There Are No Bargain Matinees Anymore

I love going to the movies. I always have, the Drive-in, the theater, whatever. They are all good. Give me a big screen, padded seats and a great sound system and I am pretty happy. I almost never walked out on a movie. A bad movie is like a train wreck, it is hard to look away.

It used to be that the biggest challenge was trying to sneak in some food. I certainly didn’t want to pay through the nose for popcorn and candy, especially if I hit the bargain matinee. Those were usually somewhere between $3.50 and $5. What was the point of paying more for the food than the movie.

Back in college my girlfriend and I found a place that charged a buck a movie. For poor college students it was an outstanding find. We loved it and spent many happy hours there.

Alas I haven’t found anything close to that place in years. For a while the weekends provided the standard $5 fair, but that seems to have disappeared. More and more chains have raised their rates into the $7 to $10 range and shortened the time frame that they were available. Instead of having until six P.M. many theaters seem to offer the bargain for the first couple of shows only.

So what you have is a movie date that is just slightly less than it would be if you went to the standard evening show. Roughly this works out to be almost $20 for a pair of tickets and then another $10 in cheap snacks. Add dinner, parking and a couple of odds and ends and you have spent a couple of bucks.

I don’t mind spending money on entertainment, but I do mind paying for a terrible flick. Anyway, I have rambled on long enough about this.

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8 Comments

  1. Jerusalemcop May 1, 2006 at 5:17 am

    Movies here in Israel are usually 35nis (almost 8 bucks). I, like frumgirl prefer the theater experience, but as U say Jack, it can be cheaper to rent it or even buy it on DVD than going to teh theater. So basically, I try only to go to the theater for movies which need to be seen in the theater (like king Kong, and the soon to be released MI3, X3 and The new Superman.

    J.

  2. Jack's Shack May 1, 2006 at 4:41 am

    Misanthrope,

    The Arclight is a nice theater, but few movies warrant that place. You are correct.

    Barbara,

    It is often cheaper to buy the DVD and then you don’t have to deal with the noisy people around you.

    Frumgirl,

    That is so true. Some movies are much better on the big screen.

    Amishav,

    That place sounds like the my old theater.

    Gav,

    Watched the game and loved it. Kobe is taking it to a new level. If he keeps up the team focus it is going to make life a lot easier on him.

    The Suns are done.

  3. Gavriel April 30, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    Who needs a matinee when you live in Kobe Bryant’s city? Holy cow!!!! Nice post and all, but I just needed to get that off my chest. And I was only able to listen to an audio-only internet feed in a dark room at 1am. Enjoy the LA sports life. Go Lakers!

    By the way, we’re presently just hoping to get a theatre closer than a 30-40 minute drive from our house, which is ridiculous given that we live in the center of a supposedly modern country. I’m going to have to get one of them new-fangled home theatre contraptions. I love watching movies in theatres pretty much the way you described, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to do it. And the problem is that when seeing movies becomes a rare experience, almost no movie is then good enough to justify the effort. You have to watch a lot of movies on a regular basis so that you don’t worry about the fact that each one is pretty much garbage taken by itself.

  4. Stacey April 30, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    Wow, movies aren’t so expensive here in Texas, but I’d still see them if they were. I love going to the movies. Watching them at home just doesn’t cut it for me.

  5. Amishav April 30, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    The best deal that I’ve found in Denver is one place that shows second run movies for a buck. I love taking my kids there. The prints aren’t so great and the place is dirty, but my kids don’t care. So I took them to see Curious George and Zathura for six bucks. On the other hand, my ex took the kids to see Willie Wonka at the big screen and spent over 50 bucks! That’s crazy!

  6. FrumGirl April 30, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    The prices of movies have spiraled out of control… but I’m not much of a moviegoer, I get antsy and start shifting from one side of the chair to the other… not much legspace, etc. But I do go to theaters for the great action movies that you just cant see on dvd… where u want to see it on big screen with the great surround sound.

  7. BarbaraFromCalifornia April 30, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    I agree 100 percent.

    Most movies today are not worth the $10 price tag, which is why I wait for them to come out on DVD.

  8. The Misanthrope April 30, 2006 at 6:19 am

    All the movies are overpriced. Going to the Arclight is $14 a ticket plus parking, food (because there is a restaurant there) snacks and we are just short of one Benjamin.

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