It’s not every day that I get to see how the other half lives. But, awhile back, GSC invited me to check out their absolutely insane GSC Aurum Theatre. But, after spending a few hours there, I have to say that the best way to describe it is that it’s like ordering nasi lemak at a really fancy restaurant. Let me explain.
I spent quite a lot of time mulling over how best to describe what my RM150 GSC Aurum Theatre experience was like. And then it hit me.
It’s a lot like eating a standard plate of nasi lemak at a really fancy restaurant. Only, instead of justifying their higher price tag by upgrading all the ingredients and making the whole dish better, they just added, like, gold flakes to it or something. It makes it a lot prettier and better for the ‘gram, but it doesn’t really taste any better.
Yes, a while back, GSC invited me to check out their brand new top-of-the-line Aurum Theatre which has ticket prices of up to RM150 per person. Naturally, I was pretty psyched because it’s not every day that I get to experience how the other half lives. But, having experienced it once, I had a lot of thoughts and a lot to say. So, to keep me on track, I’ve broken this video down into four parts
What is the GSC Aurum Theatre?
GSC’s Aurum Theatre is the company’s latest theatre, and it’s the most ridiculous one to date. It’s currently in two locations, with the newest one opening in The Gardens Mall at Mid Valley, replacing the GSC Signature that used to be there.
Unlike the Aurum Theatre that opened in JB, the one in Gardens has 7 halls that are split into three different types. You’ve got two Comfort Cabin halls that feel a lot like an upmarket Gold Class experience. Then, there are also three Escape Studios that each come in a different design theme.
The first studio is called the Hygge hall and it’s filled with rocking chairs decked out with Getha latex pillows and Getha blankets for you to get comfortable in.
The second studio is called the Diptych hall, and is a tribute to pop art so you’ve got a big neon sign at the back and very attractive recliners and couches–and is low-key my favourite simply because I love neon.
The third escape studio is the Tenenbaum hall and it’s a tribute to Wes Anderson, though I was a little disappointed that the hall didn’t quite have the aesthetically pleasing symmetry I usually associate with anything Wes Anderson.
Nevertheless, these are small theatre halls designed to be instagrammable, and I guess they are a lot more instagrammable than your typical theatre hall.
In any case, a ticket to get into either the Comfort Cabin or the Escape Studio will set you back RM120, which is a lot of money. But, if you’re interested in the piece de resistance, you need to opt for the Getha Lux Suites which cost RM150 per ticket.
For that extravagant amount of money, you’re also getting an extravagant amount of extravagance. I’ve been told that that’s their biggest hall here, and you don’t just sit on regular old chairs or recliners. You get to set your butt on something called the Luxury Recliner.
Now, it may look like a bed, and feel like a bed, but I’ve been told to not call them beds. That being said, you can fully recline these into a flat position, and they also come with two pillows and a fleece blanket.
Now, I know what’s going through your head. You’re still watching the same movie, in the same kind of theatre hall, the only difference is that now you’ve got fancier chairs. That shouldn’t add up to RM150, right?
Well, that brings us to part 2
What do you get for your money?
GSC doesn’t just want to sell you movie tickets and popcorn anymore. They want their theatres to be a social hub where people come to eat, drink and chill, as well as watch a movie.
With that in mind, each ticket purchase to the Aurum Theatre will also include something called the Aurum Pass. With this pass, you can eat at the exclusive restaurant in the theatre itself called Jin Gastrobar.
Each pass entitles you to one dish from a fixed menu, as well as a cocktail of your choice. And honestly, the choices were a little limited considering the price of a ticket, and definitely not the kind of food I thought I would get with a posh restaurant. Alternatively, you can have food delivered to your seat in the hall itself during your screening.
If you want more food, you can always call for service, and a GSC staff member will walk right up to your seat and you can order from them. Now, I asked GSC about how they’d get to your seat and if there was like a special path so they don’t disturb the other movie-goers, but what they told me was that their staff would try to be as ninja as possible.
If you want to see what you get with your Aurum pass, links to the full menu are here.
Now though, it’s time for part 3
I got to test the most expensive seat of all, the Getha Lux Suite, and I can confidently say that it’s unlike any normal cinema going experience that I’ve ever been to.
I chose a seat that was in the second row from the front. Usually, this is an awful position because you’d typically be too close to the screen, but since this theatre was so huge, it was actually not a problem at all.
In my seat, there was also a blanket, two pillows, a pair of disposable slippers, a lamp with dimming function, a wireless charger and a remote for the seat. There’s also a small compartment at the side of the bed to store your belongings, which is a nice touch.
That said, I immediately noticed that this seat was unlike the ones I saw in the promo images. There was no table in the middle, nor could I find any physical divider to separate myself from the person next to me, which can be troublesome if you’re watching alone.
On top of that, my particular seat had an issue with the remote control. Nothing I did, made the chair move. After I called for assistance, it took the staff member at least 10 minutes with a trip out of the hall and back in, to get my seat working again.
Once the movie started, I made all the necessary tweaks and tried to get as comfortable as I could but the unfortunate thing was that I just simply couldn’t find a position that worked for me.
I know, this sounds so crappy of me to say…I had a pillow, a blanket, another pillow and a recliner that can move around, but the fact is I just couldn’t find something that was comfortable for me for the entire movie. Maybe this is like a unique Rory thing because looking around and speaking to the other people there, a lot of them seemed to be very happy with the seats, so your mileage may vary.
Now, another thing a lot of you may be concerned about, myself included, is the general cleanliness and the odours of the food and stuff like that. When it comes to the odours, you really can’t escape it. If the person sitting next to you is eating something like the teriyaki skewers, you’re going to be able to smell that.
But, I think in general their selection is pretty odour-neutral so i think it won’t be that big of an issue. Regarding cleanliness, GSC assures me that after every screening, the sheets and covers will be replaced with clean ones, and the seat will be thoroughly cleaned so it shouldn’t be a big issue either.
But now comes the big question, and the final part in this series.
Is it worth it?
I have to say no. And a lot of that is because I’m not really seeing where my RM150 is going. When I spend a lot of money on something, I want to see where that money is going, like I can see this extra cost is going here and that’s going there. But, when it comes to this, I just don’t feel that what I’m getting is worth my money.
The food, for example, left a lot to be desired from both selection and taste, The visual and audio experience is as far as I can tell, unchanged from a regular hall. The only worthwhile thing here is maybe the unique seat, but I don’t think that’s worth RM150.
Most importantly, I didn’t feel like my movie going experience was being elevated. At best, I just had a different seat to sit on. I can see that they tried really hard to make everything pretty, but I didn’t feel like they upgraded the essence.
There wasn’t really a point in my tour that I really felt like “wow, I can’t wait to come back and try this again”. It looks a lot better for the gram, and for use in news headlines, sure. But as a movie going experience, I was left wanting.
And if I’m going to pay that much money for something, that’s not the kind of feeling I want to walk away from the theatre with.
Photos courtesy of GSC Malaysia.