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When did cheap nights become so expensive.

94 replies

gothicomedy · 12/01/2024 21:46

A trip to the cinema last night cost £9 for ticket, £5 for parking, £3 for bag of chocolate sweets and £3.50 for a cup of coffee before hand. So over £20 for a night out at the pictures for one person.

A fish and chip supper for two with a bottle of supermarket wine last saturday cost £23.

AIBU to wonder when what was traditionally a cheap treat has now become an expensive luxury?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

213 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Allfur · 12/01/2024 21:48

Cycle and take your own snacks

gothicomedy · 12/01/2024 21:50

But it's not a treat then. Although will definitely be buying my snacks in a supermarket in future.

OP posts:
NewName24 · 12/01/2024 21:56

Cinema has always been expensive, unless you were at Saturday morning kids club, or, more recently had Meerkat Movies.
As for buying snacks at the cinema, that has always been a ridiculous rip off. I am always amazed anyone would do that rather than either managing without for a couple of hours, or bringing their own from home.

A bottle of wine and hearty meal for two isn't exactly expensive at £21.

Jessforless · 12/01/2024 22:00

I know you didn’t but popcorn, and this might be fake, but someone once told me the profit margin on popcorn is higher than the mark up for heroin 😂

cinema has never been cheap.

Fish and chips I agree has become extortionate! I asked DH to get a bag of chips when he popped out at lunch today so we could have chip sandwiches for lunch (rubbish work day!) and gave him £5 as I had cash.

He said he had to go to the cash machine as chips were SIX FIFTY!!! Wtf.

Coconutter24 · 12/01/2024 22:00

4 of us went cinema last week £24 for tickets then £45 for 4 drinks 1 pick and mix and 2 nachos 😱😱 I had planned to nip shop for drinks but was running late so didn’t have the time, won’t make that mistake again

thenightsky · 12/01/2024 22:02

We've just come to accept that a night out is £25 a head. Take it or leave it. We usually leave it.

ManateeFair · 12/01/2024 22:25

The cinema hasn’t been a cheap night out at any point in my lifetime, really. Certainly not when you factor in snacks and travel.

£23 for fish and chips and a bottle of wine, for two people, works out at £11.50 a head. I’d say that is a cheap night. Certainly cheaper than going out for a few drinks or a meal, and also cheaper than most takeaways.

laclochette · 12/01/2024 22:27

Things are crazy but some things have always been crazy. Snacks from the cinema for example... I always pack my own! If you had had a coffee at home beforehand and done that your trip would have cost £14 each not £20 (or less if there was more than one of you in the car).

I know it can be boring to have to think about these things we didn't have to beforehand, but it isn't that much faff if it still allows you to do almost the same things as before.

Fish and chips are expensive versus the working class food they used to be - but again, we find one big portion is more than enough for two people. You just have to make sure you go somewhere with generous portions, which honestly is most chippies in my experience!

newstart24 · 12/01/2024 22:29

£23 for fish and chips and a bottle of wine, for two people, works out at £11.50 a head. I’d say that is a cheap night.


Cas112 · 12/01/2024 22:42

Has cinema ever been a cheap night?

HillyHoney · 12/01/2024 22:42

I mean, the cost of literally everything has gone up, and admittedly wages haven't kept pace so non-essentials will feel more expensive, as we know they're optional AND beat ourselves up about it. But as PPs have said, snack-buying at the cinema is a mugs game!

Where we live, we can still go out for a low-key meal (Indian, local pub or similar) for around £20 each for food plus 1-2 drinks, but that would probably be one course only, really. Our nicer restaurants are definitely be closer to £30-40 per head though, and although they're worth it, that means I only go to those maybe 2-3 times a year.

Fish and chips here is about £8-9 per person, but we do our own mushy peas and bread 😁

I coul still go to the pub for less than £20 a night but obviously that's be 3 alcoholic drinks max, plus a soft drink or two. I'm not a massive drinker though, so I could get away with that. Our local Spoons is reasonably classy though, so a lot of people go there for dinner and a drink for less than a tenner, and you can see why. Lots of our local pubs have free music nights, and pub quizzes, although you normally have to pay a small entry fee.

Other than that we have a local arts centre that does film nights, tickets £7.

I guess it depends to an extent whether you socialise with drinkers and/or people who don't want to stay in. You could easily have a pizza and film night at home with plenty of snacks and hot choc etc for £5 pp, but the costs do shoot up with alcohol.

maddiemookins16mum · 12/01/2024 22:44

We’ve just got back from the cinema, tickets £8.00 each. Parking free after 3pm in the car park next door. Two hot drinks £6.00. I took my own Opal Fruits.

Bbq1 · 12/01/2024 22:52

Our volunteer run, fabulous, local Art Deco cinema has all the latest films, 3 screens and costs £4.75 per adult and £3.75 per child. Absolute steal. Concessions cost between £2 - £5. It's an experience to visit and we're very lucky to have it.

DontKaleMyVibe · 13/01/2024 08:48

I've never seen the cinema as a cheap night out, it's cost £20+ for everything you've mentioned for the last 20 years, I fact, I think only £20 is cheaper than what I'd typically pay for all of those things at our local cinema.
We take our own snacks and share lifts/parking if we want a cheaper night at the cinema.

Fish and chips have gone up in price much more than the cinema, though I guess that's more in line with inflation.

catelynjane · 13/01/2024 09:40

I don't think fish and chips and a bottle of wine for two at £23 is extortionate, but the cinema has never been cheap unless you have a monthly pass and go on a regular basis.

I haven't been to the cinema since before the first lockdown as frankly it's cheaper and more enjoyable to stay at home and use Netflix 🤷‍♀️

Youcannotbeseriousreally · 13/01/2024 09:43

Where are you going to the cinema for £9?! That’s a bloody bargain. Last time I went it was £17.65!

TheaBrandt · 13/01/2024 09:47

It’s not the same though is it? Going to the cinema is an event - you focus on the film (no bloody phones) it’s immersive it’s an evening out. I always remember the films I saw at the cinema far more. Then your teens actually chat to you about the film in the lovely bar at the cinema afterwards. Did it cost loads? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes.

TheYearOfSmallThings · 13/01/2024 09:50

You are not wrong, it is incredibly easy now to spend twice what you were expecting on what would have been a cheap trip out.

I always recommend Vue cinemas (£5 or £6 any show any day) and Cineworld has a good family deal if you are two adults and two children, as the adult get child price tickets. Parking is usually free in both these cinemas and we are perfectly happy to bring our own snacks.

What I will say is some things have gone up more than others - the other day we got a very good selection of sushi for less than the price of a KFC.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie · 13/01/2024 09:52

I think both of the examples describe in the OP sound very reasonable indeed, actually.

tttigress · 13/01/2024 09:53

Well buying snacks at the cinema has always been a complete rip off.

I do cringe at recent ticket prices, but if you use some sort of inflation adjustment calculator it has probably always been the same. But out brains can't think of inflation in the same way.

There are days of the week when it is cheaper, but obviously can be a pain to jump through hoops to get to the cheap ticket.

vincettenoir · 13/01/2024 09:54

The prices for almost everything have gone up. Those prices are standard / low priced. You might need to adjust your expectations.

TheLogicalSong · 13/01/2024 09:55

Cinema: Definitely lose the sweets and coffee - that will bring you down to £14. If more than one of you going, you can divide the parking cost to get your per person figure lower. Look for cheap advance booking deals - our Vue sometimes does any seat for £4.99 (including VIP seats).

Chippy and wine - £23 doesn't sound that bad for two people. You'd pay that each in a restaurant. One way I keep the cost down of a chippy is to order one large chips to share with DH rather than two small chips - the large is enough for two if you are having fish or whatever as well.

SilverSimca · 13/01/2024 09:57

When I was little in the 70s/80s cinema was absolutely not a cheap treat for us. I could count on one hand the number of times I went to the cinema before I was 16 (Snow White, ET, Star Trek The Voyage Home, Basil the Great Mouse Detective, Dead Poets Society). We absolutely would not have been bought sweets in the cinema, we got them from the sweet shop.

We did have fish and chips every Saturday lunch time after swimming though so that must have been relatively cheaper. The family as a whole almost never had wine.

Hotterthanhades · 13/01/2024 09:58

Coconutter24 · 12/01/2024 22:00

4 of us went cinema last week £24 for tickets then £45 for 4 drinks 1 pick and mix and 2 nachos 😱😱 I had planned to nip shop for drinks but was running late so didn’t have the time, won’t make that mistake again

It’s closer to £30 for 2 at my local Odeon

allaboardtheskytrain · 13/01/2024 10:10

Cinema has never been a cheap night out really, we always go on meerkat Tuesday/wednesday. I've been known to buy a cheap travel insurance policy to sign up to that for a year!

If you know anyone who has sky cinema subscription they can get free cinema tickets twice a month for Vue....they might not want to use them!

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