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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Opinion: Venture out to a movie theater

Movies+illustration
Movies illustration

While industries have used the financial strain of everyday Americans as an opportunity to raise prices due to inflation, movie theater tickets are one of the few forms of consumption where prices have remained reasonable. On average, it costs under $10 per ticket to see a blockbuster flick.
Having time to see a movie at the best-priced matinee time may not be ideal for everyone but at the local theater of your choice, it’s likely affordable to see Academy Award-winning films like “Coda” at a prime hour and day.
Theaters are cold and dark inside, so it also does not take the amount of effort to do other activities on any given night out. So collectively there should be more of an effort to seek out affordable forms of entertainment.
This is contrary to the rising price of doing anything else involved with going out. A night out for dinner costs 58.1% more for gas and then after you order, there is another 6% increase in food cost.
Preference for other forms of entertainment like sporting events is also taxing on your wallet and mind. For these events, there are multiple secondary market ticket brokers that can be sifted through to find the best-priced tickets. These sites have seen substantial percentage rises in prices for pro sporting events, as the cost of a ticket for a Major League Baseball game through SeatGeek was up 40%, from $58 on average in 2019 to $81 in 2020. For frequent sports events attendees, this is just one of the many costs you will endure.
After your arrival at a sporting event, you must figure out parking if you have not already. For a San Antonio Spurs game that is an extra $15 for the furthest AT&T Center parking lot. But other sporting events can be a lot less kind as AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, had parking priced at $75 in 2016, making it one of the top three most expensive stadiums to watch an NFL game. These same venues host concerts, and other events, and charge similar prices if that is more your medium for inflated entertainment, as they all use dynamic pricing.
Going out can obviously be a stressful, overwhelming experience and that could be why fewer people are going out to the movies. Sitting at home sifting through a favorite streaming service could take a lot less time. But there are currently over 200 streaming services available, and it can be a challenge to find something to begin watching. These streaming services are fully aware of this problem as well. Researchers at Netflix found that if subscribers do not find something in 60-90 seconds they will quit looking.
They have certainly tried to combat this by doing things like attaining as much personal information as possible to curate more informed lists of recommendations. For those who are not into giving up this much information, local theaters have as few as 16 movies to choose from, rather than Netflix’s selection of movies that is approaching 4,000. Therefore, it can also be a more personable experience as moviegoers alongside are more likely to have similar viewings.
Going to a movie theater is not a perfect experience by any means. It can still cost up to $9.09 for a large popcorn at AMC and $5.45 for a large drink at Cinemark. Also, blockbusters like “The Batman” have seen increases in ticket prices that may start to resemble dynamic pricing that has cast a dark cloud over the rest of the entertainment business.
It can be a struggle to make it through a movie without going to the bathroom which poses an inconvenience since, at home, one could just pause the movie. Some may also have reservations about supporting bigger studios and the corporations that run theaters as that is what makes up a majority of what is now playing.
Even after all of the doubts that may creep in, now is still the time to see a movie in theaters. The average movie length in 2018 was 96.5 minutes, this is plenty of time to eat beforehand or afterward for those worried about concession costs. And for those who prefer to not miss anything, plenty of time to plan around when to map out the restroom location beforehand.
As for the dislike of having to support the remnants of the flawed movie industry, independent films still find their way into movie theaters and receive major critical acclaim. The theaters’ employees also consist of high school students’ first jobs, as one-third of ushers and ticket takers have less than a high school diploma.
So, for your next adventure out consider going to support your local movie theater.
– Dillon Strine is a journalism senior
The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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