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The price of a movie ticket


markfp2
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I recently read that the average price of a movie ticket in 2013 was a record high $8.13 and got curious about what it's like in different places.

 

In my little corner of the world (upstate NY) all the first-run theaters are multiplexes, ranging from 10 to19 screens, and owned by the same major circuit. The normal adult price is $10.50 with a $3.50 surcharge for 3-D and $17.50 for IMAX. Matinees and senior tickets are two bucks cheaper.

 

The best deal around is at the last remaining second-run house which only charges $1.75 for normal films and $3.50 for 3-D.

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The last movie I saw in a theater was GRAVITY, and the multiplex I went to has a "special" price for viewings between noon and 5pm, and I believe it was only $7. $5 for "2-D".

 

Their evening viewings start at $8.50, and when you throw in popcorn and drinks, even with their "combos", the cost of an evening at the movies can be quite a bite.

 

And I always liked comedian STEVEN WRIGHT'S quip, "I got thrown out of a local movie theater for bringing my own food into the theater. MY argument was that concession stand prices have gotten outrageous. And besides, it's been YEARS since I had a good barbeque..."

 

Sepiatone

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And you didn't count the cost of refreshments and the gas going there. For those small screens and bland surroundings, no way do I spend that type of money. Wait less than a year and spend $4.99 for Pay-per-view and the extra .99 for a blank DVD if I like the movie enough - who can beat that?

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The Landmark theater chain in Washington and Bethesda (MD) now runs $11.50, with $8.50 on Monday through Thursday before 6 PM, and $8.50 at all times for seniors and children.

 

The Uptown Theater in DC is the last surviving "movie palace" in the area that still shows first run films, and it charges $11.50 for evening shows and $9.75 for matinees. Children are always $8.75.

 

When I went to the Uptown for Saturday matinees back during the 50's, tickets were 35 cents* for two features and several cartoons, and they didn't clear the seats between shows. You could stay there all day if you were up to it.

 

*=$3.08 in today's dollars

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Mark,

 

We go to the Arclight chain here in the City of Angels. They have clean theaters, take their jobs seriously, discourage talking, cell phones and texting during the film and the audiences are 99% of the time respectful.

 

We are hard pressed to remember the last time we had an unsatisfactory viewing experience there.

 

Prices are a bit higher than other theaters but it also seems to discourage audience members from misbehaving.

 

Prices are $15.50, it is reserved seating and in Hollywood and Sherman Oaks, the parking is free for the first four hours.

 

They also have over-21 screenings which allow you to bring alcoholic beverages from their bar and they have classic film screenings throughout the year.

 

Oh, and we also get to see movies in the Cinerama Dome!

 

I guess it gives credence to that old age, you get what you pay for.

And at the Arclight we rarely disappointed.

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...AND, not only THAT, but if you avoid goin' to those theaters between the hours of 4-8pm and when the freeway system is a little less bumper-to-bumper, then gettin' to 'em is a comparable snap TOO, eh Iz?!

 

(...sorry, just couldn't resist mentioning the thing I DON'T miss the most about my ol' hometown now that I'm comfortably retired in beautiful Sedona Arizona!) ;)

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Sepiatone wrote:

 

Those Saturday matinees were a QUARTER in those days at the Park Theater in my hometown Lincoln Park, MI.

 

In Jacksonville, FL in the 50's you got into the Brentwood or Capitol theaters on Saturdays for $.15 cents. A box of Jujubs were $.05. You got two movies, a serial, cartoon and preview of next week. I've never been able to beat that.

 

In Tampa we're in the $7.00 to $8.50 range for most films with those special effexts films about $3.00 extra.

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In Portland, OR, ticket prices can range anywhere from $6-$9 matinee and $10-$12 for evening. Tack on an extra $2-$4 for 3D. The prices vary based on what neighborhood in Portland you're in and what chain theater you're at. Concession prices are really what's ridiculous-- you can spend more on snacks than you do the movie. I usually just buy a giant drink that my husband and I share. We sneak in our own candy.

 

Portland has a ton of small independent theaters that show first run movies and you can usually see them for like $5-$7. Second run movies are about $3-$5.

 

I actually live in Salem and prices are fairly comparable, give or take a couple dollars. Regal, however, has a monopoly over the area. It's the only chain to choose from. We have a small theater downtown; but it isn't stadium seating. There's another theater that shows second run movies and I believe tickets are $3-$4. It isn't stadium seating either; but you can drink beer during the movie, so it's got that going for it.

 

Here in Salem, we have an old movie theater, The Elsinore, that was built in, I believe, 1926. During its heyday, it used to be the place to go for the new movies and over the years it fell into disrepair. A few years ago, an organization raised money to restore the theater to its 1926 splendor. Now, on Wednesday nights, they show a classic film. They alternate between silent and "talkies." One week is silent, the next is talkie, the next is silent and so on. During the silent movie showings, they actually have someone playing an original and restored Wurlitzer organ during the film--just like they would have done in 1926. It's really a fun experience. Movies during this time cost $5.

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Dargo,

 

We tend to go on the weekends so traffic is less a problem when going to the Arclight in Hollywood. (I think I can count on one hand the number of times we have gone during the week).

 

And the Arclight in Sherman Oaks is less than three miles from our home so we never get on the freeway to go to it.

 

In fact, we saw *Dallas Buyers Club* yesterday and had no problem with trafffic.

 

And yes, I know LA is famous for its traffic and it can be very annoying but I still prefer living in LA (even after almost forty years) to anywhere else I have lived, traffic and all.

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When I was a little boy (in the 1940's), I lived in a little town in central Texas. The population was 600 people. There was one movie theater (called "The Best").

 

The price of a movie ticket was 5 cents. Now a movie ticket costs $5.00 (or more). That means a penny in 1948 could buy what it takes a dollar to buy today.

 

A haircut in the town's barber shop was 5 cents, also. The good ol' days...

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Yeah, it seems today I can "rent" a movie from ON DEMAND for TWO DAYS cheaper than viewing it in a theater for ONE SITTING. True, the POPCORN is better in the theater, but there's NO one texting, talking, kicking my seat, no cells ringing, no ability to pause while I go to the bathroom, or any of the other occurances that might ruin the "movie going experience" for me. And my favorite winged-back chair is FAR more comfortable than any theater seat.

 

Sepiatone

 

PS: And I can buy a TWO LITER bottle of my favorite soft drink for less at a nearby party store than the "large" sized drink at the concession stand.

 

Edited by: Sepiatone on Jan 21, 2014 12:33 PM

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