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How Often Do You Go Out To The Movies?

Last week, I asked about how many Oscar-nominated movies you've seen, and I was surprised that the most popular response was "none" followed by "a few." This led me to wonder how often our readers actually go out to the movies. Of course, many of you have a good home theater, which is generally quieter, more controllable, and less expensive (that is, not counting the purchase price!) than a commercial cinema. And some home theaters even provide a better audio/video experience than lesser commercial venues.

On the other hand, if you stay home to watch movies, you don't get to see the latest titles until they are released on Blu-ray or other media. Also, there are many commercial cinemas that surpass all but the most elaborate home theaters in performance. Then there's the social aspect—maybe I'm weird (okay, maybe there's no "maybe" about it!), but I actually enjoy sharing the movie experience with my fellow humans, as long as they don't talk or text during the show and the kid behind me doesn't kick my chair.

So how often do you go out to the movies? Why do you go—or not—in lieu of your home theater?

Vote to see the results and leave a comment about your choice.

How Often Do You Go Out To The Movies?

Albert71292's picture

I haven't been to a movie theater since the early 1990's. Cheaper to wait till they hit home video, then watch them at home!

jnemesh's picture

I havent seen ONE movie come out in the last 5 years that was worth the price of admission! Maybe if they work on telling a story (coherently!) instead of just blowing things up...maybe if they start with an ORIGINAL idea instead of reboots and weird cross-licence deals (Battleship: The Movie...REALLY????) Maybe if they just TRIED to make something...instead of phoning it in...then maybe I might be tempted to shell out $15 for a ticket and another $12 for a soda and popcorn! Until then, I will be waiting for Blu-Ray or digital distribution and enjoy my home theater.

adriandeftones's picture

Here in Mexico the situation is worse. Many theaters are outdated and the projector and sound system are far from reference level. Blurry and dim images are common, sadly. Also there is a lot of sound coming from the next room movie.

They also try to impress people in 3D movies with big bass and loud levels, and in 2D exhibitions they keep down things and there is one time I noticed that they turned off the surrounds.

That’s why I go to the movies 1 or 2 times a year.

Mister Leadfoot's picture

I used to constantly go to the theater but anymore the cost (and hassle of getting a good seat at a popular film) typically doesn't outweigh watching the blu-ray at my comfy home on my own HT system. In a way though, that just makes it more of an event when I DO see something at the show!

Ovation123's picture

When I was younger and single, I'd average 3 movies a week at the cinema (around 5 when I was a student--often 2 or 3 on Fridays which was doable with the midnight show).

Now, about 6-8 times a year. The biggest reason for not going to the cinema too much anymore has been my children. Thankfully, I have a very understanding and generous wife (she makes the serious money in our household--I'm the mostly stay at home parent who works part-time) who has contributed mightily to the "man-cave" and its gear as a compensation. I don't watch as many films as I used to (even with a great setup at home, I still spend time with my wife and kids. Though it cuts into my film-viewing, I wouldn't trade movies for being with them).

chrisheinonen's picture

I used to go all the time. Now I've seen three movies in theaters in the past 27 months, which coincidentally is the age of my son. Given that I can buy a title on Blu-ray and watch it in my theater with a 122" 2.40 screen for less that the cost of 2 tickets (and far less when you include food, babysitter, etc...) I see little reason to make the effort to go see something now. Some movies I will go see, but they are few and far between, and watching in my own space is just as good, and more comfortable.

Malcolm02's picture

Nowadays I hardly ever go out to see movies. My girlfriend and I love watching in our home theater. My 50in plasma isn't as big as in a commercial theater but the picture quality is awesome, and my surround sound system is easily as good if not better that most commercial theaters. There are no people in the way or making noise or kicking my chair. We can take a break whenever we like to go to the bathroom or get food/drink. We can rewind and see part of it again. If we decide we don't like the movie half way through, we take it off and put on something else. It's such a great experience. I rent disks from Netflix (no streaming). I have no problem waiting for the Blu-ray to be released or arrive in the mail.

notabadname's picture

As others have said: With a blu-ray costing less than $30, I would rather invest in my movie catalogue than spend twice that amount for my family on the film, drinks that cost 5 times the price of gas per ounce and hoping I don't get an awful seat location. And the theater experience is usually further spoiled by inconsiderate cell phone users and texters, wrapper noise and voice-overs made by equally rude patrons.

It has to be a special, must-see film, like the coming "Hobbit", that make it worthwhile to venture from home. Then it has to be seen on an IMAX screen.

Oruki's picture

I enjoy going to the movies still, but I tend to look for the afternoon showings because of the price difference, especially for 3D movies! I enjoy going to the 3d films since I do not have the option at home (yet). I also enjoy the larger screen for films I have been waiting for. I agree with the above posts though, that building up my blu ray collection and seeing them at home is so much more convenient.

Also, i agree about Imax. I really enjoy the massive screen and sound and definitely make an effort to go to for showings like Harry Potter, Avatar, etc...

Jarod's picture

At least once a week. If I'm not in my home theater, I'm at the movies. Home theater is my favorite hobby and at the heart of it it is because I am a movie lover. I love the privateness of my basement dedicated HT and love my plasma and 5.2 surround, but my local cinema is THX certified in all 18 of its theaters with Christie Digital projectors and it's ammineties are top-notch. It's the real deal so it's a blast seeing new movies there. A new 100ft screen IMAX was just added last year so we've been hitting that up alot too. Bottom line is in my HT or at the cinema-plex I love movies. I agree with you Scott about sharing the movie experience with others, as long as they are curtious that is. When the whole audience gasps or laughs at the same moment, it has a more powerfull impact emotionally to me. As great as a top of the line cinema is tho, some of my most fun and memorable movie moments happen in my own home theater.

Lazy_Guru28's picture

Once in awhile i'll go depend on the movie,recently i saw hugo in 3d,
and i cry'd that i had to pay that much to see it with the family. If cinemas lower their prices and get better sound system id go more often. Another reason i don't is that the darn teens put their feet up on your chair so annoying!.

dmusoke's picture

I first have to know where the theatres are, having inly lived in my town for 5 years or so.

VoodooChicken's picture

We are a couple of DINKs, so we don't have to justify buying tickets for a large family. There are a few discount theaters around here, so if we can find the TIME, we can go see quite a few movies, if we get motivated. The pattern seems to be we will take in multiple shows over a weekend if we do go out, then there will be a period of months we stay home. I do make good use of redbox, or rather I had in the past before they stopped offering special features on rentals.

dnoonie's picture

On occasion I do projection, I'm not that fast at it but I know how to get a good image. I don't consider myself a professional projectionist although when I do projection I get paid for the job. I don't have the 150lb tool kit and thousands of dollars of measuring tools to get it perfect.

With that in mind if I were given access to most movie theater projection I could make substantial improvements in under 15 minutes, give me an hour and it would look even better. Get a pro in there for an hour and it would be reference quality.

One day a month, $1500 or $2000 for up to 10 screens and a pro could keep a movie theater's projectors up to reference quality.]

Maintaining screens is necessary too, candy bar chunks and soft drink stains are unacceptable and too common.

Sound is another issue, missing channels, weak channels, channels that cut in and out, speakers that rattle...all unacceptable.

Bottom line...I can create a pretty good theater experience in my home (not what a movie theater should be but still better than many theaters) and I don't like taking a chance on a sub par experience for the cost of a movie ticket.