With the current economic climate, even the simple pleasure of going out and catching a flick can be a drag. The net-savvy may find it easier to just stay home and catch a retro flick on Hulu.com, Crackle.com,and Youtube.com, or go rent the latest DVD offering from a Redbox vending machine for $1 or for free, using a special code.
For those of us who wish for that special movie theater experience (complete with popcorn and an audience), $9 or $12 still seem high, especially if the flick turns out to be a bomb. A less painful route would be to go to a matinee, which is still usually around $6, but hard to do for those of us who are working.
Why not try an even better route–a discount movie theater? The so-called “dollar theaters” and various theaters with special deals have become a popular alternative. After all, one must admit there are plenty of movies out there worth watching, yet not worth the $10 admission. Want to go for a dinner and a movie? Why not channel some of that cash by watching a cheaper movie and use that to buy a finer meal? With that said, here are some theaters you may want to check out in the Orange County area.
While still technically LA County, at the La Mirada Shopping Center, one can check out one of the Starplex Cinemas – La Mirada Movie 7, on the corner of Adelfa Dr. and Rosecrans Ave in La Mirada. The movies are $2 per seat ($1 on Tuesdays) and the hotdogs, $1. These dollar theaters play films that have gone through circulation and now have finished playing (and/or bombed) in regular theaters. Occasionally, there have been some that were still playing in regular theaters and even ones already released on DVD. La Mirada theater plays about 8 movies, amongst its 7 theater rooms. Nearby are Japanese and Mexican restaurants, coffee shops, and stores, all within walking distance. As expected, some of the film picture quality can be a little blurry. Phone: (714) 739-1010 Location: 15296 Rosecrans Avenue. La Mirada, CA, 90638
The other Starplex Cinema in OC area is the cleaner, more upscale Irvine’s Woodbridge Movies 5 at Woodbridge Village Center. They play the same movies they play on the other Starplex, except this theater is spacious, has a retro and classy look (complete with marquees), cleaner floors, and extra spaces between seats. The films are again $2, $1 on Tuesdays, and $1 hotdogs. Right next door is a Barnes and Noble bookstore, Tully’s Coffee, Ruby’s Diner, and others, and if you walk across a bridge over the street, there’s a beautiful lake and a pricey restaurant called Waters–not too bad for those looking for an economical date night. Ph: (949) 733-0980 Loc: 4626 Barranca Parkway. Irvine, CA, 92604
In Brea is the new Brea Plaza 5 Cinemas on Imperial Hwy and Associated Rd. Matinees before 5pm are $3 and evening shows are $3.75. Most films here have already been off the regular theaters but there are a few that are current as well. The theater is hidden near the rear of the shopping center, next to Buca Di Beppo, Borders, Starbucks, and other stores and eateries. Ph: (714) 257-9377 Loc: 453 S. Associated Rd. Brea, CA
In Norwalk, there is Big Cinemas Norwalk 8 Movie. The tickets are $3 on weekends; $2.50 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; and $2 on Tuesdays. The films here are similar to ones they have above, but also included are several Indian films (as of this writing). Ph: 562-804-5615 Loc: 13917 Pioneer Blvd. Norwalk CA 90650
Other places worth checking out are Brookhurst 4 Discount Cinemas ($2 tickets) in Anaheim; Phone: (714)975-7105 Loc: 2299 West Ball Road. Anaheim, CA 92804
The Discount Picture Show at the Santa Ana Mainplace Mall ($2 tickets, $1 on Tuesdays); Phone: (714) 836-7469 Loc:2800 Main St. Santa Ana, CA 92705
Charter Center Cinemas ($3 all day) in Huntington Beach. Ph: (714) 596-3456 Loc: 7822 Warner Avenue. Huntington Beach, CA. 92647
Now, if you’re looking for a great deal on newly released, current movies, there is Garden Grove’s Four Star Cinemas, one of the four Starlight Theaters out there. The admission goes for $5 before 6pm ($4 before noon), and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is $4 ALL day. They sometimes have a 3-D movie playing on one of the four theaters which go for $2 more. While the building may look rather dated from the outside, interior is well-maintained and uses digital projection. Ph: (714) 934-6377 Loc: 12111 Valley View St. Garden Grove, CA
The Starlight Theater in Costa Mesa which also goes for the same price as above is Triangle Square Cinemas. Ph: (949) 650-4300 Loc: 1870 Harbor Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA
Other three Starlight Theaters are Whittier Village Cinemas in Whittier (Ph: 562-907-3300) ; Cinema City Theaters in Anaheim Hills (Ph: 714-970-6700); and Terrace Cinemas in Rancho Palos Verdes (Ph: 310-831-1100). These three theaters vary in pricing but have $4 or $5 Tuesday specials.
It is recommended to call these theaters beforehand to check for any changes in the pricing.