Monday, July 30, 2007

A Frugal Night at the Movies

On July 19 we went to the Brakley Drive-In to view Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This turned out to be a great idea as both the drive-in experience is quite entertaining and it is far cheaper than going to a traditional theater. Here's a break down of the costs:

Admission: normally it would by $7.50/person, but we went to the Drive-in website and printed off some coupons for $1 off each person so $13.00. Note though that this is the cost for two movies. We only stayed for the first one, but if you watch both then your savings will be even better.

Snacks: we brought our own air-popped popcorn, water, as well as our delicious 7-layer dip. I'll say as an estimate that this cost $2

Fuel to get there: the drive-in is about 17 km out of town so based on my data for mileage at 9.824 L/100 km, this works out to $3.89 based on an average gas price of $1.165/L.

Total Cost: $18.89

Traditional Theater

Admission: ticket prices Mon-Thurs are $8.75 and more on the weekends. If we had of gone to the regular theater on the same night, this would have cost $17.50.

Snacks: here's where things get interesting. For the equivalent food that we ate, had we bought it at the theater, we would have paid $6.74 for two 591 ml bottles of water priced at $3.37 each, $12.80 for two things of nachos at $6.40 each, and $6.05 for a large popcorn for a total of $25.59.

Fuel to get there: it's about 3.5 km to the theater from our place so given the numbers above, fuel would cost a mere $0.80.

Total Cost: $43.89


To no one's surprise, the traditional theater is about 2.3 times more expensive than the drive-in. This is pretty much an expected result given the huge mark-ups on food. However, you can combat that somewhat by bringing in plastic bags and taking liberal advantage of the unlimited free refill policy on large popcorns :D.


schaef said...

You should add "Renting a Movie" to the break down, just to beef things up. I guess it would include buying popcorn from the rental place and drinks too. Then just add the average driving distance, and voila!

/it's not just chicken

Sam Arsenault said...

I'ld like to see a future comparison on a night at dooly's verse a night in a bar with a coin opperated pool table.

Scholarly Warrior said...

You can especially take advantage of popcorn refills if you dump out the last few handfuls on your neighbour each time you're near empty.

/we have...things to do

Dumbguy said...

One... you have done this at the Theater.. I sat next to you as you experimented with the free refill policy...

And to have apples to apples you should have compared the cost of bringing your own food to both, or buying at both, or both options at each...