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Want to spend like a Powerball winner? Then go to the movies

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POSTED September 16, 2013 1:23 a.m.

I took the grandkids to the movies Saturday.

No, I wasn’t the Big Powerball winner nor did I inherit a couple million of dollars.

That said a movie theater is about the only place you feel you have to fill out a credit application to buy candy.

I understand the price of everything goes up.

But what cost me 75 cents as a kid in 1963 to see the original “101 Dalmatians” cartoon movie and enjoy a box of Junior Mints is now $16. And if I remember right, half the box wasn’t crushed as they were on Saturday. But then again, what do I expect for $4?

The excursion cost $62.50.

That provided us with three tickets to “The Family”, a box of Junior Mints, one medium soft drink, a small bottle of water, a box of Jolly Ranchers, and pizza. The napkins and straw were free although I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t start charging for those as well.

I actually insist that Ashley and Sawyer get something to munch on and to drink. It is part of the movie experience. They balk because they can’t see the wisdom of doing something that would set them back a half day’s pay. They view the movie as being enough of a treat.

I understand where they are coming from. I hesitate to spend $5.99 for a recent movie release from Comcast’s On Demand selection. Typically I’ll wait until the movie is free.

When Ashley saw a combo of chicken strips, fries and a soda she asked if she could order that. I looked at it and saw that the sign said “save $5”. When she asked the clerk how much exactly the combo was and she was told $18.25, Ashley said no way and stuck with the overpriced box of candy apparently priced by Pentagon procurement officers.

She probably should get use to seeing fast food at that price. If McDonald’s workers get paid $15 an hour as labor organizers insist, $18.25 for a combo like that will probably be dirt cheap.

No one begrudges anyone a raise especially those making $8 an hour under California’s minimum wage law. But someone has to pay for any increase and it ultimately is the consumer. Quite frankly, I’m not looking forward to the coming raise of the minimum wage to $10 an hour not as much as it will cost me more for a lot of things but the fact firms will automate to eliminate positions wherever they can. It’s bad enough I get to talk to a computer when calling a firm’s help line. But with some of the innovations tossed about by Silicon Valley types to further reduce fast food overhead I don’t think I’d be overjoyed to place my order on a tablet or using a smartphone while standing at a counter.

Besides, as bad as it was paying $62.50 for a trip for three of us to go to the movies it was pleasant to deal with AMC Showplace’s staff. I wouldn’t be as happy spending that much and having to deal with machines or placing my order via a smartphone.

Going to the movies is a rare treat mainly because I have a tough time parting with cash for something I can eventually see for free. Admittedly I’ve never been one to frequent movie houses. After I saw the “101 Dalmatians” in 1963” the next movie I saw was “Star Wars” in 1977.

If Hollywood had to rely on me it would have all the opulence of Calcutta.

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