Okay – uphill both ways in the snow warning. You can apply the following introduction to pretty much every sentence in this rant… “In my day…”
Do you remember when they first raised the ticket price for the movies to like $5 and everyone went mental? I remember it as one of the larger miscarriages of justice I had witnessed, or at least that I was aware of in the tender time that was the 1980’s. If you don’t remember you’re too young. There was a lot of hand-wringing and vows that folks would never again go to the movies. “Oh, my goodness gracious and for crying out loud, don’t cha know, when I was a kid, we used to go to the pictures for a nickel.”
Back in those good old days (when I was like 12), I joined in the ruckus and remember thinking that it was outrageous that it’d cost close to ten bucks for a guy to pay his way into the movies (once you hit the snack bar of course). I vowed never to go again… it was pure craziness… “Hello, movie studios, you awake in there? We’ve got this thing called television, and we have like four channels that broadcast anything I might want to see at least 16 hours a day…It’s now in full color and your days are numbered if you think I’m going to pay $5 to see your silly movie. Do you watch Moonlighting with Bruce Willis on channel 7, it’s totally awesome! Plus I can tape things with my VCR (that’s video cassette recorder… mine’s a beta-max).”
Of course, like you, I’ve continued to go to the movies (although I’m still not up for this 3D nonsense).
So the other day, I took myself and three kids to the movies, and I end up thinking, “Hey, at $45 bucks+/-, this is not such a bad deal.” When you look at it, the cost of a movie ticket has stayed roughly in-line with inflation (your $4 movie ticket in 1980 would cost $11.50 today). But other entertainment alternatives have gone absolutely bonkers. Have you been to a concert lately? The absolute cheapest seat you can get for most shows… probably $75 plus the mandatory “convenience fees.” The theater… minimum $100 a seat. How about a game? Do you have any idea what it costs to take a family of five to the Red Sox … wait for it… parking, five tickets (in the grandstand), two beers, five hot dogs, three sodas, one popcorn, four ice creams… $400. And, if you want seats from which you can actually see the game, double it.
All of this is not complaining, really, we’re spoiled for choice. We now have four or five hundred television channels, in stunning high definition (there’s still nothing on). We have countless entertainment options, many of which are good (and most of which you’ll recall from a recent blog post are better than the Australian equivalent). Really, this is a tip of the hat to the movies. I NEVER thought I’d say that the movies felt like a bargain to me… and don’t tell the movie studios… but I found myself thinking just that the other day.
By the way, we saw the Avengers. It was good, but I could have waited for Netflix.