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July 3, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Catching a Movie without Losing Your Life Savings

By Jeff from SLN More Blogs by This Author

Price Hike!

Going to the movies has been a primary pastime of average American folks since before the Great Depression. It’s such a part of our culture, the idea of "Dinner and a Movie" has even become a little cliché. But just think, without the old standby, where would people go on first dates? There isn’t always a lot to do in a small town; ice cream shops are only open for so long, and most of them are usually seasonal. Arcades aren’t a great option, either. You don’t want to take your prettied-up young lass to hang out in a locale reminiscent of your parents’ basement.

Almost everyone can recall the name of their local movie theater, but also the outrageous prices associated with the experience. Watching a flick at the theater has gone up in price over the years, but the price of the snacks in the lobby is equally outrageous, if not more so. You could avoid the theater altogether, but what kind of a life is that? A life lived watching movies in rooms without giant bright screens and balanced sound. A life without teens trying to find a hand to hold in the dark. A life without sticky floors and enticing movie trailers. In short, no life at all, my friends.

Pinchin' Pennies

Here are some tips for  cost down in the comfy seats:

  • Go for the matinée - Do you have trouble staying awake during movies and/or not have to work during the middle of the day? Go to the matinée! If you’re willing to see the movie around noon, not only will you save a couple bucks per ticket, but you'll be fully awake and remember the movie well enough to give your friends the succinct review friends always ask for. Even if you don’t make the first showing, the prices don’t really get out of control until around 6p.m. If you do wait till that evening price, expect to pay upwards of $10.
  • Bring your ID(‘s) - Just about any theater will offer discounts for senior citizens, military personnel, and students. Being an AAA member probably won’t hurt either, but mine hasn’t helped me at the movies so far.
  • Skip the sweets (and salts) - A large buttery popcorn might be tasty, but is it worth the cost? If you’re looking to hold onto your spare change, it’s definitely an unnecessary expense. Not only are movie theater concessions a poor option health wise (I know, it never stopped me either), but they cost more than double what you’d expect to pay outside the theater.
  • See it old school - IMAX? 3D? IMAX 3D? I suppose it’s really up to you to decide if the experience is worth it the extra cash. No matter how much bigger the screen is or how the objects pop out at you, the same plot occurs in the traditional screening. I promise.
  • Consider a different venue -If you’re willing to give a local indie movie theater a chance, they often charge a couple bucks less for a movie. There may be a few less people in the theater with you, so expect quality some elbow room.

Also, If you just want to see a move with a companion, and you aren’t too picky about the film, you should consider a less traditional screening. During the summer, you can often find movies being shown in public parks and gardens for the low, low price of... free. But be warned, any film in a public place will likely be kid friendly (no Goodfellas or Pulp Fiction). But when you don’t even have to pay to get in, the cost of popcorn doesn’t sound so bad. That said, in some cases, you may have to bring your own.

On a similar note, some performance theaters will screen classic movies for a discount rate when they don’t have another even scheduled. It could be worth your while to check any performance halls in your area to see if they have any films scheduled.

There you have it, your budget night life is restored! Full discretion, gentlemen: I’m fairly certain girls don’t like it when you ask to hold their hand.

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2 Comments

  • funny thing you bring up ice cream shops - last night my husband and I were out and we decided to stop at our local Back Porch ice cream shop. I got a single waffle cone and he got a double. The girl behind the counter said $7.50.
    I didn't thing much of it (I didn't have to pay) but when we got in the car my husband said well it's a good thing we weren't on our first date, I couldn't afford to spend that much for ice cream back then! We laughed a little but in reality we could of purchased a 1/2 gallon of ice cream and a pack of cones for that amount.

  • That's very true! But, I suppose there are always pro's and con's; a half-gallon of ice cream might not have the same aesthetic appeal of an ice cream shop. Then again if it isn't a first date, that might just work!

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