An escalator ushers you down into a dimly lit lounge area of Gold Class Cinema, where moviegoers, while waiting to be let into the theater, are ordering cocktails, wine, beer and appetizers. A DJ spins esoteric, urban-alternative grooves under the glow of a red light, as servers dressed entirely in black ensure everyone gets VIP treatment. Plush is one word to describe this experience. The drink menu is extensive, ranging from a simple draft beer to Champagne ($285 for the most expensive bottle). When it's time to enter the theater, the scene gets even plusher: You're led to your seats, which are leather recliners that ease back electronically. You're provided large consoles in which to tuck your belongings, spacious enough for a duffel bag. If you need anything (popcorn and blanket are included in this cocooning experience), press a button that lights up and a server will attend to your every need. 42 Miller Alley, Pasadena. (626) 639-2260,

—Ontay Johnson

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