AMC Reverts to Film Ticket Only (Sans Dining Voucher)

AMC Essex Green has divorced the food voucher from tickets for its relatively new dine-in cinema experience. Instead of forking out $20 to $25 per film ticket with a food voucher included, film buffs need only pay less than half that amount, with a nominal ‘experience’ charge added per ticket.

An attempt to book tickets online for Cars 2 today shows a ticket price of $9, and an additional service charge of $1.

The change, which may lure more movie enthusiasts to the theater and rake in more profit, has been in effect “since spring,” and was triggered by customer feedback, Ryan Noonan, director of public relations of AMC, told Baristanet.

Just under a year ago, in August 2010, AMC Essex Green underwent a $5-million makeover to transform it into New Jersey’s first dine-while-you-watch movie experience, a project that was meant to prop up its sagging earnings.

The about-turn in ticket-pricing policy appears to suggest the costly change failed to favor the West Orange theater’s coffers.

“The main difference is that before, we had the film ticket which included a dining voucher, but now, you can just buy a ticket to see a movie, with a small experience charge included; food is not a requirement, and isn’t included in the upfront price,” Noonan said.

“Customers had said they preferred to just pay the ticket price,” said Noonan, adding only that AMC was happy to oblige.

He said AMC couldn’t discuss attendance or revenue figures but that the company was “positive” about the move.

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  1. Friends and I went Sunday, I will say that the service was not good at all, popcorn and food came 1 hour after movie began, and food was mediocre. I have always thought that this theatre was the wrong location to start such a venue at. The wait staff had a general blaise attitude about the service that day. Not worth the extra money or time for me

  2. If I’m dropping $50 + on ‘date night’ The War Department and I are hitting Corso 98. Not a very well thought out strategy in these times.

  3. I went when they first opened. I found the price with the food voucher to be OK but its nothing special value wise. We got there about 20 minutes before our show times and our drinks came before the trailers. I found it to be kind of annoying when mid movie a waiter would come to seats over to talk to a customer when your trying to pay attention to the film. I also found the voucher system to be kind of weird (well with our waiter anyways). We got the bill towards the end of the film so (which is also annoying because now your not paying attention to the film but if the bill is correct) Our bill didn’t have the voucher taken off so we were being charged full price (which is weird considering I thought EVERY ticket came with the voucher so obviously it should just be deducted). So I need to ask the waiter over and show him the voucher with our ticket. He then did the deductions but overall it was kind of annoying.

    I would go back again maybe grab some drinks at the bar in the lobby and then go to the movie and get an appetizer or something but if your trying to combine Dinner and a movie your better off making dinner at home and renting a film and having a date night inside. Cheaper and you enjoy yourself more.

  4. I got fed up lomg ago with their over inflated prices. We go to the Maplewood or the Millburn movie. If food is wanted, there ae 26 places to eat in Maplewood Center at reasonable pricing. Millburn has La Strata, #2 behind Star Pizza.

  5. Unless they were going to take the ‘salt & fat’ culinary experience to extremes: bigger puffier cheese doodles or gunkier nachos, I can’t imagine anyone expecting dining pleasure from this marketing experiment. I say this as someone who is a quarter-pounder away from a heart attack, and would probably include onion dip in a last meal wish list. I think there is no greater perfection than Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, all orange and creamy and chemically perfect. That said, an AMC theater would be the last place in the universe where I’d go for a junk food fix.

  6. Anyone older than about 3 years old who requires movie entertainment during dinner is a nitwit.

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