Outdoor Movies offer Big Screen for Small Price
Catching the latest romantic comedy, anticipated sequel or action film is part of summer culture - that's why we call them summer blockbusters. But each summer, seeing movies gets a little pricier.
At most theaters, an adult ticket costs $10 and a child ticket costs $7. If you go to a matinee - before 3 p.m. - you'll catch a small break: $7.50 for adults, but still $7 for kids.
That means an evening at the movie theater for a family of four will cost $34, not including any mega buckets of popcorn or other snacks. Wish there was a cheaper way to have a movie night? There is.
Both Sanford and the University of Central Florida have created events that offer a movie on the big screen without the big price.
Both events are outdoors, offering a more relaxed atmosphere. And not only do you have more food options, but you can also bring your own food and drinks.
Sanford's event is called Cinema in the Park. Once a month, the city plays a movie on a big screen in Park on Park in downtown. The movie and the popcorn are free. The event starts at 8:30 but is canceled in the event of rain.
The next Cinema in the Park will be on July 17. The featured movie will be "Back to the Future."
Kristen and Joe Walk of Sanford have been attending Cinema in the Park regularly for about two years. Kristen Walk said it's a refreshing date night change from typical movie theaters.
"It's not an expensive date night," she said. "You can go and have fun with your spouse and your family, it's a great time. It's more comfortable. It's relaxing, it's easy-going. You can bring dinner with you; you can bring wine. It's just a different kind of feel."
UCF's movie night, called Movies on the Plaza, is also free and is held at the UCF Arena. During the fall and spring semesters, the movie nights are geared toward students, but the summer showings are family-friendly.
"We feel like it's important to include the community in what we do," said Alicia Cintron, assistant marketing manager for the UCF Arena. "It's not just for college kids, and it's to keep the campus busy in the summer as well since there are no college kids here."
Radio station Z88.3, whose slogan is "safe for the little ears," is partnering with UCF for some showings. The radio station will offer prizes and games before the movie starts.
While this event doesn't give out free popcorn, you can bring your own snacks or buy food from one of the many restaurants surrounding the arena.
The next movie night will be on July 10 at 8:30 p.m., showing "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian."
Additional Movies on the Plaza for this summer will be held on July 24 and August 14.
To explore more budget-friendly movie night options and compare prices, go to SeminoleChronicle.com and click on summer series: movie night.
By Kelly Allen