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Published September 8th 2013
Is Gold Class losing its lustre to Nova deluxe?
Pictures of high tea at Nova. Image from Nova Cinema Facebook
The ultimate cinema experience was once Gold Class -- plush seats, someone sneaking in and delivering you a glass of champagne and plate of food. You really felt like class. But lately the gilt has been flaking off the experience.
Part of the problem seems to be the lack of movie choices. We were given Gold Class vouchers which we are most appreciative of and are really looking forward to using. But since May there just hasn't been anything on. Basically because every Gold Class cinema, almost without exception, screens the same movie simultaneously and they tend to show "date night" movies for the under 25s which leaves the rest of the population (which is a significant demographic) at home watching TV.
And the last time I was in Gold Class it was really noticeable that even when the food had fancy names that it was really little more than frozen items which were thrown in the deep fryer.
My sense is that they really have to lift their game if they want to keep the title of Gold Class.
Image from Nova Cinema
Another contender for gold is Cinema Nova in Carlton which is now offering food and movie packages. Okay, so they don't quite have the same seats but they still have great seats. There are boutique cinemas, some as small as 20 seats so you still get the feeling of intimacy as well as the plush velvet seating.
The movies, in my opinion are better, as they show a lot more foreign and art house films. Plus in their line up they are conscious of showing people "good" films. On Saturdays and Sundays they also have high tea sessions at 3pm.
Next week for example they are screening The Best Offer and it couldn't be a better pairing. This movie which stars Geoffrey Rush, is all about high society, art auction rooms, lavish restaurants and decorum. So having your own high tea completes the picture so to speak.
The high tea at Nova begins with sparkling wine or a large glass of Pimms and your choice from a range of teas or iced tea.
Then there are savouries such as smoked salmon sandwiches with caper and mayonnaise and chicken sandwiches followed by fresh berry, chocolate tarts and lemon merinque pie. There are also chocolate chip cookies and a selection of macarons.
The cost for high tea with a movie is $39 per head. Obviously Nova has done their marketing because that is the exact same price that it costs for the movie ticket alone at Village Gold Class on weekends and you still have to pay for the over priced drinks and food to complete the experience.
Image of vouchers available from Nova Cinema
Another option at Nova is akin to Gold Class in that you can purchase meals rather than afternoon tea. A single course including a drink (wine, beer, cider or soft drink) costs $39 and includes the movie ticket. You get the tasting plate before the feature so there is no-one stumbling around whispering and annoying people during the film.
Food is tapas style and includes items like salad wrapped in apple with rocket and goats cheese, spicy patata brava served with aioli and spicty tomato sauce, wild mustroom croquette with creamy behamel, ricotta on Yuca crisp, and jamon bocadillo and house made smoked salmon. For the present menu click here.
The food is fresh as they have brought in a chefs for such creations. Or for $59 you get the movie, two beverages (one served discretely during the movie), a tasting plate starter, and your choice of main (also served discretely) during the feature. Choices include slow cooked lamb shoulder, veal osso buco, gnocchi, Spanish fish and chips and so on.
Vegan and vegetarian options can be organised with 24 hours notice
Then there is a Nova choc top to finish. And if you haven't had a Nova chop top they are the best. They are made in-house and have such gourmet selections as creamy cinnamon, cherry ripe, rocky road, strawberry yoghurt white chocolate, tiramisu (my favourite) and chilli chocolate.
So next time you are considering a top class movie experience you might want to give it a shot.
I like the sound of the Nova Deluxe! Wish we had something like that at our Palace Nova cinemas in Adelaide. Although I do like the fact that you can buy beer, wine, and cider for any screening there. :)
Nova Deluxe might have better movies and food but the problem is the screens they use are tiny, they're not much bigger than some people's flatscreen TVs. Also one of the two cinemas they use for Deluxe is terrible unless you get in early and get the best seats, the layout means that over half the seats have a terrible angle on the screen. I might add that I love Nova and what they try to do but just don't think their facilities quite match their ambitions.