Last week I noticed our local theater was showing a couple of movies I really, REALLY wanted to see and well, they're not the type my wife enjoys, so it would be a bachelor night out.
I was primed and excited. A Thursday night. I was going to go on Tuesday night but decided there really wasn't any reason since the Tuesday 2-for-1 price really wouldn't have any bearing on the matter. Plus, on Thursday night, it is BYOB - Bring Your Own Bag and let them fill it for free with popcorn. All you pay for is the butter and extra butter, if you want it. I've seen a group of 4 girls come in with a black trash bag and get it filled at least 1/3, if not 1/2 full. Side note: They threw the EMPTY bag in the trash at the end of the movie!!
Anyway, Thursday night it was - a cheap night for me. Showing was "The Martian" at cinema 1 and at cinema 3 was "The Intern." With judicial timing, I could see "The Martian" at 5pm and step over to cinema 3 at 7:30pm to watch "The Intern." It was going to be a perfect night.
Two movies, free popcorn. Perfect, just perfect.
Did you note the earlier sentence... going to be? Drove into town, found a parking spot which was easy since the whole town square seemed dead. Walked to the movie theater, a little confused since the lights weren't on. And for a very good reason.
They were closed. HUH??
Seems that week they started the new policy. Only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
So much for my double feature. So much for the free popcorn. As my one daughter-in-law constantly tells me: Sucks to be you.
I went home. I was really down in the slumps. I enjoyed going to the show during the week since it wasn't packed full of young kids, crying babies and others who really didn't want to see the movie so they decide to ruin for everyone else.
There was no way in Hell I would be going to the matinee at 5pm on a Friday or Saturday. Every 15 year old in town would be filling the cheap seats. And waiting for the 2nd showing after 7pm was just as bad with all the families and/or daters.
So, Sunday night, I figure it might be a safe play. Everyone is getting ready to go back to work or school. The 5pm showing could be gamey but not too bad. The 2nd show should be okay.
Of course, the free popcorn won't happen. No, I'll pay the senior price for a ticket, $5 for each show. That will be a major investment of $10. Then I'll need a big tub of butter popcorn - that should be about $4.50 plus a large diet pop, another $3.50. I might be able to stretch the popcorn for the 2nd showing, but I'll definitely need another bladder-buster pop. Okay, let's be honest, I love popcorn. I'll have to buy more for the 2nd show. Hm? $16 in treats - if I don't buy any candy and only $10 to get in.
What's wrong with this picture?
Usually when I and my wife go out to the show, we call it date night. And I'm cheap.
Some fast-food chain $1 menu - 2 burgers, 2 fries, 1 large drink = $5.00
Tuesday night 2-for-1 tickets = $5.00
Theater refreshments - 1 large tub of popcorn with extra butter and 2 large drinks = $11.50
Oh, I forgot, she has to have her Snowcaps = $3.00 (the same one you can buy for $.99 elsewhere.).
Well, it "was" a cheap night out until we hit the concession stand. LOL.
What really upsets me though is the fact that the movie theater is closed during the week. How many remember the drive-in movies? They were open every night, then only on weekends, and then...
I'm worried that our local theater will be closing. It was a nice theater when I was kid - it was big with a stage that had magic shows and all sorts of wonderful entertainment, not to mention the Saturday matinees. I joined the service, moved away and now I'm back, it has been upgraded and downsized into 3 cinemas enabling it to show all the new movies for a week before the next big flick hits the screen.
I think whoever is watching sales and marketing has lost it. During the summer, it was open and had poor attendance. Let's review: It is summer. I want to go on vacation. I want to picnic. I want to play baseball, tennis, go swimming or just enjoy the summer evening. Now it is Fall. Kids are back in school. Everyone is home. Let's close the theater since nobody came during the summer.
Hellllooo??? Nobody was home during the summer!! Marketing 101. I'm not traveling as much. I'm not attending baseball games or swim meets. I'm not picnicking. I'm home. In the evening, after the meal, I'd love to attend a movie for some entertainment.
Nope!! Can't do that. They closed.
And the scary part? They may close forever. Movies are going to DVD faster than ever. Why go to the theater when it will be available in about 7 months to watch on our own Smart LED 60+ inch televisions?
So, order from Chan Ling's carryout menu, curl up on the couch and download a new movie to watch on your smart television, It's coming!!
Drive ins are dead. Movie theaters just haven't been notified as yet, but it is coming.
Don't let it happen!!! Go to a movie. Enjoy an evening out. Keep your local theater open.
Until next I ramble on...
UPDATE: "The Intern" - an excellent movie which I highly recommend. "The Martian" was a good movie with a lot of twists and turns, told in an almost diary format. Something tells me the book was lot, LOT better!!! Oh, and they changed the schedule at the theater for Sunday's viewing. I had to wait almost an hour and a half between movies or miss about 30-40 minutes of "The Intern" beginning. I figure I can skip up to maybe 15 minutes of the start of a movie that's at/over 2 hours long... but half an hour? Back to "The Intern." Linda Lavin (aka Alice in the TV series Alice or as most people remember, Mel's Diner) has a small but very special part. She was priceless. Anne Hathaway, Robert DeNiro and Rene Russo were great. Even Adam DeVine (famous for Bumper in the Pitch Perfect franchises) did a bang-up job. Will definitely get "The Intern" when the DVD comes out.