why i don’t go to the movies

And why I go to McDonalds at least once a week.

The other day, we decided to (after a long time) once again go see a movie in theatre. Ever since I had my 42inch Korean Flat Panel roommate move in, it has become a lot more appealing to watch a movie at home than it was when staring at that 19-inch pudgy panel formerly decorating my living room. And if we do go to the movies, we usually end up going to one of those fabulous “beer theatres” here in Portland where cheap movie tickets (around $3) incentivize people to spend money on beer and burgers. Considering I “dish wash” ziplock bags, that is my kind of entertainment.

But regardless,  we went to a normal movie theatre. The experience really has not improved one bit since my last movie visit, but the price has increased to $10.50 per person.  $21 for Jen and I to go see some superhero movie. So movie ticket prices have continued to increase while the general experience of movie theatres has remained mediocre or gotten worse. Not cool.

In sharp contrast, people used to pay $3-$4 to rent a movie at a rental store, which they then went home to watch on a 20-inch TV. And if people kept the movie for an extra day, they’d be dinged with a $5 a day late fee.

Times have changed. Now, McDonalds sends me a  coupon every Monday and Wednesday for a free one-day DVD rental. And if I want to rent a movie on a Thursday instead, it’s only $1 a day with no late fees ever.

With the economy being as shaky as it is, it makes no sense to me to spend money on going to the movies. Go to McDonalds and pick up a free movie. You don’t have eat there.

Rent movies people. Rent movies.


  1. Anonymous October 3, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    I totally agree, going to see a movie can be something of a disappointment… firstly the movie itself but also the other patrons;-( and it seems to me that the disappointment factor increases in direct proportion to the cost of the tickets – the more expensive the movie the easier it is to get upset with the movie itself or the behaviour of other people.

    I went (after a long break from movie-going) to see Iron Man with my wife several months ago on a Saturday night. Many of the people (who came a short time before the start of the movie) were actually hustling other people to get the seat configuration they wanted for themselves or their group.

    Man! I just paid over the odds to see a movie, got there in good time and now the latecomers are upset cause they can’t get the seats they want?

    I’ve been back to (a different) movie theatre since then that has assigned seating, much, much better.

    Rentals is definitely the way to go though, or even buying online if you can get them cheap enough, we have downloaded a few movies on iTunes which has worked out well when they have a good selection.

  2. Anonymous October 3, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Noel, thank you for your comment.

    Re-reading my post, I have another point I want to make.

    McDonalds is basically giving away movie rentals away for the chance to get people to buy their food. As a consumer and someone who can withstand the urge to eat fast food, this is a wonderful system.

    Because of that development and the lack of experience improvement, theatres need to find a similar solution. How can they lower the prices of movie tickets for the chance to get consumers to spend money on something else? Beer and Burgers is a popular solution here in rainy Portland, Oregon. Popcorn doesn’t cut it. Maybe they could make money selling CD soundtracks? Or maybe they could sell you a special DVD copy of the movie as you leave the theatre. There needs to be some innovation.