Online Tickets (and how to save some money)

Kavitha ReddyPalace

While the basic concept of movie going has remained the same over the last hundred years… buy a ticket, get some popcorn, watch a movie.  The experience has progressed with the times.  Now we have flavors of popcorn, immersive movie showings with recliner seats, and  online tickets.

One of the most obvious things that has changed about the ticket is the price.  Movie tickets were once a quarter.  Now, prices soar to almost $20 for some showings in some places.  Luckily for you, the Palace has the least expensive tickets around.  Another change is that some theaters don’t have “tickets” at all, relying on guests to use their phones for access to the auditorium.

What’s the deal with online tickets? What are the pros and cons? Is there really a need for them? Let’s tackle the basics so you can decide if online tickets are necessary for you.

Q: Do I need an online ticket?

Answered: Generally, no.  Online tickets do guarantee you a seat.  A recent change in the industry is that many theaters allow you to choose your desired seat during the booking process.  Athens Movie Palace does not have reserved seating.  Purchasing your ticket online does guarantee that you will have a seat in the auditorium, but it does not guarantee that you will have a specific seat.  You can’t call shotgun here! The majority of our showtimes do not sell out, but an online ticket can protect you from getting sold out of a show.  Online tickets can be helpful when you are purchasing tickets for a mixed group.  You don’t have to wait for everyone to arrive or stand in the lobby paying for everyone as they come in.  Online tickets would allow your group members to get their tickets at their convenience.  In 95% of cases, if not more, as long as you arrive 15-20 minutes before the showtime, you will be fine getting your tickets in theater.  (This varies for the blockbuster level movies on opening weekends.  The busiest showtimes are usually Friday evening around 7, Saturday afternoonish depending on the movie, and Sundays at 2, but most showtimes sell out just moments before the showtime). We have never sold out on a Monday-Wednesday showtime. Thursday evenings are usually empty, too, unless it’s the premier of something big.

You can also buy tickets for a future movie time in theater.  As long as the showtimes are published, they are available for purchase.  You could come in on a Friday morning to buy tickets for Friday evening or Sunday afternoon! 

Q: Does the online ticket cost more?

Answered: Yes. Online tickets were started as a convenience for movie goers.  As with most convenience items, you will pay more.  Third party companies like Fandango emerged to offer this service.  They will add fees to the ticket price, resulting in a much more expensive ticket.  Our point of sale provider offers online tickets with a smaller fee because this is not their only means of making money.  An online ticket for a Thursday show will be $9.50 in person.  $10.25 if purchased on our website.  $11.69 if purchased through Fandango.

Save money by purchasing tickets in theater.  

Q: At other theaters, when I buy my tickets online, I can go straight to my theater.  Why is it different at the Palace?

Answered: Some customers, familiar with the electronic method of entry, get frustrated when the process is different at the Palace.  There are a couple of reasons.  We are locally owned and independent.  That means we are not a Regal, AMC, etc.  We do not follow the same operations policies as these other theaters.  Our lobby is small and the line moves quickly.  It is more efficient for us to have our staff working behind the counter than have a dedicated online ticket scanner.  Most of our customers do not purchase online tickets.  We also do not have the equipment to scan online tickets anywhere else in the building.  It would be fairly pricey to install this and for the number of tickets we sell… it isn’t cost effective at this time.

When you have online tickets for the Palace, you will come to the concession counter to get your printed tickets and then can proceed to the usher stand.   The fasted way for us to print your tickets is by swiping the credit card you paid with.  It will instantly print your tickets. 

Q: I purchased tickets online, but I didn’t get my tickets. Help?

Answered: Don’t worry.  Your tickets will not be emailed to you.  You will get a confirmation email. In most cases if you didn’t receive this, you may have typed your email address in wrong.  Also, check your spam folders.  We do not need the email, though, we can look up your tickets with your name and even the credit card you paid with.

Q: The showtime has “Bookings Closed” beside it, does this mean it’s sold out?

Answered:  No.  This means the showtime is coming up soon.  The online ticket option closes 15 minutes before the showtime.  It does not mean you cannot buy tickets.  It means you cannot purchase online tickets for this movie.