If you’re thinking of taking your date or possibly your family or friends to the movies, the price you pay depends on the theater you go to. It seems that inland theaters offer a bigger bang for your buck, on average, than those along the shoreline.
This reporter looked at 12 Eastern Connecticut cinemas. They include seven shoreline town theaters: Regal Cinemas in Waterford and Stonington, Groton Cinemas, Olde Mystic Art Cinemas, Niantic Cinemas, Madison Art Cinemas, and Marquee Cinemas in Westbrook. They also include five inland town theaters: Digiplex Cinemas in Lisbon, Zurich Mansfield Movieplex, Mansfield Drive-In, Gallery Cinemas in Colchester, and Metro Movies 12 in Middletown.
There is a $3.50 difference between the cheapest and most expensive matinee for adults in Eastern Connecticut.
The cheapest theater for early bird matinees and bargain days is Metro, charging $5 for movies before 12:30 p.m. on weekends and all day on Tuesdays.
Gallery, Zurich, and Groton charge $6 for matinees, while Groton has a $6 price tag for all showtimes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Marquee bargin matinees cost $7.25 for the first show before 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Metro, Niantic, and Madison bargain matinees (before 3 p.m.) are $7.50.
Digiplex charges $7.75 for daytime showings while Marquee also charges $7.75 for showtimes at 2 p.m. and after on Tuesdays.
Mystic and Regal Waterford have $8 matinees.
The most expensive matinees can be found at Madison, Marquee, and Regal Stonington, which charge $8.50.
What Are Matinees?
Theaters have different definitions for matinee pricing. Niantic has matinees until 3 p.m. while Regal Stonington and Waterford matinees stop at 4 p.m. Gallery has matinees until 5 p.m. while Groton, Marquee, Madison, Zurich, Mystic, Digiplex, and Metro charge evening rates starting at 6 p.m.
The three most expensive shoreline theater matinee prices are the same price as Zurich’s evening movies, $8.50, the cheapest theater in the region for nightime shows.
Groton, Niantic and Gallery evening prices are $9.
The Mansfield Drive-In, which is open seasonally with double features, charges $10 for shows starting at sunset. This translates to $5 a movie.
Mystic charges $10, while Digiplex charges $10.25.
Regal Waterford, Metro, and Marquee charge $10.50.
The most expensive theaters in the area for evening shows are Madison and Regal Stonington at $11.
There is a $3.50 difference between the cheapest and most expensive evening movies for adults.
Children, Seniors and Military
Mansfield Drive-In has the cheapest children’s rates at only $5 for children 4-11. Since they have double features, this is equal to $2.50 a movie.
Zurich and Gallery have the cheapest senior and military rates. They also have the least expensive children’s rates for an indoor theater.
At Gallery, there is a $6 charge for all showtimes for children 11 and under, seniors 62 and over, and active military with ID.
Zurich has a $6 charge for children ages 3-12, seniors 63 and older, and college students with ID for all showtimes, while Mystic has a senior discount of $6 on Wednesdays.
Niantic charges $7.50 for military, seniors 62 and older, and children ages 3-11 for all showtimes.
At Regal Cinemas, children are defined as being 11 years and under, and senior tickets are for 60 and older.
Regal Waterford has $7.50 matinees for children and seniors, but in the evenings there is an $8 charge for children and a $7.50 charge for seniors.
At Regal Stonington, children and seniors are charged $8 for all showtimes.
At Metro, seniors pay $7.50 and students and military pay $8.25.
Madison advertises a senior matinee rate of $7.50 and a senior and child evening rate of $8.50
Digiplex and Marquee has a $7.75 rate for children and seniors for all showtimes.
Mystic has a $8 charge for children for all showtimes.
Seniors have to pay $10 at Mystic.
There is a $4 difference for seniors and $3 difference for children between the cheapest and most expensive theaters.
Not all theaters advertise a discount for seniors, military and students.
All movie theaters in the area tack on a surcharge for 3D movies whether it’s a matinee or an evening showing.
Based on information from their websites, Gallery, Zurich, and Regal Cinemas have a $2.50 surcharge for 3D movies while Marquee and Digiplex have a $2.75 surcharge. Metro has a $3 surcharge.
Consumers can consider going to matinees, visiting on bargain days, or going inland to save on costs of going to the movies.