Bad News, Cinephiles: Movie Tickets Are More Expensive Than Ever Before

Once upon a time, hitting the movie theater was a cheap way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon. These days, you're better off cranking up the AC at home and just tuning into your Netflix queue.

Movie ticket prices have soared in recent years due, in part, to the introduction of luxury seating and the increased production and screening of 3-D films. According to a recent report from Variety, as of this fiscal quarter, ticket prices have officially hit an all-time high. A trip to the theater costs an average of $8.61 these days, up 28 cents from this time last year and 23 cents from 2013.

Urban dwellers in NYC and Los Angeles often spend twice as much as that on a single ticket — and that's before they ever see the snack bar. Add a bag of popcorn and you're looking at a rather expensive night out: one that might be cost-prohibitive for average consumers as well as parents with kids in tow.

It's sad to think that what was once a cheap American pastime is slowly but surely turning into an activity reserved for the financially flush. The rest of us might do well to grow fond of matinees.

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