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Going To The Movie Theater To Watch A Movie Is Starting To Get Too Expensive

Published 12/28/07 (Modified 3/14/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

How was your Christmas? Did you spend it all day with family and friends? Or did you manage to sneak out to watch Aliens vs. Predator like I did. Yes, I was one of those that ducked into the theaters on Christmas afternoon to watch this winter's biggest sci-fi blockbuster movie on opening day. Only this time, I was sorely disappointed. It wasn't even the movie itself either (although I thought it could have been better). It was my realization that I was paying way too much money for the opportunity to be crammed into a stuffy hot room with a crowd of noisy, obnoxious people, to watch a movie on a blurry movie screen operating on technology that probably hadn't been updated in several decades. Watching the latest movie release at the local cinema simply isn't what it used to be anymore. Why are movie tickets so expensive nowadays? Times have changed and I wonder if it's time I did so too.

Movie Theater Tickets and Concession Stand Snacks Are Outrageously Overpriced

Christmas day afternoon I went to see the new Aliens movie with my brother. Going with the Christmas spirit, I decided to pay for everything. For two expensive movie theater tickets I shelled out a total of $18 at about $9 each. Two popcorns and two small sodas tacked on another $16 for a grand total of $34 for two people. Now, if I was a father with a wife and 2 kids, and assuming everyone bought the same customary number of snacks and sodas, the approximate cost for the movie watching experience would have been a whopping $68! For what you're getting in return, can we say - much too expensive?

Movie Theater Projectors Can't Compare to New Home Television Technology

With new viewing technology coming out every day and with flat screen, LCD, and plasma television prices dropping constantly, it really doesn't make sense to spend such high sums to watch new releases on blurry movie theater projector screens anymore. I'm just starting to finally notice it, but the resolution quality of movie projector displays are terrible. Watching a dimly lit movie like Aliens vs. Predator in the theater was a major challenge as I had a hard time making out the figures and distinguishing the fight scene details that frequently moved too fast for the projection technology to keep up. It used to be that movie theaters offered the biggest and clearest screens, with the best picture quality and booming surround sound, but now this type of technology is becoming easier and cheaper to acquire for your own home entertainment system. Of course there's nothing quite like watching new releases on a super large screen, but is it really worth the inconveniences, cost, and hassles of going to the movie theater anymore? I'm starting to think not.

Other Benefits Of Watching Movies At Home and Alternatives

At the movie theater, it was my misfortune to be squished next to several obnoxious viewers, including one fellow who kept making deep burping sounds. Another girl kept flipping open her cell phone light to check her text messages and another kept walking in front of me to use the bathroom. If I was watching the movie in the privacy and comfort of my home, I wouldn't have this problem. I could go to the bathroom whenever I wanted, eat whatever snacks I fancied, and I could even watch it in my pajamas if I wanted to. Plus I wouldn't have to pay so much money for such a disappointing viewing experience.

With services like streaming movies, Comcast On Demand, Blockbuster, Netflix, and other online rental programs, it makes me wonder what will ultimately become of the movie theater viewing experience? I suppose so long as boys and girls need to date, they will need movie theaters as a public social outlet. But I think unless movie theaters start shaping up by improving their screen technology, providing more spacious seats, and lowering costs, they will eventually be usurped by cheaper and more convenient alternatives, the same way video game arcades were eventually replaced by home Nintendo's and Playstations.

I personally don't think it's the quality of the movie releases that's the biggest problem. It's the degrading viewing experience and lack of needed amenities that is leading me down the path of avoiding movie theaters altogether in the future. Why not provide extra amenities like earphone jacks and allowing viewers to bring their own headphone sets? Also, bigger is not always better - make the screen resolution higher and sharper! Why not improve the screen quality by transitioning into some type of high resolution LCD technology. Home entertainment systems can now be equipped with huge flat screen HDTV's with Blu-Ray or HD-DVD storage technology. Perhaps the cost is currently too prohibitive for them, but for the movie theater industry's sake, I hope such upgrade plans are in the works because they are likely to start losing customers like myself in the near future as we start beefing up our home television entertainment systems and stop going to the movie theater for our movie enjoyment needs.

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