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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How to Save Money on Movies during the Recession

by Serena Whitney

at-the-cheap-movies-6001I know it’s not the most rousing subject to be discussing right now, but no one can deny the rapidly increasing negative effects the Recession have been making in our world today. Everyday, people are either being laid off left, right and center, forced to work in dead end jobs because there are no other opportunities out there for the moment, or all “sitting ducks” and waiting for when the termination papers will be handed to them. It is a very scary time and because of that, everybody is trying to save every penny, which in turn is putting us in an extremely dangerous “catch 22” situation. This is because if nobody spends money, the economy is just going to get worse.

Despite 2009’s lucrative list of movies like Terminator: Salvation, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Transformers 2, and James Cameron’s long awaited 3-D feature Avatar, no one seems all that excited about spending money on seeing them this year. This is a change of pace considering everybody last year was going to the theatres every weekend because of 2008’s jam-packed schedule of blockbusters.

This to me is very depressing considering how any form of entertainment right now is very important for people’s states of minds during this stressful year. People long for an excuse to escape right now, even if it’s just for ninety minutes. (How else can you explain how Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail made so much money opening weekend?)

Going to the movies has always been unreasonably expensive, but there are ways of still being able to enjoy your favourite form of entertainment without breaking the bank and also being able to help out our poor economy. Here are my suggestions:

Movie Watcher’s Cards

There are a number of theatres out there, such as AMC that provide movie watcher’s cards that allow you to collect points towards free tickets and concession items every time you go to theatres. In Canada, (where I happen to live) they have a similar card called Scene. It works just like the movie watcher’s card, but you could also get Scene debit and credit cards with it that will let you accumulate points whenever you use the cards towards any purchase. It doesn’t hurt that by joining the program, you get up to SIX free movies on your cards! These are sensible cards for it allows consumers to save money at the movies and encourages you to make purchases. Visit www.moviewatcher.com and www.scene.ca for more details.

Support Your Local Theatre and Video Stores

By this, I don’t mean go to the local multiplex that charges you an arm and a leg or the Blockbuster down the street that sends you to collections if you forget to return a rental in a week. I’m talking about the obscure and neighbourhood-friendly theatres and video stores that carry cult movies on 16mm print or titles that even Amazon.com won’t have in stock for cost-effective prices.

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These establishments are owned by true film buffs and without supporting them through this difficult time, they are the ones that will suffer the most because of it. Plus, a lot of old theatres have cash bars in them now. (Sweet!)

Go to Morning and Early Afternoon Matinees

Why do we live in a society which thinks movie watching is only hip, fun and tolerable after 6PM? Why not go to an early bird show? Did you know that if you go to an AMC theatre on the weekend or a holiday before noon, you can see any movie for six dollars? It is a little known fact because most theatres know that people usually will not get up early to go to the movies. Most theatres also offer discounts before 6PM on tickets, so why not take advantage of these cheap prices and try something a little more creative for a first night date for a change?

Eat Beforehand

As appetizing as those pricey fast food lard products that will quickly clog up your arteries and send you to an early grave may look at the concession booths, why not be sensible and make some food before going to the theatre?

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This is what costs the most money anyways when going to the movies and a lot of people already know this for I always hear a cough trying to disguise a crack of a pop can being opened every time I go to the movies. (Don’t act like you haven’t done it before!)

Hold Movie Nights

This is something I would recommend any film buff to do. For almost two years now, I have been hosting monthly horror movie nights at my place with my close friends and acquaintances. For successful nights, make sure to have themes and try to make your picks fairly obscure and entertaining. (For example, I have hosted foreign zombie nights, French home invasion horror nights, morgue horror nights and so forth.)

Don’t underestimate your mainstream film buff friends; they will appreciate you trying to make them more knowledgeable of other cinema.

This allows you to reconnect with your friends, have fun, drink, and eat for low prices. You can also shop at your local video store for selections as well. (See you kill two birds with one stone!)

So that’s my list for cost-effective movie-watching tips. Why did I not mention “illegal downloading” you may ask? It’s not because I think it’s highly immoral. EVERYBODY has watched or burned a movie off the net, but during these hard times, the more downloading that happens, the worse the economy will get. Let’s try to be more responsible.

Original here

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