21 January 1979
Los Angeles Times
It was with great satisfaction that I read in Calendar (Jan. 7) of the feelings of other Southern Californians regarding recent price hikes at Mann's and other local theaters. The editor's note was also very much appreciated, as it pointed out the discrepancy between Mann's "reasoning" in charging more for "Superman" tickets and the statements of the film's distributors that the rentals for "Superman" were not and higher than other comparable December releases. Mann's theaters are simply out to see what the traffic will bear, and it's nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks they`ve gone too far.
My feeling is that $4 is a reasonable admission price only for 70min Panavision, Dolby stereo shows. Other first-run films are worth $3.50 to me, and all other shows should never cost more than $3 in today's economy. But then, in protesting outrageous entertainment prices, we must continually remind ourselves with whom we are dealing. Mann's theaters have led each price rise ($3 to $3.50 to $4 and now to $4.50 for first run shows) since they acquired the National General chain in 1972.
There are many people who want to see motion pictures remain in theaters, and not be completely replaced by competitive home systems. It looks like we are just going to have to yell loud enough about the destructive effects of higher and higher admission prices.