When was the last time you were in a movie theater? Movies at the theater are under further assault as new flicks quickly go to DVD or become available on pay-per-view.

Yet some people are upset that the communal experience of cinema is being lost. In an effort to bring in customers, there's a new push to make theaters extra swank with accommodations like plush seating, reserved seats, and gourmet food.

Hollywood legend Robert Redford opened a theater that offers $20 entrees and fancy wines. Regal Entertainment Group is renovating about 2 dozen of its theaters to be ultra fancy. And another chain has set up a VIP area in one of its Massachusetts theaters. They're finding people tend to spend at least $16 when they get into the VIP area.

Is that a good use of your dough? Gosh, you don't have to go that many times before you could buy a nice TV, some nice furniture, or a nice meal ordered in from your favorite restaurant.

Or you can buy discount tickets. I bought 20 tickets at Costco for around $6.50 a ticket recently. I don't go to the movies, but my family does, so now they can go at a discount. 

And there are still some dollar movie theaters around the country. And RedBox offers DVDs for from $1.20 to $1.50 a night.



Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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