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I love going to the movies. I love getting my ticket, a big bag of popcorn and some Snowcaps – finding the best possible seat in the theater, sitting back and losing myself in a story for a couple of hours.
I love movies, and love seeing them on the big screen.
But now, instead of being a great escape, they are an extremely pricey way to escape reality – and not one we can fit into our budget very often.
When I was single, going to the movies was one of the things I felt comfortable doing by myself. I could be anonymous and not worry that people were looking at me and thinking “she’s alone!”
It probably started in college with weekly midnight showings of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (and yes, I participated in the interactive showings) and free flicks shown on campus. A highlight was seeing “Gone With the Wind” in a refurbished and very old theater in Richmond, Va., complete with an organ player during the intermission.
I vowed with a male friend of mine after we saw “When Harry Met Sally” that if we were both still single when we turned 30, we would marry each other. It never came to that, thank goodness. I cried my way through “Ghost” at least five times in the theater (and anytime I see it on TV).
And when Scot and I started dating, going to the movies was one of our favorite dates.
Once, we were the ONLY people in a theater to see the action-packed “Under Seige,” starring Steven Seagal. I STILL don’t quite get why there was no-one else in the theater. I know Seagal is kind of a joke now, but in 1992, he was still popular, wasn’t he?
There were always movies that we just had to see in the theater – “Apollo 13,” “Forest Gump,” “Twister,” “Jurassic Park,” “Titanic.” Our dating and early married life was a feast of great movies: “The Firm,” “Men in Black,” “Dances with Wolves,” “Independence Day” and … “A Few Good Men” (“You don’t want the truth because deep down in places that you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall; you need me on that wall.”).
Romance, action, adventures – the movies of the 90s had it all!
And by the way, Scot and I (and now the boys) are always the only people still in the theater while the credits roll. Sometimes you miss a little gem at the end if you leave before the credits are finished.
When Palmer came along and then Brannon, we tried not to let our love of the movies diminish. As soon as they were able, we started taking the boys to the movies. Of course – we were seeing G-rated, animated films instead of sweeping dramas and adventures. “Monsters, Inc.,” “The Emperor’s New Groove,” the “Shrek” movies, the “Toy Story” movies, “Ice Age,” “Over the Hedge,” “Cars,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “The Incredibles” and just about any animated Disney flick that we thought would entertain the kids without insulting our (or the boys’) intelligence.
Scot has slept through some of these offerings – including “Despicable Me,” – except “Finding Nemo” – no-one could sleep through that movie!
For Scot and me, our movie theater dates are a thing of the past – although I can remember taking an afternoon off while the boys were in day care to go see “The Perfect Storm.”
Even with the increase in popularity and availability of movie rentals, On Demand and video streaming – we still viewed going to the theater as just about the perfect family entertainment.
But something has happened in the last 10 years or so. A movie at the theater and all the accoutrements has gotten a little bit too pricey.
Now – we have to really want to go to the theater to make the financial commitment. We prioritize the movies we really want to see, and take a vote. If we go to the theater twice a year, that’s a lot. We don’t want to pick the wrong movie and feel like we wasted our money (oh, and it has happened).
A sure bet for us still is anything made by Pixar.
So on July 4th weekend, we decided to go see the latest Pixar offering – “Brave.” It was tops on everyone’s list – a unanimous choice in the Rovins house. We picked our matinee, and headed out to the theater. I have a favorite theater that I like to go to. It’s a bit of a drive, and the prices are a tiny bit higher. But if I’m going to spend that much money on going to a movie – I want comfort and good popcorn!
We don’t go for IMAX, we don’t go for 3-D – we just want a good old-fashioned movie. And even still, it cost us $37 for tickets. Add in popcorn, Twizzlers and a drink (that we shared), and our total bill was about $60!
That is real sticker shock! I can buy a lot of groceries for $60 – especially when movies are free at the library and about $1.27 from a kiosk.
Given the advent of all the options for watching movies, you would think theater owners would want to do what they could to keep prices down. Maybe if they didn’t serve pork barbeque sandwiches – and kept their offerings simple – the prices could be a little bit lower.
Just when I start to wonder why we don’t go to the theater more often – we go, and I am painfully reminded through my wallet.
Saturday nights remain movie night in our house – first a family movie and then a movie for just the two of us – if we’re still awake (which we never are).
We still pop our corn and turn out the lights – but now we watch in our PJs. We can put our feet up, get under blankets, relax, stop the movie if we missed something and watch it a second (or third) time without having to pay again.
What are your favorite “must see in the theater” movies? E-mail your faves to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.