Thursday, April 08, 2004

The quest for cheap tickets takes another hit...

Some time ago I signed up for a mailing list from Loews, which sends me listings for weekend start times at Loews Boston Common every Thursday or Friday, depending how reliable their robot is. Anyway, I noticed a slight change - the Friday bargain matinee times are now in line with the Saturday and Sunday ones; that is, from tomorrow forward, full price starts at 2pm as opposed to 6pm. No word (yet) on whether this will be the case Monday-Thursday as well. This is new for this week; I paid $6.50 to see Hellboy at 5:20pm last Friday after work.

I am generally the last person to whinge about movie ticket prices being too high. Evening ticket prices are generally in the $9.00-$10.25 range, which is pricey, but generally gets you a couple hours of entertainment in a nice seat and very good viewing conditions. My brother points out that the theaters in Falmouth, ME are cheaper when he goes home, but also readily admits that they suck relative to the presentation in Boston. I do not mind paying a little extra.

However, I also go to a lot of movies, especially during the summer. Three or four a week isn't uncommon. If I paid full price, I would go to fewer. The good people at Loews know that this would mean me purchasing fewer sodas, popcorns, and french fries. (I can't do the candy. It's too large a serving. Heck, a small popcorn is too much, really). As we all know, the concession stand is where theaters make the bulk of their money, especially during the week, as the studios take up to 90% of the box office take and we have, as a nation, been programmed to eat when we go to the theaters. Doing away with half the Friday matinees makes me less likely to go to a movie on Friday, and by the time Monday comes, maybe I'm not as interested - I'm now trying to cram more movies into the same number of "slots".

So, what to do? Well, I filled out a survey from Loews a couple weeks ago which netted me a coupon at their Discount Ticket/Gift Card site, so I'll bag a $100 gift card for $80, and hope like heck that the summer promotion where you can purchase Weekday Escape tickets in groups of 5 rather than 50 returns in May. The promotions since November, where you can purchase an overpriced tin with T-shirt and candy, have been, in general, lame. But the Weekday Escape which gets you admission and a small popcorn for $5 from Monday to Thursday is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Indeed, if anybody reading this would like to split a book of 50 of those suckers, drop me a line.

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