Getting out running instead of running off at the mouth/keyboard.

Standard

(Abandoning subtlety and cleverness completely with that title.)

Was so tired last night when I got home that the cat had tuna for breakfast; I 100% couldn’t be arsed to go back out and get him some less expensive/more nutritive food. Lucky old bastard.

I also spent all of yesterday so hungry I could have eaten my own arm. It’s a stress thing, and a hormone thing, but it put a damper on my plan (I am a week and a half in) to not buy any lunches or junk food during the work week (austerity budget) as I then bought a Sweet Marie so that I didn’t collapse. Even though I could have had dried apricots, or pecans, or soup, or any one of a million other foods I brought from home, I caved because none of them ticked the chocolatey/crunchy/salty box that needed to be, er, ticked.

And while we aren’t as expensive as other cinemas, that was a stupid expense. I could have gone next door to Mac’s and bought it for about eight cents cheaper. Seriously, though, I went to see The Master last week at another theatre and a *coffee* was $3. A bag of M&Ms was $4.99. A large popcorn required a credit report.

Oh wow, movie theatre food is expensive. Call the papers!

Okay, it’s not an original thought, but hell, how many of those are floating around anyway? But yeah, I did the fiscal year-end inventory last week and while our profit margins aren’t huge, they are pretty good. And we don’t search people to make sure they aren’t bringing in outside snacks either.

So how the hell are other places able to charge so much more? I know/understand the justification. Gigaplexes are expensive to run (so much space, too many lights, lots of staff), distributors charge a lot more for new blockbustery films (about 60% in a lot of cases – arthousey things aren’t quite that high), so the actual profit on a show that isn’t a huge hit is not very high.

Even knowing this, I am reluctant to go to them. Millions agree. The snacks are where the money is, but a 300% markup on chocolate bars? Charging $5 for 50 cents worth of popcorn? Totally insane. And one of many, many reasons the movie business is in trouble. Sensible people won’t (usually) spend that kind of money. And depending on teenagers as a customer base is the road to ruin.

Okay, fine, I don’t fully understand how chain cinemas work, but it would be better to sell more stuff at a slightly lower price, no?

High prices scare people away. But cinemas’ hands (go hug a movie theatre, folks, they might hug back) are tied; there are so many levels of nonsense and bureaucracy to deal with that cinema managers can’t do much to change the situation. If someone did an audit of the movie business at large, they’d find that it’s the upper tier of the the industry holding everyone hostage.

Going to the movies is supposed to be entertainment for the masses, not a select few. Cultural shifts like this are sad.

PS Support your local indie cinemas. Less glitz, lower prices, (often) better films, and many need to pay for big upgrades these days. Another one bit the dust in Carleton Place this month. RIP CP Cinemas.

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