Monday, December 20, 2010

The Rare Negative

It is a rare occurance that I give anything a bad review. I am certainly a glass-half-full person, and when I have bad experiences I tend to just go about my business. The world can do with a few less opinions is my stance.

However, I do feel like it is necessary to put this out into the ether. We will not be frequenting any movie theatres owned by AMC ever again. Not because of a particularly bad experience, but because our Showplace 16 theatre, formerly owned by Kerasotes, was recently bought out by AMC and their prices shot skyward. We simply cannot afford to see movies at that theatre anymore.

We first noticed it when we paid $16 for 2 regular tickets last night to see 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader'. It came as quite a shock because we normally pay $14.50. So the ticket prices had gone up. But that was nothing compared to the snack bar.

Alex and I have a system when it comes to our movies. We always go on Sunday night - fewer people. We always go early - never later than 8 pm. We are part of working America and we get up to go to our jobs in the morning. And we usually get 2 drinks and popcorn to share because we could get that particular combo for $11.50. Not anymore. AMC has their own 'combos' and they even gave them fun and exciting monikers so you're blinded to the absurd amount of money you're paying for them! (Please note there is a large amount of snark in that comment that can't be portrayed in font.) A large drink and bag of popcorn - the 'Producer's Pack' - is $12.75. For $15 you can get another large drink! A small soda is $5.50 and a small popcorn is $4.25. Candy is $5.

And there was a huge line at the snack bar.

Now, I know that this is where they make their money, but shouldn't there be a reasonable line? And they wonder why people sneak things in. I can buy 24 cans of soda for $5.50. I can pop two or three pounds of popcorn for $4.25. This is the Midwest - and Indiana to boot. Don't we have enough problems with our economy?

I'd really LOVE to know who looks at a failing theatre, in a city that is plagued by homelessness and unemployment, and says, "Let's RAISE the prices so that it will become profitable again! After all, everyone LOVES movies and loves to go see movies!"

I might feel better about it if they had bothered to clean up the theatre when it was bought out. Sorry AMC, a 20 foot tall sign on the side of the building does not qualify as 'cleaning up'. Showplace 16 is still the ghetto dump that it has always been, right down to the peeling paint and the broken doors in the ladies rooms. If you're going to charge me more money, at least put some effort into it.

We do love to see movies. We are on a pretty strict budget. We don't get to go to the movies all that often. But we left a theatre last night that was a mediocre experience at best. The movie was wonderful, but tainted by the fact that we had put out $40 (a week's worth of groceries for us) to buy 2 tickets, a bag of popcorn and a drink. I can only imagine what it must be like for my friends who have children.

We will no longer be frequenting any AMC theatres. Fortunately there is a Cinemark theatre on the north side of town that still offers more reasonable prices for now. We can still get our adult tickets for $14 and our popcorn and soda for less than $10. And when the prices go up? Well.....going to the movies is a luxury we'll probably go without. After all, isn't that why Movies on Demand and Netflix exist?

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