Going to the Movies.. Just say no.

Honestly, I don’t know why anyone goes to the movies at all anymore.

$13.50 for one adult ticket (x2 for my wife and I)
$4.00 for a 140 grm bag of candy
$4.50 for a small popcorn -a SMALL!
$3.75 for a drink.

Then, to top it all off we get to watch commercials for 10 minutes at the beginning (commercials that currently play on tv at home I might add… Just longer here)

ANd then a bunch of crappy previews, self-congratulatory promotions about the sound system, and finally the movie which was just ok.

Movie theatres are nothing but a bunch of thieves, ripping us off with overpriced crap at every opportunity. Well I’ve had it! I’m never going to pay full price for a movie again, and I’m bringing my own snacks in too from now on! Or maybe I’ll just wait for video or PPV.

I work hard for my money, and I aint gonna hand it over by the shovelfull to those thieving bastards any more!

Movie theatres: up yours!

Ticket prices: Hit a matinee. There’s less people anyway.
Concession food: Can you go 2 hours without eating or drinking, especially food that is the worst for you? I thought so.

The commercials don’t really bother me that much, and I see movies a lot (min 1 a week, sometimes up to 3) – for one, they keep the ticket prices low – imagine the the cost of a ticket if they weren’t there. Make 'em funny though please.

The real culprits however, are the movie studios. Are you aware that exhibitors almost never get more than 50% of the ticket price until very late in the run of a film? Generally, on the first weekend, 75-80% of the ticket price goes right back to the studio – this percentage is increasing, and films are running for fewer weeks, so the exhibitors are getting it from both ends (unless, like Loews, they’re owned by a studio). For instance, George Lucas asked for, and got, 100% of the first weekend gross of Attack of the Clones. So of course they need to charge you $4 for a large sugar water.

I was about to gape in shock at the prices - tickets here are $5 to $7, $9 at the megaplex in the mall - but then I realized you’re in Canadia, so the prices when converted to USD aren’t AS high as they seemed to me at first.

Movies are fun when you go in packs. Or your date is paying.

But movies in a pack of 7-15 people are fun. Where else can you throw popcorn at your buddies and not have to clean it up later? (I know, I know someone will and they will hate it just as much as I hate cleaning up the drugstore where I work after similarly insensitive customers. I have no defence for this, please don’t throw popcorn on the floor at my work.)

Especially when no one else is there. (It used to be late night on Christmas and Thanksgiving were empty expect for my pack…no longer, sniff!) Then you can wave at the projector guy and they usually wave back. Or play games with the theater. (One time my little sister got the idea that she had to sit in every seat in the theater, in order.)

So it can be fun if you properly prepare yourself. But if you’re going for the movie? Yea, rental.

Actually, this is the kicker for me, and one of the most frustrating parts of the movie-going experience. As for the ads making up cost, I didn’t see the prices drop when they started showing ads before the show (which, at least here in VT, was within the last year or so). No, I believe that the ads before the movie are simply putting money in the pockets of the theatre owners, film distributors, or whoever it is that’s responsible for them.

I can’t believe, as Calvi… I mean Stupendous man says, that I’ve got to pay $7.50 for a movie (even with the conversion to U.S. currency, it’s cheaper here than Ottawa), then sit through literally 20-25 minutes of advertisements. Previews for other movies I don’t mind, but Sprite commercials? Volkswagon commercials? Frankly, I find it insulting and detracting from the movie experience.

Unless it’s a really fabulous stupendous wonderful movie I’ll wait for it to come out on video, thanks.

Ah, the joys of having an odd work schedule. I go to movies in the middle of the week, usually to the first or second showing. I get in for half price, I can show up 20 minutes late and miss all the previews and still get a good seat, and the whole place is almost empty. It’s fantastic.

Whats pisses me off about the movies the most is the service. One guy took at least 5 minutes to type up our order. 5 frekkin minutes. Then he canceled it and did it again. I got p.oed. Then the guy dragged himself around going as slow as possible getting our stuff. And wouldn’t you know it? He did it wrong. I was ready to slug him. He put the order in AGAIN. It took every ounce of will power to keep me from hopping over the counter and pummeling him. Grrrrrrrrr…

This is the part I don’t get. According to everything I’ve heard, the concession stand is where the theater makes all (most of) its profits. But the concession stand is the worst run part of the whole business. Slow, slow workers, long lines, long waits. I swear, with 5 people in front of me it takes 15-20 minutes to get to the counter. I’m sure people decide to skip the whole snack thing when they see the hideous lines.

#1 the customer can actually pick up a bag of candy without aid
#2 the customer can fill up their own soda without aid
#3 popcorn doesn’t need to be bagged just for you in order to be tasty, have some prefilled and let the customer pick it

Sorry, Cheesesteak but I have to disagree. As bad as the worker bees are, handing it over to John Q. Public would be worse. Which isn’t to say that the situation isn’t bad (I’ve avoided buying drinks based on the line myself).

  1. People steal. From big companies (damn you Edwards!), people think they can steal more. Little kids stick their grimy fingers all over everything.

  2. I see the worker spill a quarter cup of soda foam into the fountain grate in order to fill the cup with liquid quicker. Imagine if everybody was doing that. You’d need a lifeguard to get away from the drinks section safely, not to mention the mess. Repeat about grimy little kids.

  3. People don’t know that, so they’ll still demand fresh popcorn. If nobody’s going to accept the already bagged stuff, don’t waste it by leaving it out.

Many of our newer theaters just give you a cup when you order a drink and you fill it at the fountain by your self. Along with free refills of both soda and popcorn. I guess they found most people don’t bother leaving the film to refill.

But as to the OP I used to see a LOT of movies but now I typically think I’m going to see a movie but keep putting it off until it’s either on TV or pay-per-view. So I’m with ya. Fight the man!

Well except for movies I really want to see, then it’s matinees all the way. Of course it helps that I’m single and can do whatever I want whenever I want.


  1. Other stores manage to let people select their own items and bring it to a register without unmanageable theft. If you exercise a tiny bit of crowd control, this can be done.

  2. Fast food places have let people get their own drinks for years, without it being a complete disaster.

  3. You may be correct here, but since no theater I’ve ever been to has done it any other way, I can’t say for sure. Theaters, especially when busy, go through an awful lot of popcorn, no bag will be sitting for more than a few minutes, if it is properly managed.

My initial thought is to manage it similar to some fast food joints I see at Interstate rest areas. People walk past all of the items in a line, picking up the items they want as they go, to be checked out by 2 or 3 registers at the end. The interstate areas seem very efficient, no big theft problem (that I’ve noticed), and would work well for the types of foods offered by the theater.

The better theaters around here let you add your own butter, which is great. I hate it when I ask for extra butter and the worker puts in two little squirts. I want enough so that it pools in the bottom and you can actually feel your arteries hardening as you eat it. :slight_smile:

But even with the self-serve butter, the folks behind the counter often take five minutes for each customer. That is, IMO, unacceptable.

Movies here, in the 'Nati, are the worst. USD 8.75 for admission. You can get the “matinee” price, for about 6.75, if you can get there before 6 pm. Small popcorn (about 3 oz) 3.00, medium 4.00, large (which used to be a small size) is now 5.00. Candy in similar increments. Down in Tampa Bay, my family’s area, it’s about 6.75 for regular admission, 4.50 before 6 pm and 3.25 if you go on Mon-Thurs before 5 pm. Difference? Competition, there is none here. Although AMC has opened a new place just over the border in No. Kentucky, which is cheaper, nicer and has better environment. Only drawback there is the longer run to get there and the $3.00 parking, but they refund $2 of that if you go to their desk. Net, I don’t buy the “we’re getting killed by the Studios” crap when they have that kind of flexibility in their pricing. The Tampa area theatres manage to survive just nicely. Plus, if they’d keep the prices in check they’d get more butts in their seats. At these prices, much as I’d love to go more often, it’s just not feasible to take the Olethlings to the show. For my “typical” family of four it’s $30 just to get in the door regular time, maybe $25 off peak (including kid discounts). And you know that they gotta have some popcorn. It’s sad I can’t afford to give my kids the same “movie experience” I had growing up. Now I can wait for the DVD to come out, it costs less just to buy the film. If it’s trash I can throw it away and have saved money.

Personally, I wish there was a massive return of drive-in movie theaters. $10/car (I’d even pay $20 without bitching…we have three kids)…tune the FM radio to the right place, kids in jammies in the back seat…wheeeee!!!

Why ARE drive-ins dying, anyhow?

Because the price of real estate in most cities makes running a drive-in a losing proposition. You’d make more with a parking garage. Then again, people in some cities would probably find it cheaper to buy a drive-in movie ticket than a day’s parking…

Well, I’m gonna head out to the movies this very day…they give $1 off the already-discounted price for the first matinee of the day, so that’ll be $3.75 to get in. Large popcorn and large Coke together cost me $7.50, if I opt for them. And I’m thinking I’ll stick around for another show, getting free refills of my goodies. So, I’ll get off a bit lighter than many of y’all.

For me at least, Texas in summer (which lasts from Late-May to Mid-November) requires Air-Conditioning.

I go to the movies (most matinees, I bring almost all my own food) for two main reasons:

  1. Big screen and big sound. I don’t care how good your home theater is. Unless you are George Lucas, you do not have a 50 foot screen and a theater-size Dolby Digital setup as can be found in theaters.

  2. Socializing. It’s fun to go out, and it’s fun to discuss the movie afterwards (what was good, what was bad, what you wish had happened).

Yes, it can be expensive. Yes , people can be inconsiderate. But if you work at it just a tiny bit, you can enjoy yourself.

I registered to post on this topic primarily but it is actually off topic. My family uses the term “going to the movies” as a euphamism for pulling out wedges.

Dad: Stop going to the movies!
Me: I swear, Dad, I am not going to the movies. That is just gross.
Dad: Then why are you always picking your seat.

Hail to all the Mary’s!

I love going to the movies, but I have some conditions that must be met:

  1. Stadium seating. I want to the screen, not the back of the head of the yobbo in front of me.

  2. Large screen. One of the reasons I avoid going to the Duponnt Circle 5-plex to see the latest foreign films is the teensy-weensy theatres with screens the size of a postage stamp, not to mention a wheezing and out-of-shape sound system. My favorite theater to see movies in NoVa is the 22-screen theatre at the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station on the Yellow Line.

  3. Aisle seat. I have a bladder the size of a peanut and I need to sit on the aisle so I can discreetly go to the can during the slow moments.

Tuesday is bargain day at the multiplex about a mile from my home. $5 gets you in the movie, a free small popcorn, and free parking (though I don’t drive). Suh-weeeet. That’s when I round up the Boy and see the kiddie flicks.

But my boyfriend and I see the adult movies on the weekend, and that’s a $20 proposition on its own, without concessions. When else are we gonna go, though? We’re over a barrel on that one. And some movies you MUST see on the big screen, like Lord of the Rings and whatnot.