Movies: Staying In vs. Going Out

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Who doesn’t love a good movie? Whether it’s a comedy, action, science fiction or my favorite — romance — a good movie can make any day a little brighter. Few will argue about that, but people have different ideas about the perfect place to watch a movie. The great debate of whether to stay home or go out to the theater has been ongoing since the invention of the VCR.

We all know you can’t go to the theater if you want to watch a movie that came out 10 years ago, and you can’t stay at home if you want to watch a movie that came out yesterday. So let’s put the movie choice out of the picture for the time being.

Now that we have gotten past the movie choice, which is the better option in today’s world? Of course in 2009 America it is very important that we consider price.

College students are always on tight budgets, and a bad economy doesn’t help.  That puts a plus on the stay-at-home side. Staying at home with popcorn and a soda, both of which can be shared, is $10.52. While going to the theater and buying a popcorn and soda, that really can’t be shared, comes to $15.50.

Staying in:

6 bags of popcorn: $3.19

2-liter soda: $2.25

1 new-release movie: $5.08

Total: $10.52

Going Out:

1 small popcorn: $4.50

1 small drink: $3.50

1 adult ticket: $7.50

Total: $15.50

That is a big difference! Especially since when you stay at home, the movie and food can be shared among several people. In the theater, the listed price of $15.50 is for one person. Bring a friend, and it’s double.

We got the price covered. Now, on to our seating options. At the theater the seating is anywhere from slightly uncomfortable to horrible.  Cinema Center of Bloomsburg definitely leans more toward the horrible end of the scale. The chairs are small and made of that itchy fabric that torments anyone in shorts.  Then there are the arm rests.  Does everyone use just one arm rest? I can’t even count the number of times I have fought with friends over arm rests at the theater. And what about dates? Have you ever been on a date to the movies? Those chairs just add a whole extra level of awkwardness to overcome on a first date.

But at home you have a couch, or if you are in the dorms like me, a bed that doubles as a couch. Couches and beds do not have itchy fabric to bother you and there are no bothersome arm rests. I can’t curl up under my blanket and watch a movie at the theater (well I guess I could, but I would get some pretty funny looks). Continuing with our tally: A warm blanket is another point for staying home. Making the score 2-0.

Next: food options. At the theater, what can you get? Popcorn that taste horrible the second it gets anywhere close to cold, the $3.50 soda that runs out long before the popcorn, ridiculously priced candy that I always eat before the movie starts,  and we can’t forget the $5 nachos. That concludes our food selection at the theater.

Now lets look at home. Granted if I open my fridge right now we will find, three-month-old carrots, my roommate’s sour milk and about a hundred of her hot pockets. One trip to Wal-Mart however could change that and allow for any mix of foods for my movie-watching experience. Fresh-baked cookies anyone? Or just the dough. Of course we have popcorn that still tastes good cold, or even three days old. Hey, you can even make your own nachos and cheese for less than $5 and they will actually be edible, well, as long as you don’t burn them. What about an ice cream sundae? Even better a brownie sundae! Now that sounds good, doesn’t it? I think we all know who won this round. Staying at home wins once again.

I guess I should give going to the theater a chance, so lets look at the excitement factor. Even I, who as you can all tell by now, is a bit more into staying at home idea then going out, can’t deny that theater movies hold much more of a thrill then those viewed at home. Even with today’s surround-sound system, it just isn’t the same. Watching a movie on the big screen with the sound coming at you from all angles is magical. There is no better place to watch a horror movie than in the theater.

It is obvious that staying home is losing this round. Even a new, big screen TV can’t show a movie the way a big screen can. I can’t seem to get the feeling of being there when I watch a movie at home the way I do in the theater. The magic just isn’t there.

In case you haven’t already figured it out, I prefer to stay at home and watch a movie. The biggest reason isn’t because I like my blanket or the vast food selection in my fridge.  I like to stay at home because I tend to talk through the whole thing and others at the theater don’t usually seem to appreciate that.

In fact, I did a poll of 40 Bloomsburg students and 26 of them — 65 percent —  agree with me. Staying home to watch movies is just better.

Sorry theatergoers, but this time, you lose.

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