Double Feature Finder
December 25, 2005 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Double Feature Finder. Find back-to-back movies in a given movie theater. You could spend the whole day watching movies which you have paid for and have not snuck into. [via mefi projects]
posted by panoptican (27 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
And Merry Day to you.
posted by panoptican at 10:02 AM on December 25, 2005

this is good
posted by daHIFI at 10:06 AM on December 25, 2005

ahh, what would be christmas for jews without chinese food and skipping between movies (because who's gonna get angry when you skip movies, it's friggen christmas day people!)

thanks, i'm off to dim sum
posted by NGnerd at 10:13 AM on December 25, 2005

link dead to anyone else?
posted by p3on at 11:16 AM on December 25, 2005

No Canadian theatres?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:36 AM on December 25, 2005

Changing theatres between showings within the same cineplex is still sneaking in. Not that I have a problem with that, but just saying.
posted by mischief at 11:54 AM on December 25, 2005

Wow, someone missed the joke.
posted by cyphill at 12:18 PM on December 25, 2005

It's a joke?
posted by mischief at 12:20 PM on December 25, 2005

I'm not sure what this is doing that can't be figured out more easily (due to less clutter) by glancing at Yahoo movie times. A better service would list all possible "playlists" by taking the movie running time into account, so instead of this jumble, which requires just as much calculation on the part of the planner as looking at a regular movie schedule:

King Kong 11:30
King Kong 12:00
Walk the Line 12:15
King Kong 1:00
Walk the Line 1:00
Walk the Line 1:15
Harry Potter 1:45

It would give:

King Kong 11:30
Run 2:00 + Wait 0:30
Walk the Line 2:00
Run 2:15 + Wait 0:15
Harry Potter 4:30

And all similar possible combinations.

Oh, And a Merry Misdemeanor to All!
posted by dgaicun at 12:38 PM on December 25, 2005

That's pretty smooth – I used to spend time trying to calculate such things – be there it is, in one easy-to-use calculator.

And dgaicun, it wouldn't work that way, because Peter Jackson and Universal have dealt you one from the bottom of the deck – Kong is 3 hours long!

Theatrical releases over 2-1/2 hours have msotly gone the way of the Dodo, but the guy IS Peter Jackson, and he did make New Line well over a billion dollars with that Elf movie. I think they have expectations on a similar-type return with Kong.
posted by vhsiv at 1:14 PM on December 25, 2005

(Correction: Theatrical releases over 2 hours long have mostly gone the way of the Dodo – most cineplex exeriences these days clock-in at 90-100 minutes. Sorry!)
posted by vhsiv at 1:17 PM on December 25, 2005

Am I stupid? I don't get it.

I like the idea, but... it's not looking like it finds actual double features... but merely lays out a schedule for you so you can arrange your own schedule of paying to see two movies separately and treating it as if it were a double feature.

As someone said above, at least for the theaters I'm looking at (which are in large metropolitan areas and therefore have lots of theaters/showings), there's much less clutter / easier scheduling by just looking at yahoo.

I seriously don't mean to poo-poo a potentially really cool idea, or knock someone's hard work... Maybe I'm just misunderstanding what I'm being given?
posted by twiggy at 1:34 PM on December 25, 2005

Why would you sneak into an adjacent theater to save $10.50 unless you're a major weasel slimeball?

And if you're paying twice then where's the 'Double Feature'.
posted by HTuttle at 1:53 PM on December 25, 2005

Because you're just a minor weasel slimeball.
posted by I Foody at 2:03 PM on December 25, 2005

I hop theaters all the time. I'm a cheap bastard. The trick is to buy concessions between the films. It usually eats up a little time and no one is going to ask for your ticket if your arms are full of food.

Otherwise, you step into another theater where ANY movie is playing until it's five minutes before the movie you want to see, then go to the bathroom and on the way back, go into the other theater.

I accept that this makes me a slimeball.
posted by ColdChef at 3:10 PM on December 25, 2005

As someone who worked in a movie theater while I was a teen, we generally dont care if you movie hop as long as you're discreet about it. If you're loud and obnoxious and hopping from movie to movie (before they're over/after they've started) we generally get pissed that a) not only are you "stealing" the movie experience, b) you're disturbing the customers who did pay.
posted by SirOmega at 3:56 PM on December 25, 2005

I've never actually sneaked into a movie theater (without paying at all) or gone into a second movie (after paying for the first).

As of today (Syriana, which was very good) I've seen 61 movies in a theater in 2005 so I could certainly save a lot of money if I did sneak around but I've just never had the urge. As far as sins of conceptual theft go, I consider it pretty mild and don't really care if others do it (so long as they don't loudly move into your theater 15 minutes into it trying to find seats and coordinate their larceny with friends waiting outside the exterior exit) but I've never really understood why.

Looking at the listings for my area, though, it doesn't seem to take into account those theaters where either the ticket taker is just a few feet from each theater door or there is a separate ticket taker for each theater.
posted by obfusciatrist at 4:05 PM on December 25, 2005

I'd find it rare to even find two movies in the theaters at one time that I wanted to watch, let alone playing back to back. If it so happened that they were good movies, I would most definitely want to pay for the tickets so that the money would at least trickle up to those who spent their time and money to give me a worthwhile experience.

Sue me for not believing in leeching against 'The Man', whomever he may be, but I like to think that I still vote with what I have - my money. Giving my money to what I regard as good movies and not watching (read: paying) for movies I could care less about sends a greater message than ripping them off. Because at the end of the day, I'm not trying to answer to anyone else than myself. It's apparent who here lives by that ideal.
posted by MJ6 at 4:32 PM on December 25, 2005

I never go to the cinema without seeing at least two movies. I consider it the right --- nay, a duty -- of every cinephile. I regularly see 4 or 5 on a single day, and I've gotten the sneaking down to a science (or maybe it's an art).

I must beg to differ with ColdChef: the key (especially if you are a cheap bastard like me) is not to buy food (good heavens, no) but simply to visit the restroom between films. Or, yes, to duck into any film for 5-20 minutes, and then leave to go to the one you actually want to see.

I load my pockets with sandwiches and dried fruit and spend the whole damn day at the multiplex. I consider it a personal triumph if I can bring the per-film cost to less than $2.

I've become extremely bold lately, too. A recent film was in one wing of a cinema, and the next film was in the other wing -- and both wings were "guarded" by ticket-takers. So I just flashed my ticket stub - for the wrong movie - and the ticket-taker just let me pass, no questions asked. Another time, after seeing two films, I was unable to get past a barricade to see the third. I tried sauntering by, all casual-like, but the ticket-taker asked me for my ticket. I just said to him, straight up, "Actually, I'm trying to sneak into this movie." He said, "Hey, man, at least you're being honest. Go on in."

I used to work in a movie theater and never gave a crap if people snuck in. Neither did my managers. In fact, so long as there are empty seats, it doesn't cost any more to run a film for 100 people than it does to run a film for 3 people. So I don't feel too bad about it. Plus, since I make my living studying film, I can justify it that way, too. Morally, I am OK with this practice, though, I, too, admit that it may make me a slimeball. I can live with that.

If anyone wants Dr. Wu's secret, sure-fire list of tactics that will get you past any usher, email me. I'm serious.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:31 PM on December 25, 2005

Dr. Wu's usher kung-fu eh?
posted by zach4000 at 9:03 PM on December 25, 2005

I live near not one but at least two of the few remaining and actively operating drive in theaters in the US. Every show is a double feature - the first movie plays, then the second, then the first one plays again for those who came late.

Of course, the picture quality is often terrible. And the sound quality is almost always terrible. But I can bring in cold beer and hot food and smoke whenever I want to and sit out under the stars while watching two first-run movies for half the price.
posted by loquacious at 9:10 PM on December 25, 2005

The closest drive-in for us is up in Sacramento. About once a year, my wife and I get into the car, take a casual daylong drive up through the Sacraemento Delta, get a cheap room at a nearby Motel 6 and take a drive-in double feature of movies we wouldn't otherwise be interested in seeing (we've seen Starsky & Hutch and 2 Fast 2 Furious this way).

Whereas Dr. Wu tries to get down to $2/title, this generally works out to about $30/person/title and it is worth every penny, even if the movie is unredeemably crappy (as was The Punisher).
posted by obfusciatrist at 9:24 PM on December 25, 2005

It's never even occured to me to sneak from one movie to another. I feel like such a fool. My eyes are finally open.
posted by The Monkey at 9:22 PM on December 26, 2005

I'm bookmarking this as simply a quick, unannoying way to figure out what's playing where and when. Thanks!
posted by ParisParamus at 9:34 PM on December 26, 2005

I worked for a movie theater chain for too long, and I can assure you that the only time we care about theater hopping is when a feature is sold out, and people who actually bought tickets can't get a seat. the longer you stay in the theater, the more you buy from concessions, which is where movie theater profit is. up to 90% of ticket sales can go back to the studio (depending on the negotiated contract) so the snack bar sales are gold. that $7 tub of popcorn costs about $.95 to produce, including wages, raw materials, and electricity - you do the math. I theater hop without guilt if it's not busy - but I always throw my trash away afterwards.
posted by killy willy at 10:46 AM on December 27, 2005

As a follow up, I've posted Dr. Wu's super, secret tips to my blog with his permission if you're curious (clearly a self-link):
posted by panoptican at 10:52 PM on December 28, 2005

I used to "theatre hop" when I was a kid but haven't since. It's not that I haven't thought about it (have you seen ticket prices?!), but the local theatre is set up to foil my nefarious slimeball plans.
posted by deborah at 12:23 AM on December 29, 2005

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