This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

No More Movies

Posted By Paul
One thing I've noticed as the years go by is that I gain new pet peeves on an almost daily basis.

Okay, maybe not daily, but certainly things annoy me more than they used to, which I believe means I am right on schedule for 'grumpy old man' status some day.

But my point is that in the last few years it has become more and more difficult for me to go the movie theater. Why? I don't like the crowds, and more often than not I end up in a theater with a talker, loud food eater, etc.

So now I rarely go to see movies in the theater (maybe once or twice a year). Recently my wife and I went to the theater with some friends, and I was amazed at the prices. The tickets were up to $9.25 per person! Assuming my wife and I both go I'm looking at almost $20 for a movie!

The cost of a movie in a theater is getting crazy, especially considering that I was annoyed by Blockbuster online raising their monthly fee $2 per month.

So it turns out that my gradual grumpiness has paid off to the point where my wife and I have become "social movie goers" only. When it's just the two of us we just watch a DVD. We have a 14 year old TV, but the picture quality is good, and several years ago I bought a home theater speaker system (nothing fancy, but it's good), and for me and my wife we've noticed that once we got the decent sound system a DVD at home is even better than a trip to the theater.

Now when we watch a movie on DVD we don't have to deal with lines, crowds, and so on. We can watch the movie over dinner or a dish of ice cream (MUCH cheaper than buying the snacks at the theater), and our comfy couch beats any theater seat. Another bonus is that we can pause the movie if we want to get a snack, or need a bathroom break. Plus we've noticed that by the time a movie comes out on DVD we've often heard recommendations from people if it's good so we RARELY see a bad movie anymore.

When I tell people that I prefer to watch movies at home a common thing that I hear is that they can't wait for the movies to come out on DVD, they want to see them NOW in the theater. This was a problem for us for a while, but we discovered that after a while of staying away from the theater, all the movies we DIDN'T see in the theater started coming out on DVD, so now instead of looking forward to the new movies coming out in the theater, we look forward to the new movies coming out on DVD. If you can just suffer through that interval between a movie coming out in the theater and coming out on DVD, then you'll still have new stuff you want to see every week.

If you are one of those people who sees a lot of movies (like on average 4 or more a month) you might want to take a few months and do a quick tally of how much you actually spend on your movie outings (include things like parking, and snack bar trips). Assuming at least $7 per person per movie, it doesn't take long before the money spent on a simple home theater setup pays for itself (just don't put in your credit card).


Matt said...

I can second a couple of these points. For one, I really find it hard to sit in a theater chair for 2+ hours; too uncomfortable. And sometimes I just don't want to sit through those really long movies all at once. When I used to work a lot, I sometimes would watch a small portion of a movie as I ate breakfast before work, and could stretch a movie out for several days. Okay, so I have a short attention span. :)

Matt said...

Also, I agree with Paul that after you're out of the theaters for awhile, you start anticipating DVD rentals instead of theater releases. There's always enough to see. After several years of Netflix, my wife and I probably still keep our queues up to nearly 200 movies, and we're on the 6-disc-at-a-time plan! (We don't have cable.)