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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Who doesn’t love a discount movie theater?

By Christina Coloroso and Jessie Fawson

The dollar theater: society’s great equalizer (Coloroso)

Being a poor college student is hard these days. Not only are tuition and gas prices on the rise, but so is the cost of quality entertainment, which all students must occasionally indulge in to relieve the stress of school life.

When you can’t afford to catch an expensive weekend movie anymore, where do you turn for make-out scenes, kung-fu action and car chases? The solution that no one likes to admit aloud is the so-called “dollar theater.” While it may not be as swanky as regular-priced theaters, the cheaper version of the real thing provides just as much entertainment at a fraction of the cost.

But students tend to shy away from discount theaters since their film selections are generally a few weeks behind the current movie scene.

I see this as a blessing in disguise. Rather than spending $8 on a popular movie you may not even enjoy, why not wait until all the frenzy has died down and then experience the film for yourself, independent of reviews and hype? Besides, cheaper theaters often promote more unusual films, those that weren’t necessarily successful in larger markets for a variety of reasons, which makes for a more unique film experience.

But if you’re resolute in your commitment to view only popular movies, waiting for them to arrive at the cheaper theaters means that at least the lines aren’t as long.

The dollar theaters offer a distinct incentive to die-hard movie fanatics-those of you who feel compelled to dress as your favorite characters and watch the same movie 37 times in a weekend. With this option, you can afford to feed your obsession without breaking the bank. People shouldn’t judge the dollar theaters so harshly. They provide good, clean fun to everyone, not just those with loads of extra cash lying around. These are the theaters that really help bring movies to the masses, and, thankfully, that includes college students on a tight budget.

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It’s all sticky floors and inferior cinematic products (Fawson)

The dollar theater was a great idea, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, it’s no longer what it used to be. The price is great, but little else is. Regardless of whether it’s playing “Gigli” or “Star Wars,” the discount theater just isn’t worth it. Why pay to go sit in seats that don’t fold down properly and have your shoes stick to the floor? Why go to a place that charges a buck to see a movie and $5 for popcorn that not only blocks your arteries, but also can’t possibly cost more than $2 to make?

Atmosphere is what makes or breaks a movie-whether the show was able to really scare you or make you laugh until your sides hurt is a huge part of its success. The atmosphere at the dollar theater only detracts from the atmosphere the producers and actors try so hard to create.

If you are going to go out to a movie, go for it-pay the exorbitant $8 amount, but don’t go halfway by going to the dollar theater-you’ll only be disappointed. Besides the facilities being subpar, the strangers sitting near you are not people you would ever like to meet in a dark parking lot; in a way they’re scarier than the horror movie you’re watching.

Additional trivial annoyances include the minimum three-month wait time after a movie’s release for it to arrive at the dollar theater and the limited-often poor-selection of movies.

Not everything makes it to the dollar arena-which, despite popular belief, does not mean that only the best movies make it there; extremely bad ones are played there, too. Instead of going to the dollar theater, why don’t you just save your money and go to the real theater later, or cuddle up with your significant other and watch it at home? There’s no real reason to shell out that dollar if all you’re getting is a substandard product.

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