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Photo by Kristina Soetje.

Move over Netflix: discounts keep students going to the movies

In the age of Netflix and Hulu, fewer millennials than ever are going to the movies. According to a Nielsen report, young people between the ages of 12-24 only saw an average of 7.1 movies in 2014. That number is down from an average of 8.1 movies in 2013. The report found that about 80% of young people preferred streaming their entertainment content online.

One culprit for the dip in movie-going is the cost of the ticket. Movie ticket prices have risen astronomically. From 2015-2016 alone, ticket prices rose an average of 5.4 percent according to the National Association of Theatre Owners. In the first quarter of 2016, movies tickets ran an average of $8.50, although movie goers might pay up to $13 for IMAX movies or theaters with premium seating and amenities.

In comparison, a monthly premium subscription to Netflix costs $13.99 a month and offers access to hundreds of movies and TV shows. Hulu also recently partnered with the music streaming service Spotify to offer a student discount package including both services for $4.99 a month.

To compete with the ease and price of streaming services, movie theaters offer discounts and special deals on ticket prices. The R/C Hollywood Cinema 4 in Arbutus is a favorite amongst UMBC students. Located just 1.5 miles from campus, the theater is an attractive alternative to the Cinemark at the Arundel Mills Mall.

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, tickets at the R/C Hollywood Cinema 4 cost $9 and $9.50 on the weekends. The theater does offer reserved seating and reclining seats.

However, Tuesdays are the best for students. On Bargain Tuesday, all movie tickets for any show time are only $6.50.

Senior psychology major Manny Molla regularly takes advantage of the discount day.

“I go to the Hollywood Arbutus Theater at least once a month now,” says Molla. “Some friends and I actually went to see Blade Runner 2049 [there] last week. It’s a great location for a good price.”

Students can also save by attending matinee show times. During the week days, tickets cost $7 and $7.50 on the weekends. These show times are convenient for students who have free time between classes during the week and want to take a fun break from studying.

Students can even get a first look at popular movies by attending the UMBC Student Events Board (seb) bus trips to the R/C Hollywood Cinema 4. In September, students saw the premier of The Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle. In November, (seb) is organizing a bus trip to the premier of Thor: Ragnorak. Tickets can be purchased online and only cost $5.

“It’s definitely worth it,” says Molla. “I like the group experience and audience reactions when it comes to movies. You just can’t recreate that the same way at home.”