Taking a trip to the movies is a great way to spend a hot summer day. Relaxing in the cool, dark theater while stuffing your face with candy and popcorn - what’s not to love?

Summertime is also prime time for blockbuster movies to hit theaters, so there are plenty of options to see. 

But if you haven’t been to the movies in a while, be prepared to experience some sticker shock. Going to the movies already isn’t the cheapest way to spend a summer day. And if it’s been a while since you’ve gone, get ready -  it’s about to get even more expensive.

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Movie Ticket Prices Have Increased Through The Years

If it feels like the cost of a trip to the movies has skyrocketed since you were a kid, you wouldn’t be wrong. 

According to 24/7 Wall Street (using data from The Numbers), the average price for a movie ticket in 1996 was $4.35. Now, in 2023, it can range from $10 to $15 for a single adult movie ticket.

buying movie tickets

Not to mention the crazy price tag of the massive soda, candy, and huge popcorn at the concession stand once inside. 

The pandemic plays a factor in how pricey seeing a movie has become. Movie theaters (like a lot of businesses) lost a lot of customers during the shutdown, so ticket prices have increased to make up for the lost revenue. 

The growth in popularity of streaming services doesn’t help, either. Netflix and Hulu both launched their streaming services in 2007, with Amazon Prime following two years later. 

With more people staying home to binge watch rather than go out, movie theaters lost a lot of business. To offset the loss, ticket prices skyrocketed.

Want more bad news? It’s soon going to cost even more to go to the movies - especially if you want a decent seat. 

Here’s Why It Could Cost More To Go The Movies This Summer

The biggest movie theater chain in the US, AMC Theatres, revealed a new pricing plan called “Sightline,” and it’s already taking effect in several locations across the country. 

“Sightline” will divide every seat into either a “standard sightline” or a “value sightline” seat. Seats categorized as “value sightline” are considered the seats with the best view, in the middle of the theater, and will cost $1 or $2 more than the “standard sightline” ones. 

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The new plan will be rolled out in every AMC location by the end of this year, including the 37 theaters here in New York State.

Will You Pay Extra For A Better Seat At The Movies?

Many people think this new ticket model is unfair. A trip to the movies is already expensive, and this may prevent low-income families from being able to have a good view of the movie. This could also backfire for AMC, keeping customers who don’t want to pay extra for a good view home, waiting for the movie they want to see to be released via streaming instead. 

Then again, if “Sightline” works for the chain, we might see other theaters in New York State following suit, making a day or night out at the movies more expensive for everyone. 

Will you be willing to pay more money to see a movie this summer?

22 Drive-In Theaters Left In New York State

Whether you’re looking for a hit of nostalgia or a unique night out - here are the 22 remaining drive-in movie theatres for your outdoor movie-viewing pleasure here in New York State.

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