Confessions of an entertainment addict

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Jeez, after last week’s cover story, “Confessions of an eBay opium addict,” you’re probably expecting some kind of rest-of-the-story editor’s note. Yeah, we broke a story about an apparent international drug network that uses the Internet auction house for distribution of opium—so what? There are more pressing concerns.

Here’s what’s really irritating me this week. I went to two movies this weekend. First, on Sunday morning, Hunter and I went to see Robots. But Robin Williams is not what irritated me. What irritated me was Syufy has discontinued the matinee deals for children. Yes, for adults like myself, the bargain price is $5.75 rather than $8.75, but the cost for children is always $5.25.

That’s not the only place I see Syufy’s local screen monopoly having a negative effect on consumers. The unholy liaison between the theaters and Fandango.com has inflated online prices. Fandango, before it started to suck, was a free, convenient, advertiser-supported method to ensure a seat in the theater. Now, former Fandango-ers go to the Web site for movie times, but we can’t buy our tickets there because the price gougers want an extra dollar for each ticket. Do they think we don’t know and resent the fact that there are no extra resources required on the part of Fandango to sell one or five or 15 tickets?

I’ll tell you another bad result I see from the synergistic/monopolistic alliance: Newspapers no longer get accurate movie times from the theaters in time to print them for readers’ convenience. Nope, it appears to me that the movie theaters are driving consumers to Fandango with movie times in the hopes that’ll they’ll pay a dollar a ticket extra for the convenience.

Anyway, they say never to pull a gun you don’t intend to fire: The second movie I saw (at 10:30 on Sunday night) was The Ring Two. Did I mention how much I enjoy my Netflix membership?