I have only ever bought an online ticket to a movie theater once before, years ago. It was for a different chain, but the whole process was just so inconvenient that I never did it again for any chain.
Of course, before, going to the movies was never classified as work, and my last trip to the theater left me stuck in a long line to get in, despite showing up early. I didn’t even get a seat until the studio’s logo was on the screen. Normally, I’d be glad that I got there just in time to see the movie start, but I worried about it a little bit. What if I wasn’t so lucky next time? What if I missed something major because I was in line? I don’t think I could justify the expense of seeing the same movie twice.
UltraStar Cinemas in Fontana is near my house, and has very reasonable ticket prices, and normally if you go to earlier showings, it’s not as crowded, though lately this hasn’t been the case. Buying the ticket online was really easy. I went to the website, picked my theater, and what time I wanted to see the movie. Drop down menus allow you to choose how many tickets you want.
A benefit to buying a ticket online is that UltraStar Cinemas wants to off-set the cost of the convenience fee. They have an option where you can get a $1 credit towards some popular concession choices if you pay for those concessions online. If you choose to not use the credit, you will still receive a free promotional size popcorn at the theater, or a $1 credit for a larger size. Given that the convenience charge is $1.25, if you do choose to buy a concession online, the total cost of everything is only $0.25 more than you would have paid in person. It also has the added benefit of charging everything at once and providing you with only one receipt, which I like.
So I bought my ticket and a large Pepsi online and printed my ticket. Once I got to the theater, I skipped the ticket line and went right in. My ticket was scanned by the ticket taker, who ripped off the top third, pointing out where my movie was screening, and reminding me to go to the concession stand to get my drink. I did exactly that, and the lady working the concession stand ripped off the second third of my ticket, and gave me my drink. From there, I went to the auditorium that was screening my movie, and I was the first one there, so I got exactly which seat I wanted. I started to worry that because I went to all this trouble, nobody would show up, but soon enough all the seats started to fill.
I have to say that buying my ticket online with UltraStar Cinemas was pretty painless and worth the extra quarter. I have one receipt for everything, instead of keeping track of multiple receipts. I had first choice in seat, and most importantly, I didn’t have to stand in line thinking, “Oh my gosh, the movie’s going to start in 2 minutes and I still haven’t gotten my soda!” I am definitely going to buy my tickets – and concessions – online for UltraStar Cinemas from now on.