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Affordable Movie Night

We have a small, locally owned movie theater where I live. The prices for tickets and concessions are far more reasonable than the larger theaters in the area. There is no parking lot. You park on the street and line up on the sidewalk in front of the building. This theater only has one screen, so only one movie shows at a time. They’re only open on the weekends, and you must choose your seat when you buy your ticket.

My husband and I went to see a movie there a couple of weeks ago. While waiting in line to buy our tickets and popcorn, which is done at the same time, we noticed a young couple arguing over what they should buy. My husband saw only an argument, and he deemed it a stupid topic for an argument. I saw two young people on a budget trying to have a nice date night.

I understand being on a tight budget. There was a time in my life when I sold plasma, collected aluminum cans, and had three jobs just to pay my bills. There was no money for a movie or popcorn. Though it’s been many years, I still remember wanting to have a nice evening out but knowing I couldn’t afford it.

As I watched this young couple I’ve never met trying to have pleasant evening, I felt like I was looking at my younger self. On the rare occasions I treated myself to a cheap movie, I would agonize over how much money I could spend. “Would it be better to buy popcorn or candy? Do I need either one? Do I really need a drink?”

I don’t know what the young couple ended up buying. They were still in animated discussion when my husband and I made our purchases and found our seats. I hope they made a decision they could both enjoy and have a pleasant evening. I know they were trying.

They were certainly at the right theater for sticking to a budget. Two tickets, a small popcorn, and two bottles of water cost us a total of $22.25. I don’t know how much the candy would have cost because I’m a popcorn fan. I can buy candy any time, but I can only buy movie theater popcorn at the movie theater.

While it’s important to be fiscally responsible, it’s also important to go out and enjoy yourself once in a while. An outing doesn’t need to cost of a fortune to be fun. Sometimes all you need is a picnic in the park with someone you love. The company you keep makes all the difference.

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