Just a bit of fluff, or is it?
How much are movies at mega-multi-plexes? Pardon me as I try to remember the previous time I was brave to go to a Big Theater, instead of my local one-screen, one-showing per night, single aisle comfy space, The Clyde in ‘Downtown’ Langley (pop. ~1,150 people and about as many rabbits). Even there ticket prices have climbed to $10. $10! At least the popcorn is still $1. (Or has that gone up too?) But a $15 movie? Think plural, movies. For $15 I bought an old DVD/VCR player from the thrift store (Good Cheer). For $15 I can now watch my old tapes, my old discs, no interruptions.
I really should be writing this blog about a different topic, but hopefully it will work well next week. My eyes are tired because I’ve been writing the sequel to my first science fiction novel, Firewatcher; and squinting at a computer screen as I prepare one slideshow (though I called in help, thanks Joe), and am down-selecting a photo essay of 48 photos out of over 1,400 (argh, squint). My world barely extends to the reach of my finger tips as they command this bubble to add this and delete that. Once a day, assuming there is time remaining, I watch a movie at home.
The screens in the theaters are at a better distance, especially because I like to sit in the back. I’m tall enough that I don’t want to block anybody’s view, and the people watching is very entertaining – especially in a small town where (almost) everybody knows your (or at least many peoples’) name. But, I tend to stay home.
Last night, To Have And Have Not. A few night’s earlier, The Big Sleep. The world’s been in B&W. Soon, more modern movies where they had color and everything. At this rate I may have enough movies at home to take me to Thanksgiving. And if I need more, I know a place where the price for a new tape or disc is less than streaming.
But, streaming is free, so I imagine hearing from someone. Streaming is free, if you forget or ignore the subscription. On the other side, tapes and discs aren’t interrupted by ads – but they are, or were. Streaming may include ads, and they are likely to be fear-driven about what could kill you. Tapes and discs had their obnoxious ad era, but it was almost exclusively for more shows or games – with the obligatory FBI/Europol scary messages about copying content. FWD. Mute.
So, why am I writing about something as silly as an old VCR/DVD player that doesn’t even have a remote and that doesn’t work with universal remotes (shocking, eh?) This blog is about frugality, and sometimes in the midst of global crises, personal workload, social complexities, and the vagaries of investing it is good to remember to look up from news and work, look a little farther out, and maybe look a little ways back.
No driving. Nobody targeting ads based on what I am watching. The beverage selection encompasses water, herbal tea, hot chocolate, martinis for Bond, wine for art films, whiskey for Bogart, champagne for romances. Take breaks when I want and need. Research curiosities, paused during good parts, or while muted during unsavory scenes.
Fifteen dollars for a year of movies, basically ad-free? That’s a deal. Someone’s gotta clean up this popcorn, though. Please rewind.
Do people still receive broadcast, over-the-air, free television channels? Can you be a cable-cutter if you never had cable to begin with? Am I speaking a foreign language to all generations “less-than-boomer”?
Rhetorical questions aside, you are exposing a whole wealth of media content that goes unnoticed today. The library loans the classics on DVD for FREE.
Just the warm feeling of frugality erases any regrets about a random but less fortunate selection.
Reminds me of the time I discovered the band “Atomic Rooster” in the cutouts section of the record (as in vinyl record) store.
But I digress.
Great post. Thanks,