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Saving Some Dough (and Sticking it to the Man)
by Tim Josephs

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What's a guy to do?

What's a guy to do?
With the economy as bad as it is now, scrimping and saving are probably at an all time high for most people. I myself have given up toilet paper. However, I couldn't possibly live without seeing movies. So how do you stick to a tight budget and still see all those movies you've been waiting for? Well, there are a few things you could do. One, wait until the films arrive on DVD or Blu-ray, or if you're old school, VHS. Not a horrible option considering how fast that seems to happen nowadays. Or, if you're the patient type, you could wait even longer until they're on cable. But, if you really want to see all those movies without waiting, you can do what I do: stroll on down to the multiplex and see several movies at one time. For all you prudes out there who think it's stealing or it's just wrong, please. You know what I think is wrong? Tickets that cost $10 and over. Popcorn that starts at $4. A box of Goobers for well over $50. Besides, I would never do this at an independent theater, just the huge faceless conglomerates that deserve it. Anyway, seeing multiple movies on one day is fun and can be quite easy. Here's how to do
Is there anything better than watching a movie? Yup, watching several

Is there anything better than watching a movie? Yup, watching several

Step 1: Finding the Right Movies to See

I generally try to work it out so I can see three; I've considered four but six-plus hours in the dark is usually enough for me. My rule is that at least one of those movies is one I really want to see and another that I wouldn't mind seeing. The final film should be one that's hopefully entertaining or at least something that has some nudity, but generally one I would never pay to see. But hey, see what you like, whatever floats your boat, as Confucius once said.

Step 2: Choosing the Best Order

Ideally I like to see the movies in a certain order, usually worst to best, or start with a heavy drama and end with lighter fare, but often it doesn't work out that way. It really depends on the start times. I'll scrutinize the listings (I love the newspapers that give the running times, that makes my job a little easier), then figure out what order works best. I try not to have a wait time between movies longer than twenty minutes. And if there's a slight overlap that isn't a big deal. Remember, previews typically account for about ten to fifteen minutes.

Step 3:
These three items will cost you $87

These three items will cost you $87
Snack Time

What about the food, you ask? You can't possibly go that many hours without eating, but how can you avoid paying the aforementioned ridiculous prices for a little nosh? Simple: convenience stores. Go in and buy whatever will fit in your pockets. (Obviously colder months are easier because they're more conducive to large coats). I'll usually get some candy bars and maybe a little bag of chips. But hey, get what you want, I don't judge. My brother, an avid multi-movie watcher himself, likes to bring veggie dogs. The only tricky part is the drink. It's hard to conceal even a can of soda particularly if your pockets are already filled, so often I'll bite the bullet and buy one at the theater. The good part about that is even the smallest size is so big it'll make it through three movies and probably beyond. Incidentally, you ladies have an easier time than us guys where smuggling food is concerned, what with handbags and such. My wife who is good for sneaking in snacks in her large purses really dislikes seeing more than one movie at a time so then I'm on my own.

Step 4: Avoiding the Fuzz

So far I've never
Two Tickets? That'll be your first born child, please

Two Tickets? That'll be your first born child, please
been questioned by any theater employees but just in case I do, I'll buy a ticket for one of the later movies I'm going to see. (If asked you could feign ignorance: "No, this is the movie I paid for, they must've printed me the wrong ticket.") And I will always buy a ticket. My brother used to sneak into theaters and watch several films for free. I haven't sunk that low yet. Some places have gotten wise/sneaky and have two different entrances where people take tickets. I usually try to avoid those. Once inside the first thing I do is find the other theaters I'll be going to so I don't have to be scrambling later.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Sit back and relax, take out your candy bars and veggie dogs, and have a great long day at the movies.

My parents occasionally mention how when they were growing up trips to the movie theater would routinely involve double features and sometimes cartoons and shorts as well. All that for fifty cents or whatever it was. Well, I'd like to think those double (and triple) features are still available, you just have to do a little legwork to get them.

Next column: The Beginner's Guide to Bootlegging!

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Movie Musings
Every other Tuesday

Thoughts, observations, conjectures, complaints about movies and mostly how they relate to me personally. If you're looking for something a little broader, try Ebert.

Other Columns
Other columns by Tim Josephs:

So Long 2013, and MatchFlickers!

The Season for Peace, Presents, & Puncture Wounds

Women are Once Again Kicking Ass

Chewing the Scenery

The Greatest President We Never Had

All Columns

Tim Josephs
Born to write (literally much to the displeasure of his mother, he emerged with a pencil clutched in one tiny fist), Tim spends most of his days crafting epic monosyllabic poems, new comical titles to his favorite Beatles' songs (Hey, Dude), and angry letters to local businesses that have wronged him in some way. He's really an okay guy once you get to know him.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Tim Josephs by clicking here.

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