Technology, taxes, trying times: Movie theatres' dilemma - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Technology, taxes, trying times: Movie theatres' dilemma


By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They make you scream, they make you laugh, and sometimes even cry. The big screens bring in the big bucks, and movie theaters are always looking to make a few more.

A combination of technology, taxes, and trying times have movie ticket prices going up.

It is a ticket out of Texas and into another world.

"We slip away in the middle of the afternoon and go to a movie," said Jennifer King.

"They like to come to the movie theater," said Barbara Wilson. "They like popcorn and the candy and the whole bit."

But the price could soon be going to another dimension. Theaters owned by Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, and Cinemark holdings told the Wall Street Journal they are boosting ticket prices, leaving moviegoers paying up to 26% more per ticket.

At Time Square Cinema in Tyler it is a problem owner, Howard Charba, saw coming.

"The government raised minimum wage, they raised taxes, they've raised this, they've raised that, what are we supposed to do?" he asked.

"We've just done a digital conversion...this is very, very expensive," he said.

It is a switch to the tune of $100,000 for a disc in case and the equipment to play it. By raising ticket prices, movie theaters are hoping to cover increased costs, but they are taking a chance because now you can get a movie like you can get a Coke. Stand alone rental kiosks let you browse, and then choose, with automated steps leading the way. A swipe of a credit card later, you get your movie. Or, you could join the many others who get movies delivered right to their front door. East Texas prices have not jumped just yet, but when they do, they will face mixed reviews.

"They like to see it on a big screen," said Wilson. "I don't care I'll stay at home and watch the movie."

"It's like, why do you go to a restaurant to eat when you have food at home?" said King. "Sometimes it's just better."

"To get an hour or two away from the world and just enjoy yourself, a theater is still one of the least expensive ways to get that value," said Charba.

While ticket prices may go up there are still plenty of ways to save. Movie theaters often have special show-times or days when concessions and tickets are discounted.

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