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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Setting the mood

    If you’re running late for Hollywood’s new flavor of the week film, don’t be alarmed. The excruciatingly long previews won’t be the only thing that’ll save you.

    Tucson’s movie theatres may be taking an important cue from Phoenix by now accepting debit cards. This comes as a blessing to many plastic junkies in the area, but will still fall short of divine intervention.

    Amenities such as endless concession options and state of the art digital technologies have made the movie-going experience luxurious, but ticket prices skyrocketed as a result.

    Normal ticket prices hover around $9 for all of the major mega-plexes in Tucson. Matinee and discount prices vary from $5 to $7.

    Of course it’s likely that the time you want to go see that new movie is when the price is at it’s highest. The Century Theatre at Park Place

    AMC Loews Foothills 15
    7401 N. Las Cholla Blvd.
    $8.75 general admission;
    $4-$6.75 discount admission.

    Mall even hikes admission prices to $9.50 on Friday and Saturday nights.

    Expect to pay one dollar more if tickets are bought online. Movie fans on a budget shouldn’t even think about that tub of popcorn or massive soda.

    You’ll also likely be choosing from a list of Hollywood’s latest big-budget films, including some less-than-worthwhile options. Tucson is arguably lacking in a great number of alternatives to these giant theatres, but there are most definitely other options when it comes to the content and cost of films.

    The Loft Cinema is the quintessential destination for alternative cinema in Tucson. Since being purchased by the Tucson Cinema Foundation in 2002, the Loft has become one of the city’s most diverse entertainment attractions.

    “”We’re always looking to do unexpected events,”” said Jeff Yanc,

    Century 16
    1055 W. Grant Rd.
    $8.25 general admission;
    $5.50 discount admission

    Loft programming director. “”Events (organized) around films are how we distinguish ourselves.””

    Actors and directors are commonly invited to speak and answer questions about their films. One recent event saw actor Bruce Campbell appear at a screening of his film “”Bubba Ho-tep.”” Other events include the 12-hour long “”Scream-O-Rama”” horror film festival as well as weekly screenings of “”The Rocky Horror Picture Show”” where attendees jump on stage and participate.

    The Loft also features many genres not found at larger theatres including independent art films, foreign language films and documentaries. According to Yanc, the theatre’s weekly “”Late Night Cult Classics”” series is likely to appeal to UA students. Upcoming films in the series include “”A Clockwork Orange,”” “”The Jerk”” and “”The Terminator.””

    While the Loft is an antique compared to the modern twenty-screen theatre, it does offer unique concessions: beer and wine.

    “”Sometimes the film becomes secondary to beer,”” Yanc joked.

    The normal ticket price at the Loft is $8.25, but a student discount brings the cost down to $5.25. Admission drops down to $4.50 for members of the Tucson Film Society. Debit and credit cards are accepted.

    Crossroads Festival Cinemas offers another alternative for Tucsonans. Crossroads is a second run theatre, meaning that they can only play movies after they have done their time at major theatres.

    “”We play a lot of movies you don’t traditionally

    Century 20 El Con
    3601 E. Broadway
    &9 general admission;
    $5.75 discount admission

    find in second run,”” said Pattie Thomas, the Crossroads spokeswoman. Crossroads often plays independent films and more eclectic features than most so-called “”discount”” theatres.

    While Crossroads cannot compete with the stadium seating and digital technology found in larger mega-plexes, its “”more intimate nature and neighborhood”” feel of the theatre more than makes up for its older building and technologies, said Thomas.

    “”We pick up films that university students might like and regular theatres might not pick up,”” said Thomas.

    One such film is Michel Gondry’s “”The Science of Sleep”” which spent only one week at the Century 20 El Con, but played at Crossroads for nearly two months in evening showings.

    Crossroads has one of the cheapest admission prices in all of Tucson with all tickets priced at $3.25. No student discounts are offered and only cash is accepted.

    Other options in Tucson also exist with one being right under the noses of UA students. The Student

    Century Park Place Mall 20
    5870 E. Broadway
    $9-$9.50 general admission;
    $5.75 discount admission

    Union Memorial Center’s Gallagher Theatre offers weekly movie screenings priced at $3. Some events are even free of charge.

    Students can experience the drive-in movie experience that their parents cherished at the De-Anza Drive-In located on the east side of town.

    Downtown’s newly renovated Fox Theatre offers occasional classic film screenings. “”Blazing Saddles”” and “”Back to the Future”” are two films that the Fox have scheduled for February. Another downtown theatre is The Screening Room, which plays a large role in the Arizona International Film Festival.

    Although movie theatre options are limited in Tucson, remember that there are these alternatives to the high-prices of the mainstream mega-plexes.

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