Is Going To The Cinema Worth It?

Last Saturday saw our family, along with friends, go to the cinema to watch the highly acclaimed film ‘We Bought a Zoo’. At significant cost though was it worth it?

The children had been unusually vociferous about wanting to see ‘We Bought a Zoo’.

Perhaps this was because it is based on a move to an outdoors life and lots of ‘pets’, perhaps because it is based on a true story and a zoo in Devon, a place we love to holiday in.

I’m not sure of the reason but the end result was that we decided to join up with some friends and see the film Saturday afternoon – yes we did wonder what we were doing heading into the dark cinema on what was a lovely, sunny, warm afternoon.

First off though I pre-booked the tickets online for our local Odeon cinema. Booking a family set of 2 adults and 2 children might have helped save money but it still cost £25.60 for standard seats.

I could just about cope with that but then was flabbergasted to see an additional 75p added per ticket as a booking fee – how can this be justified? I’d accept a £1 a booking even but why on earth should we pay a fee per ticket?

Knowing how much sweets and drinks cost at the cinema, I decided to take a secret supply of sweets in my handbag – bought in Sainsbury’s I had maltesers and minstrels which were on special offer and a pack of fruity mentos for the children.

I then just had to buy drinks at the cinema. Well, for 4 bottles of Tango and 2 bottles of fizzy water I was set back £14.25. Shocking!

I have just for example checked on Sainsbury’s website and found that 2 bottles of Tango are on offer at £3. There’s Caledonian Scottish sparking water too at £1.47 for 6 bottles. So for way less than £5 I could have bought the same drinks as I was charged almost £15 for – 3 times the price just to buy at the cinema. How can this be justified?

Anyway, armed with our drinks and my handbag full of sweets we went in to find our seats – luckily we had booked as the cinema was totally full.

We eventually settled down to watch the film. My friend cries easily at films and I had assured her that she wouldn’t be crying at this one, lovely film but no crying. How wrong was I? It absolutely was a lovely film, however, it involved a fair bit of crying by the ladies.

I’d highly recommend you go and see it – loved by adults and children alike.

Probably one to watch on DVD as well.

Whether going to the cinema is worth it though is the question.

On balance I really do think it is worth it on occasion. If there’s a particular film you really want to see, why wait for it to come out on DVD? It’s nice to have a family outing with friends too – albeit the budget may not manage too many trips in a month! (In contrast, you may like to read my blog here on ‘A Family Day Out for Very Little Money’)

I have just noticed that ODEON has today announced that from May, ODEON Première Club loyalty card holders in the UK will receive a 15% discount when booking online.

Apparently ODEON’s Première Club also offers points on every transaction in cinema or at odeon.co.uk and the points can be redeemed for further discounts on film tickets and snacks. I need to find out more about this and see whether it’s worth signing up to.

I’ll do that and update you, meantime if you want to check for yourself you can do on the Odeon website.

Finally, I was intrigued to know more about the Dartmoor Zoo upon which the film is based. Looks like a fabulous place – here’s a link to their website if you’re interested. We’ll be visiting next time we’re in Devon!

To help you decide about whether to see the film, thought you might like to watch the trailer for it:

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