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Posted: Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2008

AMC theater chain's $5 ticket offer makes common sense

By Lawrence Toppman
Published in: Lawrence Toppman

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Someone in authority is finally helping to relieve the strain of this bad economy, and not in a way that's going to raise taxes later, foul the environment or create debt.

The AMC theater chain has decided to make every movie available for $5 a ticket Mondays through Thursdays.

All movies, all shows, all venues – Northlake, Carolina Pavilion and Concord Mills locally – are $5 (there's a $1 service charge if you purchase online in advance).

The chain has also discounted concessions: $7.50 will buy you a 32-ounce popcorn, 16-ounce drink and a regular box of candy. (Go to amctheatres.com and click on “concession offers and more” for details.)

Reduced-price matinees have always been common, but this is the first time evening shows are just as cheap. Such discounted tickets could be the first step toward the kind of common-sense pricing exhibitors now resist.

The law of supply and demand prevails on other circuits, where hot bands and plays charge more.

But at movie theaters, every day has traditionally been equal – even though attendance during the week is much lower than on the weekend – and every movie has been equal, so that blockbusters such as “ Hancock” and obscure indie films cost the same.

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