Monday, January 09, 2006

Basically Like Stealing

So, I went to see a movie this weekend. As in, actually at the cineplex, which is something that I rarely do any more. I had a generally good time, and not just because of the movie I saw or the company I enjoyed. One of the other reasons that I tend to enjoy myself at the movies more than most people is the smug satisfaction I get out of being essentially a leech on the theater's business model. Interestingly, I came across an article today that specifically reinforces that concept in my mind, and even is so kind as to list out the ways in which I personally stiff the movie houses. According to the article, movie theaters' revenue is based upon three sources:
    this is a stickup
  • concessions (popcorn and sodas primarily)
  • ticket sales
  • advertising
On the rare occasion that I go to the movies, I manage to deny them the greatest amount of money possible from all three of these categories:
  • I never purchase their insanely overpriced popcorn or sodas.
  • I rarely go to an evening showing, and if I do (as I did this weekend), it is only with coupon in hand.
  • I show up a few minutes after the published start time so as not to see any advertising.
Granted, not watching the advertisements doesn't cause them not to get paid for them, but it is one less "impression" that they can claim. Also, not only do I not buy their food, but I take great joy in smuggling in as much food as possible—bottles of water, big boxes of grocery-store-bought candy, and full meals purchased at a neighboring fast food outlet, including one time when I hid four or five Arby's sandwiches in my jacket.

I also employ similar tactics at certain grocery stores. Tactics such as never setting foot inside them unless they have a dozen or more items on a particularly good sale. I buy the items on sale, and only the items on sale, pay with a credit card, and leave. The "you saved" amount on my receipt is often equal to or greater than the actual total bill. I'm pretty sure they lose money every time I walk through their store.

Of course, I realize that if everyone were as much of a total cheapskate as I am, the movie theaters and grocery stores in question would surely go out of business. Incidentally, no matter how much I try, I just can't seem to care.

Hang on... nope, not one bit.

Source: Slate
image sourceCategories: Personal, Capitalism

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I work at the Regal Cinemas in Port Orchard, and I completely agree with you that we charge outrageous prices for our concessions and tickets...at the same time, I get medical and dental with this job, along with free tickets.

But my point is that I agree with you about our insane prices.

-Megan

2:01 AM, January 10, 2006  
Anonymous Cydney said...

After buying a $3.75 'box' of Skittles that contained about the same amount as a king-size skittles package you get at the grocery store, I vowed to never buy candy there ever again. If I eat the popcorn, it's because someone else is buying. I figured out that it cost me about 35 cents per skittle buying at the movie theater.

Whenever my family goes to the movies, everyone has to smuggle all their candy in their coats or in my purse, so I have to make extra room in my purse and leave my calander and gloves in the car so I can fit everything.

And I also usually only go to matinees. And I make sure I get that student discount.

Haha! I'm the same way with grocery stores. (I think I got it from my mom. . .scary.) Not on sale? Won't buy it. And if they don't ask me for my club card, I give it to them (or give my phone number) anyway.

10:11 PM, January 10, 2006  

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