By Tyler Jefford

On May 17th, 2023

A common occurrence nowadays is businesses complaining about shrinking customer bases, while simultaneously raising prices for everything. Restaurants, theaters, and brick-and-mortar stores are seeing a decline in foot traffic as inflation hits an all-time high. However, these businesses are not adapting to the times other than by raising the prices of their products.

Over the weekend, I went to two different AMC movie theaters across the Chicagoland area to watch two movies. Movie theaters have been amongst the most vocal about not seeing a return of people post-COVID, and what I saw was clearly the answer to why.

For one movie, I purchased two tickets online for a total of $27.38, which included $4.38 in "convenience" fees. I then had to pay 12% taxes on top of the ticket and fee prices, bringing my total to $35.57.

Upon arrival, I encountered grumpy staff and expensive concessions costing around $40 for a couple of drinks and a pack of candy. The placard displaying the movie name and showtime was turned off, causing confusion about which auditorium to go to. Once the show began, the audience members were on their phones, lighting up the theater, not turning off their ringers and talking, disrupting the viewing experience.

The next movie I watched was a similar experience, but at a completely different theater miles away. The concession choices were limited and overpriced. The placards that detailed the movie and showtime were turned off, and people were on their phones. It was a disappointing experience overall.

Your product is not worth $80. By cutting costs and raising prices, you are creating a further divide between yourself and your core customer base. It is time to build a better product and refocus on the customer by providing a better experience, even if that means sacrificing the quality of the snacks or streamlining ticket processes. Until the value matches the price, theaters will continue to lose out to the ever-growing options of streaming movies from the comfort of our own homes.