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#1
Old 02-17-2015, 06:28 PM
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Where are the discount movie theaters in Manhattan?

So I got a call from my daughter this afternoon, and in the course of the conversation she told me that ALL movie theaters in Manhattan charge at least $14 for a ticket.

That can't be right, I said to myself, and immediately went to Google to search for "Discount movie theaters in Manhattan." Up pops a yelp site called "two dollar movie theaters," with a crap-ton of listings. I homed in on the first one that showed Midtown East, and googled it. Under "information" it gave the standard ticket price as $14.50.

My first inclination was to make my displeasure known to the people who run the "Two Dollar Movie Theater" page, and tell them they should kick that theater off the page. Then I noticed that the "Two Dollar Movie Theater" page lists a LOT of businesses that aren't even movie theaters at all, such as restaurants, wine bars, museums, and hotels. So I decided that following up on my first inclination would be counter-productive toward meeting my goal (my goal being to find a cheap movie theater in Manhattan for my poverty-stricken-student daughter to catch a flick).

That's when I decided to ask my Doper pals: How does one find the discount movie theaters in Manhattan (for reference, the discount movie theater in the Main Place mall in Santa Ana has tickets that go for two dollars a show. But I'm willing to accept even one like the Cinema City Theater in Anaheim, where tickets are $5 all day on Mondays and Tuesdays, and on Sundays before 6 p.m. as qualifying)?

TIA

P.S. Not looking for the kind where Kilgore Trout spent the night before leaving for Midland City in Breakfast of Champions.
#2
Old 02-17-2015, 06:43 PM
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If you're willing to travel to the outer boroughs, these theaters offer $8.50 tickets several times a week (Tu/Th all day, M/W/F until 5pm, Sat/Sun until 2pm):
Cobble Hill Cinemas
Williamsburg Cinemas
Kew Gardens Cinemas
#3
Old 02-17-2015, 06:43 PM
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Is it possible that rents in Manhattan make a discount theater cost-prohibitive?
#4
Old 02-17-2015, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonebow View Post
Is it possible that rents in Manhattan make a discount theater cost-prohibitive?
or that supply and demand (and a whole bunch of rich people living nearby) don't require discount offers from the operators. If you can sell enough at $14 each, you don't have to offer any for less.
#5
Old 02-17-2015, 06:52 PM
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Yeah, I think they just don't exist in Manhattan. $2 a ticket? The space needed for theaters and the cost of New York real estate make that just about impossible. And not just New York - I've never heard of tickets that cheap anywhere in the US.
#6
Old 02-17-2015, 07:31 PM
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Theaters are expensive in downtown Chicago as well, with the AMC River East 21 charging $12.31 for an adult admission. But you should do what my wife and I do - go to CostCo and buy AMC passes at two for $16.95, bringing the cost per ticket down to less than $8.50 a ticket.

There might be a surcharge for a theater right off Times Square, but we've never had a problem or had to pay any additional amount at any AMC theater in Chicago. There is a surcharge for 3D, but it's not as if I needed any more reasons to avoid 3D movies.
#7
Old 02-17-2015, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodgers01 View Post
Yeah, I think they just don't exist in Manhattan. $2 a ticket? The space needed for theaters and the cost of New York real estate make that just about impossible. And not just New York - I've never heard of tickets that cheap anywhere in the US.
I can watch movies for two dollars in Rochester or Buffalo.
#8
Old 02-17-2015, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodgers01 View Post
Yeah, I think they just don't exist in Manhattan. $2 a ticket? The space needed for theaters and the cost of New York real estate make that just about impossible. And not just New York - I've never heard of tickets that cheap anywhere in the US.
I live in the Southeastern U.S., and there are a couple of theaters within driving distance that sell tickets for under $2. Granted, the movies they show are typically a few months old, it's not uncommon for them to have movies that have already been released on DVD, but still, a pretty good deal.
#9
Old 02-17-2015, 10:20 PM
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AMC theaters has a discount for movies with showtimes before noon. $7.79 on the upper east side.

https://amctheatres.com/movie-th...rpheum-7#70284
#10
Old 02-17-2015, 11:24 PM
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Actually, there was a discount, second-run movie theater for years in Manhattan. It was called the Worldwide and was located on 50th between 8th and 9th. It was still just $2 per ticket in the late 90s though I think they raised it to $3 at some point.

I went there often and remember vividly one weekend when I went with a bunch of friends and literally every movie was sold out for the entire night.

I don't know what year it closed.

Last edited by SJL4041; 02-17-2015 at 11:27 PM.
#11
Old 02-17-2015, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joebuck20 View Post
Granted, the movies they show are typically a few months old, it's not uncommon for them to have movies that have already been released on DVD, but still, a pretty good deal.
The movies that are currently playing at discount theaters in my area:

Annie
Big Hero 6
Dracula Untold
Dumb and Dumber To
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Guardians of the Galaxy
Horrible Bosses 2
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mortdecai
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Penguins of Madagascar
St Vincent
Strange Magic
Taken 3
Unbroken
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
#12
Old 02-18-2015, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
How does one find the discount movie theaters in Manhattan (for reference, the discount movie theater in the Main Place mall in Santa Ana has tickets that go for two dollars a show. But I'm willing to accept even one like the Cinema City Theater in Anaheim, where tickets are $5 all day on Mondays and Tuesdays, and on Sundays before 6 p.m. as qualifying)?
Yeah, those don't exist. All we have is AMC that has cheap(er) prices before noon. Those used to be (recently, as in 4-5 years ago) $6 each, now they are either $8.29 or $8.49 depending on the theater.

Otherwise, regular price tickets for a non-3D, non-IMAX film will still be $14+.
#13
Old 02-18-2015, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodgers01 View Post
Yeah, I think they just don't exist in Manhattan. $2 a ticket? The space needed for theaters and the cost of New York real estate make that just about impossible. And not just New York - I've never heard of tickets that cheap anywhere in the US.
Yeah, our dollar theater became the dollar-fifty theater and is now I think the two dollar theater. There used to be a lot of second run theaters in town, now there's just the one. (This is in Columbia, SC.) Evening prices everywhere else are, IIRC, $8.50? I dunno, we never go anymore because $8.50 is an insane price for a movie. I don't know what's wrong with you New Yorkers; people here would riot.
#14
Old 02-18-2015, 12:27 PM
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There is a theater in Washington Heights that the standard ticket price is $9 (or was when I moved about a year and a half ago) called Coliseum Cinemas. It is on Broadway and 181st and it is gorgeous inside, all red velvet and gold trim.
#15
Old 02-18-2015, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Evening prices everywhere else are, IIRC, $8.50? I dunno, we never go anymore because $8.50 is an insane price for a movie. I don't know what's wrong with you New Yorkers; people here would riot.
You think $8.50 is an insane price for a movie??!! I guess everyone's mileage varies, but it seems quite reasonable to me - if an average movie is 2 hours or so, that's less than five bucks per hour of entertainment. And it can be nice to see movies on the big screen, in the dark, out of the house, with a full audience.

And I say this as someone who lived in Columbia for a few years - it's not just that I'm used to NYC prices.

But again: to each his own!
#16
Old 02-18-2015, 03:23 PM
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It seems okay for one person, but two people and you're at almost 20 bucks! God help you if you have a kid! We only go for movies we absolutely require a theater experience for. Which as far as I'm concerned better damned well have Captain America in them.
#17
Old 02-20-2015, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodgers01 View Post
You think $8.50 is an insane price for a movie??!! I guess everyone's mileage varies, but it seems quite reasonable to me - if an average movie is 2 hours or so, that's less than five bucks per hour of entertainment. And it can be nice to see movies on the big screen, in the dark, out of the house, with a full audience.

And I say this as someone who lived in Columbia for a few years - it's not just that I'm used to NYC prices.

But again: to each his own!
Yeah, it's definitely one of the cheaper forms of entertainment out there, especially at $8.50. That said I don't really go to movies anymore as I just prefer to watch them at home. What grinds my gears is the ticket prices for sporting events. I remember a few years ago, on a lark, we wanted to see a men's professional lacrosse game (The Chicago Machine), figuring it'd be cheap, because who watches pro lacrosse, and the cheapest tickets were still like $15 or $20.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-20-2015 at 11:08 AM.
#18
Old 02-20-2015, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
I dunno, we never go anymore because $8.50 is an insane price for a movie. I don't know what's wrong with you New Yorkers; people here would riot.
For some people. living anywhere outside of NYC is insane. I would gladly pay $14 for movies if it meant living in Manhattan again.

But alas, Manhattan has already become a different place in the 20 years since I left.
#19
Old 02-20-2015, 03:16 PM
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In addition to the theaters mentioned by Flywheel, Main Street Cinemas in Flushing is also pretty cheap.
#20
Old 02-20-2015, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
For some people. living anywhere outside of NYC is insane. I would gladly pay $14 for movies if it meant living in Manhattan again.
The old joke is people move to New York City for all the attractions that are available there and then find out they can't afford to do any of them. The only people who can afford the attractions in New York City are visitors who live somewhere else.
#21
Old 02-20-2015, 05:15 PM
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I live in and visit areas with far far lower costs for real estate than manhattan and we don't have dollar cinemas. The cheapest ours go anymore is $2-4, usually closer to $4. And that is for movies that are either on DVD or about to hit DVD.
#22
Old 02-20-2015, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I live in and visit areas with far far lower costs for real estate than manhattan and we don't have dollar cinemas.
Yeah, all $1 places pretty much went out with the Eighties.

My parents and I drove from Brewster to the dollar theater in Newtown, CT, practically every weekend from '80 to June of '83. Wonderful Art Deco place with a balcony.

It's been $2 since about '86.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 02-20-2015 at 08:39 PM.
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