Entertainment choices change with economy

By: Shalah Sasse Email
By: Shalah Sasse Email

News 12 This Morning, February 12, 2009

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.---We're all feeling the effects from the economy, some more than others. But is the economy keeping you in the house all weekend?

In the last five of seven recessions, box office sales actually went up. The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) says that's because movies are a relative bargain.

When times are tough, people cut back, and sometimes that means entertainment.

"Me and my girlfriend, we're hoping to come for Valentine's Day and see something," said Curtis Tiner, of Wrens. "But it's been bad for everyone."

Tiner says he used to go to the movies two to three times a month. Now he hasn't been in six months.

"Popcorn is insane," he said. "A small popcorn is like $8.00."

One time he says he snuck in his own candy and dream to save money.

While some are cutting back on their trips to the movies, others say it's the best place to go.

"A lot more people are going to the movies for entertainment, because it's costing too much to go bowling or anything else," said Christine Braden of Augusta.

NATO says people will come out to see a movie in good times and in bad. So far in 2009, box office sales are up 14%, and admissions, the number of tickets sold, are up by 11%.

And people are still renting movies.

"As far as right now, I haven't really seen a drastic change, to where the doors are about to go clamp on us. Actually it looks like it's picking up to me," said Rena Prince of Hollywood Video.

Over at Best Buy, they have a different way to watch a movie: the LG and Samsung Blu-Ray player with Netflix. Pay $8.99 a month and you can download a movie from Netflix in 45 seconds.

"But now things are going to be affordable, you can actually stay at home and do it," said Best Buy employee Freddie Daniel. "You don't have to worry about going to the movies, you don't have to worry about getting dressed up. So I think it's going to take off."

Although people may be cutting back on more expensive forms of entertainment, in the end people say they still need something to get their mind off the economy.

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