Movie tickets can get pretty expensive these days, especially on the opening weekend of a major release where prices can go up to Rs. 4,000. 1,000 per ticket, depending on the theater and the format. Anyone who has recently made the effort to purchase tickets and attend the big 2023 “Barbenheimer” event will know what a hit it would have been for their pocket, especially if you had watched Oppenheimer in an IMAX theater, and that’s before you consider the price of popcorn or any other snack.
High costs are usually associated with large theater chains, and many affordable theaters exist in all major cities in India. There’s really no pressure on you to pay big bucks for movie tickets if you don’t want to, and I decided to try both options by watching Barbie and Oppenheimer over two weekends. Interestingly enough, I discovered that paying more might be worth it after all – let me tell you why.
Barbie in an affordable theater
I started with Barbie and chose an old but somewhat modernized multi-screen cinema in Mumbai to go see the Greta Gerwig film. The modernization involved the transformation of the old single-screen cinema into a three-screen multiplex with improved decor. . There was also a hint of nostalgia here, since the snack counter is the same as it has been since my college days, serving the same sandwiches and popcorn at fairly reasonable prices.
However, where this theater hasn’t really kept pace is in the lack of upgrades to elements such as the projector, screen size, and seating. The chairs were somewhat uncomfortable, even for a two hour movie, the screen was arguably tiny and no better (in comparative terms) than watching a movie in a large living room on a 43 inch TV. The projector was dull, lacked sharpness, and provided a rather disappointing viewing experience. It wasn’t bad and the movie was watchable, but I was somewhat disappointed with the experience overall.
Many may not care too much about these technical drawbacks; you’re there for the movie itself, and the reasonably priced tickets and snacks certainly help make the hours you spend there a little more enjoyable. This whole experience cost me Rs. 270 for the ticket and around Rs. 300 for a good amount of snacks per person on a Friday evening.
Oppenheimer in an IMAX theater
Watching Oppenheimer “the way Christopher Nolan intended” was a key buzz phrase during the film’s release, and indeed Universal Pictures pulled out all the stops to ensure the film was available on IMAX screens in India and in the world. Gautam Dutta, Co-CEO of PVR Inox Ltd. said: “A film like Oppenheimer is best watched on IMAX screens for the vibrant, immersive experience, which only improves from a certain angle: the director’s favorite seats. »
I watched the film on one of the few IMAX screens in Mumbai, arguably the best in the city after the closure of the iconic IMAX dome cinema in Wadala, Mumbai. This is a modern multiplex with large, upgraded screens (including the huge IMAX screen where I watched the film), laser projection, and comfortable seating.
The varying seat height levels ensure that people in front of you don’t block your view, and assuming you’re not sitting too close to the screen, you don’t even need to crane your neck to watch. Additionally, the viewing experience is almost as good at the sides of the theater as it is in the center. Needless to say, the technical experience of watching the movie was far superior to the old technology in the theater where I watched Barbie.
However, this technically superior viewing experience is significantly reflected in ticket prices. Priced at over Rs. 1,000 per ticket for a Saturday morning show, it can go a little higher (around Rs. 1,400 per ticket) if you’re trying to book the more popular evening shows. For reference, an entire month of Netflix Premium costs less than one ticket.
Snacks also cost a little more; the popcorn was priced at Rs. 9,999. 510 for a large bathtub, and I still needed lunch afterwards. There’s really no reason why the price of snacks should be so high, but it’s all part of the “premium” experience, and also has to do with the fact that you don’t really have a choice if you want to eat or drink something. during the intermission.
Pay more for a better experience
After these two contrasting theater experiences, I can’t help but think it’s worth paying more for a better experience. As a streaming fan and TV reviewer for Gadgets360, I usually have access to large TVs and great content to watch on them, so the movie theater experience is usually reserved for the biggest releases, where the watch early and the big screen makes all the difference.
The IMAX experience costs several times more than the old-fashioned theater experience (especially when you factor in the cost of food and drink), but the superior technical offerings justify the price, in my opinion. If you visit a theater once a week, these costs can add up quickly. However, if you go to the theater occasionally, I recommend choosing the best theater, choosing IMAX whenever possible, and splurging to get the best experience. If you really want to save money, avoid overpriced popcorn instead.