Archive | September, 2010

Movie Theater Options That Won’t Break the Bank

10 Sep

Going to the movies doesn't have to be expensive!

One of my favorite things to do during my free time is watch movies. Whether it’s going out to a theater or watching one at home, I’m game. Because I love movies so much I am acutely aware of just how much the cost of movie tickets and rentals has increased over the years and this is not just because I’m sensitive due to the recession. Netflix and RedBox have completely changed the movie rental model for the better which has given consumers a cheaper and more convenient way to watch movies at home. But what about those of us who still want that theater experience as well as some cash in our pockets when we leave? Thankfully theaters in the Seattle area are recognizing our plight are doing something about it.

Down in the south end, I have been to two discount movie theaters: Regal East Valley 13 and Starplex Cinemas Gateway Movies 8. Regal East Valley 13 is located in Renton basically across the street from Ikea. Movies here are $3 all day, every day. Prices are so low because they show second-run movies (the ones that have been out for a few weeks to a few months) and some that are already out on DVD. The theater itself is in really good shape, there’s ample parking space and it still offers all of the amenities of a “regular” theater such as concession stands. Starplex Cinemas Gateway Movies 8 is located in Federal Way near The Commons/SeaTac Mall. Movies here are only $2 except on Tuesdays when they’re only $1! Because the movies are so cheap, some other aspects of the theater have clearly suffered such as the carpets, fixtures, and movie screens. Basically, the theater is clean but hasn’t been updated in ages but for a buck what would you expect? I love, love, love discount theaters because they’re cheap, I can catch movies I didn’t get to see when they were first released and they’re not crowded.

Regal Cinemas and AMC offer reward programs

The other popular way of getting a good deal on movie tickets is by joining the theater’s reward program. I personally belong to both the AMC Movie Watcher program and the Regal Crown Club. The concept behind the programs is simple; purchases tickets or other merchandise using your card to build up points which will earn you free movie passes as well as free or discounted concession items.  For those of you who don’t feeling like “signing up for another rewards card”, participating AMC theaters offers $5 and $6 movie tickets for movies shown before noon as part of their AM Cinema program. I know it might seem odd going to the movies so early but it’s great because you beat the crowds and most of the theatergoers at that time are really old and really quiet. It’s truly a win-win for everyone!

Know of any other movie deals? Let us know in the comments!

Rating: Cool

Reminds me of: Kenny Rogers – “The Gambler”

Great for: Cheap Date Night, Deals

Southlake Grill: Another Take On SLU

3 Sep

Last week I met up with a friend at Southlake Grill in the South Lake Union area to take advantage of the sunny weather before the clouds started rolling in. Since the SG is located away from the water, there’s a ton of parking compared to what you may (or may not) find down near the waterfront establishments. That brings me to another point – there are no water views here. That’s not to say the place isn’t great but just don’t expect to see Lake Union from your table. SG is located on the corner of Thomas St. and Pontius Ave. N. and has an outdoor patio facing this intersection so you can catch all of the action. Since the sun was still out by the time I arrived, I snagged a table outside and people watched for a bit. The patio is super cute and “naturey” feeling despite being basically downtown. Half of the area has greenery lining the walls/fencing which makes it less “concrete jungle” and more like a serene garden. Unfortunately, patio time was cut a bit short as the sun started setting  behind the tall downtown buildings and it got cold fast!

Southlake Grill's Patio

Since it got a little chilly outside, we moved inside and grabbed one of the available booths. The interior of SG is what I would consider small to medium in size but it feels quite large because of the two story ceiling. The Cascade Loft area takes up the second story of this space and can be used for private events or other special occasions. On the main floor there’s a bar area with flat screen TVs as well as booth seating and tables in the middle of the restaurant. The cuisine is pretty much typical pub/bar food (think burgers, salads, and pasta). I had the fish and chips which was very good. I’m no food critic but I liked the fact that the beer batter wasn’t too thick, the cod was firm but not dried out and the fries were pipping hot.

Southlake Grill is part of a “Neighborhood Grill” network of sorts with locations in and around the Seattle Metro area (check them out here). Have you been to any of these restaurants? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Rated: Cool

Great for: Happy Hour | Deck/Patio

Reminds me of: The “Cheers” theme song

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