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December 28th, 2008

Premium Movies

Let’s say you want to go see a show. The cost in my area is $10. Let’s say you want to add popcorn. That’s another $4 in its smallest size. How about a drink? A small soda is $4, or a bottled water is $5. So you’re out $18-$19 for just one person. That seems like a pretty steep price and, really, it is.

This past week we went to a premium theater near Denver, a Landmark Theater. They have a full bar and food in addition to the usual goods. The ticket cost is $12 which sounds steep but – and this is big – that includes unlimited self-service popcorn and soda. Oh, and the seats are leather with armrests that go up. And there are just six screens, and parking is free (something that is not true for any theater within the city of Chicago as far as I know.) And there are no commercials before the show.

But we decided to go all out and get the VIP package. For another $3 we were personally escorted to the theater. Oh, and we were given access to the first two rows of the theater that included wider, leather-clad loveseats with trays. And we had a waiter who would serve us any food and drink we wanted prior to the start of the movie.

In essence, it was an incredibly nice experience.

It seems to me that it’s a far better deal to go see fewer movies at better theaters, you know? For that $10 at the local 30-screen theater I get a marginally-comfortable seat, sticky ass floors, and nothing but access to the movie. So I can go a little less often, pay another $5, and get a much nicer experience. Seems like a deal to me.

And I should note that there’s a kickass Sundance Theater in Madison, Wisconsin too – while there’s no service at one’s seat, it’s great too.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

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