” experiences: Let’s Cine Park in Tokorozawa, Japan, offers selected seats from their “Box Premium Seats” equipped with kotatsu, which are tables covered by a futon or blanket with a heat source underneath. Ideal for winter and for very long films.
If these ideas are too much, unnecessary, or something more cinemas should adopt depends on each person. But while they all look very comfortable, it might be worth asking if they are elevating the experience of going to the cinema or harming it, and if it’s worth paying a bigger price for “benefits” or “luxuries” like those. And with a cinema full of beds, there's also a greatly increased risk of falling asleep during the movie.