Second Run Leads the Pack

by Katy on July 22, 2009 · 9 comments


I am lucky to live in city with a myriad of second run movie theaters, most of which are restored vintage gems. Because of this, I’m able to abstain from  seeing the $9 movies, waiting instead until they’re just a couple of bucks. This has become especially prudent since movie theaters start charging adult prices at age 13! (This is in-freaking-sane, as there is nothing about a 13-year-old that is anywhere close to adulthood. Last time I checked, adults live independently, hold jobs and don’t have to be nagged to wear a coat when it’s 18 degrees outside.)

Most of the time, my decision to hold off from first run movies is a cinch, but the Summer blockbusters test my resolve — big time. I am sorely tempted to see Julia and Julie, and the new Harry Potter movie beckons to me at every turn.

Must. Check. Out. What’s. Playing. At. The. Bagdad.

Whew . . . it’s the new Night at the Museum movie. Which we waited to see, thank you very much!

See? If we hold off from seeing the first run movies, then there’s always a fresh second run movie to see.

And for $9 I can see the movie, enjoy a pint of McMenamin’s finest ale and even have some change leftover.

Ahh . . . living the frugal life is nothing but sacrifice.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

P.S. I may actually go to see the new Harry Potter movie with my mother and kids later this week. What can I say? She insisted!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

calimama July 22, 2009 at 11:41 pm

$9 for a first run?! Yet another reason to get out of LA! I think our matinees are about that. At the cheap theaters! And beer?! You’re killing me.


Marisa July 23, 2009 at 6:36 am

One of the things I miss most about Portland is the second-run movie theaters (I grew up going to the double features at the Laurelhurst and the Valley theaters). There just aren’t any here in Philly. It’s one of this city’s largest entertainment voids, as far as I’m concerned.


jessie July 23, 2009 at 9:05 am

We have one second-run theater near me, but it’s definitely not in a restored building. More like an old movie theater from the 80’s that smells like old socks. 🙁

I’m determined to use it though, especially since I can see a matinee for $1 and a night show for $1.75!!!


Angela July 23, 2009 at 10:29 am

You would think Los Angeles would have great second-run houses, but they’re mostly crappy old 80s multiplexes that smell like old socks. The last time we tried to go, the projection and sound were so horrible it was unwatchable, and the heater was broken and my nose felt like an icicle. We got our money back, but I do wish we had decent old theaters to go to. The ones that try have a hard time making it financially.


Kris-ND July 23, 2009 at 11:32 am

9.00 per ticket?? I am on the other side of thinking that is cheap. that is we pay 5.75 for a ticket at our little theater that has an old time marque on one of the theaters, and a fancy modern marque on the other theater down the block that shows clips of the movies offered.

Didn’t want to take away from the charm of our downtown, so we have 2 theaters on the same block(like 3 buildings and across the street from each other) AND, we have a drive in that plays first run movies 🙂

I miss the second run theater in OKC. Used to go to the movies all the time…sigh


alunatunes July 24, 2009 at 7:42 am

I cannot remember the last time I went to a movie theatre! Though this one, Katy, looks wonderful!
I really love to rent movies from the library and can usually wait the three or four months for a first run film to appear for rent or borrow somewhere.
I’ve read recently, attendance at the movies is up, despite the economy. My dad likes to tell the depression era tale of a movie, popcorn and a coke for a nickle at the local cinema.
Now THAT would be a deal!
Love your posts Katy


Dawn July 24, 2009 at 10:32 am

I also live in Portland and stay away from first run movies. My b-friend treated himself to a matinee earlier this summer (my suggestion), got a bag of popcorn and a soda and ended up paying $19 total!

Last weekend, we ended up at St. John’s, where there is a first run theater with matinees for $4. AND they were showing Harry Potter. AND they serve beer. It was very popular.


Jonathan July 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm

A 13-year-old man, huh? I haven’t heard that one since my bar mitzvah. And I knew it was bogus then, too.

That does look like a nice theater, especially for a buck. I try to hit college movie showings, which usually run from free to a few dollars. Sometimes it makes you feel young, too, but sometimes the opposite!

Also, I have to pass along my favorite popcorn eating study. Beware the big bucket!


Penny in Australia July 27, 2009 at 2:24 am

$9 for a movie is an absolute bargain where I come from. You can only get it that price on ‘cheap night’ (Tuesday), or with a voucher (which are hard to come by). The usual price? $16! Yes, that’s for ONE adult ticket. (Allowing for exchange rate differences $Aus16 = $US 13.15).

Clearly I don’t go very often.

But hey, we have free health care…! You can’t have it all I guess!


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