Would you pay to watch a new movie in premium Cineplex seats? :PF Weekly grab a brew #72

grab-a-brew-online-new movieCINEMA MOVIES ARE A LUXURY


Watching a movie particularly at the Cineplex theatre may cost you approx. $2 more if you are hoping to take in a new movie and opt for new premium seats.

Cinema movies are just as popular today as they were many years ago even when the drive-in theatre was a popular night out.

You might still find the odd drive-in movie theatre still in business but for the most part people head indoors in bunches every night to take in a new movie or two.

With new movies coming to theatres often movie fans want to get their fill of seeing the best new movies on the giant screen while being able to pick the best seat in the house.

Cineplex like any other business is looking for ways to increase customer service and of course revenues even though most people cringe at the prices they pay to snack on movie favourites such as buttered popcorn, nachos and cheese and large-sized pops.

Just ask CBB blogger Katrina who went to the movies last week and I believe she mentioned she spent around $40 in snacks to bring her kids to see Rio 2. She didn’t have time to eat dinner and the Cineplex movie times for Rio 2 and finishing time at work meant that she had to ditch dinner for fast food at the theatre.

It’s a good thing she had free movie tickets otherwise that night out could have amounted to a much more costly hit to her budget.

If we go to the movies we avoid the snack counter at all costs simply because the prices hurt our eyes. For the young kids it’s a fun night out or if you are family and lucky enough to score movie coupons maybe you can get a great deal. If you budget entertainment costs into your budget then a night out at the movie might be a worthwhile splurge for you.

I know many people say they won’t buy food at the movie theatre but some people like to enjoy the full experience especially if they don’t go often. Maybe that’s what movie theatres bank on so they can cash in with all the high-priced snacks because the movie tickets are just as pricey.

It reminds me of the grocery stores because for all the people who load up on sales especially those loss leader products the customers who pay full-price offset those loses. Maybe I’m just thinking way outside the box, but that’s just the way I am.


Inspecting the movie theatre before the show


How many people fit in a movie theatre? Well, that depends on where you go and how big the theatre is as they all differ in size.

The wife and I went to see Transcendence featuring Johnny Depp a few weeks back but on a cheap night where tickets were discounted plus if you had a SCENE card you’d get a further discount of 10%.

It was a good thing she had a gift card from a focus group we participated in a couple of years back. (Can you tell we don’t go to see a new movie often lol) It was a nice surprise to see that we actually had money on the gift card. Our night out cost us just under $2.

We were the only people in the theatre at the time so the crazy guy that I am I wandered around to test out seats. I went to the very front and sat down to realize how horrible the seating was.

My neck was in pain just looking at the screen and it was hard to follow movie previews and adverts that were playing before the movie. I sat in the middle and at the top and I could clearly see why so many movie fans flock to those seats as their first choice.

Then I got this bright idea to count all the seats in the theatre because I wanted to know how much money the movie theatre could take in if they had a full house. At the time I knew I should have written the number down but it was somewhere in the ballpark of 164 seats maybe 184 but no more than 190 seats in the theater we were in.

This was counting the wheelchair seating as well. If you do the math that’s quite a bit of money they are making just to run one new movie provided the theatre is filled which is not always the case. I’ve actually been to a movie where my date and I were the only couple watching the new movie. Shocked, not really but if the theatre isn’t packed they may be losing money so trying to offset those costs go to food, games and premium seating arrangements.

Just for the record there were only maybe 15-20 of us in the theatre that night because the flocks of women were packing the other sold out shows for The Other Woman. Transcendence was not a disappointing new movie as it was rather a different take on life, but I won’t ruin it for you.

If they run 7 or 8 screens at a given time a few times per day, that’s lots of dough again provided they have a packed house. Factor in all the games they have for the kiddies to play before the movie starts not to mention the food, that seems like a lucrative business to me. The problem is movie theatres can be busy one week and dead the next depending on the season and how good the new movies are that are playing.

Just to go to the movies regular admission will cost you around $12.50 for an adult, $8.99 for a child and around $9.50 for a senior. Prices vary depending on where you live and if you see a movie in 3D expect the price to be higher upwards of $5.00 more, again depending on where you live.


New movie premium seating prices


Yesterday while looking through movie listings I was stopped to read an article that was explaining that Cineplex is conducting a pilot project in a Toronto Cineplex theatre. Cineplex already offers premium services such as VIP cinemas which have licensed reserved seating and the popularity of this is what’s driving this new premium seating.

They said base prices to go see a new movie are not going up and they want to make that clear to the customers. That’s a relief!

What they do want is try to offer premium seating for those that want to have the luxury of paying for the best seating in the movie theatre. Sounds reasonable to me, but not new.

Premium seating is nothing new to me because in the UK we had this when I was living there. The premium seats cost more but they were comfy seats almost making you feel like you were at home in your living-room watching the new movie.

We all know that all good things come to an end so now you might not have to rush to the theatre to get the best seats in the house, rather you can reserve them ahead of time and take your time.

I know my wife and I didn’t even sit in the middle nor the top of the theatre rather we sat off to the side in a two-seater where it was a bit more romantic and we didn’t have to worry about movie-goers wanting us to get up and down so they could go to the restroom or to get food.

So, no we likely wouldn’t pay a premium to sit in the two middle rows but for some people they may want to dish out the extra cash because those middle rows might just give them the movie thrill of a lifetime.

Would you pay to watch a new movie in a premium Cineplex seat? Have your say, I’m sure they’d love to know to.


 Top recipe


Spring Jello Salad

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Foodie Bloggers from around the world.

Once a week I pick one recipe that has been submitted as my Top Recipe of the week. Trust me when I say this is no easy task as some of these foodies can cook up a storm.

This week I picked a lovely Spring Jello Salad recipe from the blog “Feeding Big“. It’s that time of year when we have backyard BBQ’s and head to beach parties and pot-luck gatherings and I thought this would be a perfect treat to bring along. Enjoy.


Weekly CBB posts


If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!


Weekly reads


Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read online over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.


Well, that’s a wrap for this PF Friday’s Grab a brew #72. Happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.



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  1. Thanks so much for the mention! I’m glad you liked it. I’m still not totally sure where I’m going to stash the cash for good… but at least I’ve got an emergency fund, so things could totally be worse.

  2. I’m trying to remember the last movie I went to…… I think it was one of the Harry Potter movies with the younger boy, maybe #4 or 5. We didn’t go to see the last few in the theater but he did receive the whole set piece meal as they came out so he got to see them and as many times as he wants at home here. I always had snacks and cans of pop in my purse for there. The boys didn’t really care if they had a snack or not to be honest.
    We used to go to the IMAX shows when there was a theater in London but that has closed down a while back. That was the closest I would go to a premium showing.
    Right now I can borrow a dvd from the library free of charge and that price is more my speed. We do own a number of dvd’s. a lot of those are hubby’s or the boys. I have the complete set of the show M*A*S*H* as well as the movie but I loved that show!!! We have also picked up a few dvd’s at the local library book sale for next to nothing. Back in the day we had a lot of VHS videos for the kids when they were young and our daughter has a good number of dvd’s for the grandson. He is happy as a clam to sit at home and watch them dozens of times. He will also bring his latest one here to watch here.
    Have a good long weekend Mr CBB…..

    1. I’m pretty sure the movie theatre knows people walk in with food and drink from home but there is only so much they can do. They make so much money as it is. We’ve brought snacks in before but not a full buffet lol.. maybe water and some nuts and raisins. I hope you have a lovely long weekend as well Christine.

  3. We will pass on the premium seats. Movies are so heavily priced already we rarely go. We find the 2D movies whenever possible. It’s up-charge for everything. While my son is desperate for the whole movie experience, we have in the past gotten him the kids combo and had nothing ourselves, we’ve resorted to bringing sugar free gum so he can chew away and feel like it’s more special. But now, we would only get him a drink as a purchase. He doesn’t understand the dollar increases we’ve seen at the theatre and the decrease in our financial income. We still want to give him the movie experience without the astronomical cost. I am always grateful when we get movie gift cards or free passes. This is one step to encourage me to wait even longer and rent the movies from our local library for free and “create” the movie experience at home, or wait for the dvd to be released and hope I receive it as a gift.

    1. I know the prices just blow my mind but they are there to make money and people are buying. Renting from the library for free is a great idea.

  4. Mom and I rarely go to the theatre anymore because it is so expensive. We watch things on Netflix or rent a movie from our local Redbox for $1.20. We can have a nice dinner, snacks and rent a movie for far less than we would have to spend at the theatre.

    Thank you for mentioning the award that I just won. I am so excited and really appreciate you!

    1. That’s so true Eva. For many it’s the big screen experience they want or a night out of the house and plenty of people will pay for that.

  5. It’s very common now in LA for ALL seats to be chosen ahead of time. I LOVE it because I don’t have to worry about where I’m going to sit, and I don’t have to worry about wondering what time to get there if the movie is popular. Tickets for the Arclight, a very nice theater close to my house is $13.75. I do not buy snacks or drinks. If I want that I bring it with me, and no I don’t feel like I’m cheating the theater. If I am, I don’t care. 🙂 The seats are roomy and it’s stadium seating. I only go to the theater if it’s a movie I really want to see and it got good reviews on rottentomatoes. I also go to the theater more when they release the Oscar-type movies because they are usually good. I LOVE movies and the movie experience, so very worth it to me.

    1. That’s interesting to know Tonya… and I”m sure before long they will be doing the same thing in Canada or for at least a good portion of the theatre.

  6. I am really the wrong gal to ask… we have a movie card for 2 admissions + refreshments that we received as a gift. But I haven’t been to a cinema movie in at least 5 years… because I have not found anything worth paying to see. I don’t buy their food, I bring my own water bottle and NO I certainly would not pay for a premium seat! What a little miser I am!!! LOL

    1. We had our gift card for some time as we forgot about it. The movies is a great time out if it’s something we want to see but we certainly only enjoy it on cheap night.

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