New iPic Luxury Movie Theater to open in River Oaks

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The price of movie tickets is ridiculous these days. Once you've bought a ticket for you and your date, plus popcorn, candy, and a drink, you're easily pushing $40. Next year, a new "upscale" movie theater will be opening in River Oaks, pushing the boundaries of your wallet and your conscience.

Made by iPic Entertainment, this new cinema will be part of a huge new complex called the River Oaks District opening in late 2014, according to current plans. Located on the 610 Loop between Westheimer and San Felipe, this complex will contain retail, entertainment, office space, and housing with a distinctly upscale tone.

The iPic theater in Houston will be the third of its kind to open in Texas--after Austin and Dallas--and looks to provide moviegoers with a unique theater experience...at a price.

A spokeswoman for iPic said she could not release pricing for the River Oaks site yet because ticket costs vary from location to location, but a quick search of its other theaters revealed that "Premium Seating" in Dallas for a non-member is $17.50, with the same seat in Austin hitting a wallet-busting $19. Membership is free and reduces those prices to a more digestible $13 and $12, respectively.

According to iPic, the major advantages of its special theater concept were more comfortable chairs and trays at each seat for their dining service called "Tanzy Express." Regular ticket holders will be able to order this "upscale cuisine" at the counter and bring it in to the theater, while Premium Plus customers will get a special waiter who takes orders from the seats themselves. Premium Plus seats also recline fully and are trimmed in suede. Based on pricing from the Austin and Dallas iPic theaters, be prepared to shell out about $5-$10 extra for these premium plus seats...and that's not even including the food.

Maybe iPic charges an arm and a leg because of its small theaters: iPic has signed a lease for an eight- screen theater, with each theater seating only 50 to 90 people. Apparently the upscale experience is supposed to be more intimate as well.

To find out more about the iPic Theater or the River Oaks District project, visit www.ipictheaters.com or www.olivermcmillan.com/riveroaks.

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