Comparison between expensive and cheaper movie theaters

Movie theaters are known for being expensive, so do cheaper options offer similar experiences?


Jordan Mayo

The ticket booth for Bengal Theater at ISU on November 10, 2018.

Jordan Mayo, Sophie Gagnon, and Ruby Kloh

A way that friends and families love to spend time together is watching movies, and some choose to go to movie theaters in order to watch them. Movie theaters are known for being extremely expensive, but are there cheaper options?

We decided to find out by going to a higher end movie theater, AMC Theatres, and comparing it to a cheaper alternative, the Bengal Theater. Both theaters are in Pocatello, but which one is worth the cost?

According to the AMC Theatres website, the theatre’s chain started all the way back in 1920 when Maurice, Edward, and Barney Dubinsky bought the Regent Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. Later on in 1961, the CEO at the time, Stanley Durwood, renamed the theater to become what we know now: American Multi-Cinema. They eventually became the first theater to have cup holders in the armrests.

Using information from Pocatello Film Society’s website, they started working with the Bengal Theater in order to, “show insightful, inspiring and thought-provoking films”. They also mentioned how they wanted to create a space where you could purchase a ticket and snacks for the price of a single ticket at larger theaters. The website didn’t say when they came together, but they have been around even in the 80’s according to a previous ISU student, Allen Mayo, that attended in 1988.

Both theaters have their own deals, like how on Tuesdays tickets for AMC are five dollars. The prices of both have their benefits and downfalls. However, what exactly are you paying for at each theater?

ISU is much cheaper. You pay three dollars for one movie ticket, and they have deals on snacks. A “Benny”, one of their special snack combos, is a soda, popcorn, and candy, all regular size, and it’s only four dollars and seventy-five cents. Compared to AMC, that is much cheaper.

ISU has more of a homey feel, and the seats are not as nice as they are at AMC, and what you choose to go see is likely out at Redbox too. If you’re just going to get out of the house then I highly suggest it.

AMC is a bit more expensive. You pay about eight dollars to go see a movie, and depending on the theater it can be more, but it is the snacks that get you. You pay 21 dollars just for two regular sodas and a box of candy, what a rip off!

AMC’s theater is more comfortable then ISU mainly because the seats are nice. If you choose to go to AMC then I suggest stopping at the Dollar Tree for candy. However, the movies they show are always new.

The customer service at both theaters is very good. They are very helpful and got us everything we needed.  At the AMC we got our tickets very quickly and got our concessions in a good amount of time.

At the Bengal Theater there was also very good customer service. They helped us with any questions we had and helped out a lot. They got our concessions quickly and the food was good.

A student named Jacob Harding said “The staff are great, a lot of them work at highland. Very friendly. Very very helpful.” about the AMC theater.

When it comes to cleanliness, the Bengal Theater was surprisingly better kept. When it came to the bathrooms at AMC, there were clogged toilets, popcorn crumbs near the entrance, and the soap was on the sink beneath the dispenser. Even though the bathrooms at the ISU theater were smaller, there were no toilet problems or crumbs on the ground. The sink was clean, and there was even a nice smell in the air.

When it came to the actual theater, ISU was cleaner as well. While AMC had popcorn crumbs and candy trash everywhere, ISU was well swept to the point that I had to struggle in order to find anything. Even though ISU was much cleaner, it is important to understand that AMC shows movies throughout the day, so the time to clean is limited. Still, the cleanliness of the Bengal Theater was nice to see.

Overall, it comes down to personal preference. If you want to feel as if you really went out to watch a movie, then AMC is a great option. If you want to go out but don’t want to feel as if you are too far from home or spending too much money, then places like the Bengal Theater are a great option. There are plenty of alternatives, such as Red Box and Netflix, so what do you think is the best option?