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Movie showtimes for every type of theater hangout


The last time I was at the movies, some friends of ours in our quarantine pod were kind enough to invite us to a movie theater they had rented for all the families in our pod. The movie showtime was a weekend afternoon, a.k.a the perfect time to take the kiddos to the theater. I highly recommend a late afternoon showtime to check out these great movies for kids out in movie theaters now. In my B.C. era (before children), I would never have selected a movie showtime in the early afternoon. I do confess that even 10 years ago, my favorite time was either just before sunset or just after. There is nothing like the feeling of going to the movies on a hot summer day, packing away popcorn, and drinking something cold with the sun setting in the background, and watching a cool flick. 

All my movie theater outings were to see the latest movies in theaters on a Friday or Saturday night. I’d pick my favorite movie theater near me and select movie showtime that would give me and my husband enough time to enjoy dinner and make it to the theater for an 8 pm showtime. Those were the days!

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Do you know what you’ll find me doing now at 8 pm on a Friday or Saturday night? Reading my 2-year-olds three go-to bedtime stories in succession: Goodnight Moon, ABC’s by Dr. Suess, and finally If Animals Kissed Goodnight (check out these 13 children’s books written by celebs). Then, I move next door to my 7-year old’s room to pick up where we left off in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (see what the Harry Potter cast is up to now).

Yes, picking a movie showtime has certainly changed for me over the years, but there is one thing that hasn’t: my love for going to the movie theaters. When I say I am a movie fanatic, I mean I love going to the cinema and watching movies. I go a few times a month and when I find out there is a new movie opening or a movie that gets raving reviews, it’s hard for me to say ‘no’. Some movie genres I love include action, comedy, horror. But I pretty much like everything else too.

What movie genre is your favorite? Tell us on Twitter.

Family movie night? More like a daytime movie showtime

Admittedly, if my family is watching a movie at night we are probably doing it from home. I’m usually trying to convince my kids to watch one of my childhood favorites instead of Frozen 2 for the 25th time. I’ve been successful in getting my 7-year old to enjoy Freaky Friday and I tried two of my all-time favorites––The Princess Bride and Goonies––to find out she’s not old enough for those just yet. We didn’t even make it through the opening scene of Willow without her being too afraid. My husband had to remind me that movies from the 1990s and the rating systems were different than now. Alas, I’m stuck in a Disney+ plus cycle of Frozen 2 and Moana

So whenever we get the chance to break the cycle and take the kids to the movie theater, I’m just as excited as the kids are to see a new movie release. I did try watching a new movie release at home with my daughter, but it just wasn’t the same as the theaters. She was frustrated that I kept getting distracted and getting up; the same thing happened when I sat down to watch Kong vs Godzilla at home which is why if that’s on your list of movies in theaters to go see, it’s a must-see in the theater for all these reasons

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But I won’t be selecting an evening movie showtime if I’m taking the kids to the movies. Nope! Once the kids are fed and bathed, it’s straight to bed. I recommend taking your young children to the movies during the late afternoon; right around 3:30 pm is my family’s best bet (it’s post-nap time and pre-dinner time). Selecting a movie like Raya and the Last Dragon that’s in theaters near me now and runs just shy of two hours gets the family out right in time for dinner. 

Plus, selecting an afternoon showtime instead of an evening showtime will save you about $3 per child ticket at AMC Theatres – SCORE! And we use those movie ticket savings to upgrade our movie theater popcorn because there’s nothing like popcorn at the theater. 

Date night is now a Wednesday movie showtime

Remember that B.C era I told you about where my husband and I used to get dressed and go to the movie theater at an 8 pm showing on a Friday or Saturday night? Well, those days are long gone.

After working all week long and keeping up with two kids, by Friday night I’m spent, exhausted, and scrolling Hollywood.com for the latest HollyGOOD news with a glass of wine in my hand.

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Alright so we’re busy, but we need to squeeze in some time for each other, right? One way is to see an after-work movie. The experience can cost as little as $18 (excluding snacks) for both of us, or it can be anywhere between $30-$50 depending on the movie, snacks, and whatnot.

These days my husband and I find time for date nights usually every other Wednesday. Our after-school sitter stays later than usual and we wrap our work days around 5 and have just enough time to fit in a movie before the sitter has to leave. 

Plus, our movie tickets are cheaper on a 5 pm movie showtime on a Wednesday versus our old go-to of 8 pm on a Friday or Saturday. It’s a quick 10-minute ride to the movie theater near us and a great choice for an inexpensive date night. We also get the benefit of the theater being less crowded, there is typically nobody else at the theater which allows us to sit in our favorite seats without worrying about anybody making too much noise. 

Showtimes for teenagers at the movie theaters

Nowadays, going to the movie theaters is different for me. Selecting the perfect movie showtime comes down to whether or not it’s the whole family or a date night. Looking back at going to the movies as a teenager, I guess I could predict that a couple of years from now, our family will change our thoughts again around the perfect movie showtime. I imagine it won’t be too different than when I went to the movie theaters in the 1990s.

The teenage years are the first time my parents let me go to the movies by myself. It’s one of those first “grown-up” experiences – meeting friends at the movie theaters––though I’m sure my kids will ask me to drop them off far away from the doors so I don’t embarrass them like this dad (or maybe I will ?):

@gabbieriella2♬ original sound – Gabbie

I expect if I fast forward 10 years it will be much like I remember when I was 16 years old when going shopping or going to the movie theater with my friends was a blast. My guess is that the best movie showtime for my future teenagers would be a 6:30 pm Friday or Saturday night showing. I’ll give them dinner and drop them off (I know… far away from the door) and pick them up (I know… around the corner) around 8:30 or 9 just in time for the whole family to get a good night’s sleep. 

Movies as a senior citizen 

Who doesn’t love going to the movies? Yep, even seniors do. It is a well-known fact that senior citizens are simply awesome. They have seen, learned, and experienced so much in their lives, and they have the top stories to tell. They are the ideal companions to go see a movie with. It’s a great way to catch up on the latest flick and catch your favorite actors on the big screen. Just look at the senior citizens lined up to see the latest movie releases.

Plus, it can make you feel like a kid again, but with bigger seats. It might seem to you that going to the movie theaters is a young person’s pastime, but the truth is that, as people age and retire from working full time, they have often more time to select whatever movie and whatever showtime they want. Plus some movie theater chains offer discounts for seniors.

So how do you choose the best movie showtime? 

The answer is different for everyone. Going to the movies changes depending on who you’re going with and how old everyone is, but there’s a perfect movie showtime for everyone.

The movie showtime you pick and the people you go with can change the entire atmosphere of the day. From children to adults, couples on a first date to married couples, there is a perfect movie showtime for everyone who’s interested in going to watch a film at a theater. It’s safe to go back to the movies with a little planning. Movie theaters remain a place for people to gather together and have some fun. They are a place where you can actually interact with other people and make memories by sharing some popcorn.

Like Christopher Nolan said, it’s an experience: 

“When people think about movies, their minds first go to the stars, the studios, the glamour. But the movie business is about everybody…We need what movies can offer us…Maybe, like me, you thought you were going to the movies for surround sound, or Goobers, or soda and popcorn, or movie stars. But we weren’t. We were there for each other.”

More Like This: 9 tips for safely going back to the movies

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