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Going to the movies is becoming a test of what you can afford

A red and black design featuring AMC logo art
Image: The Verge

Back in the Great Depression of the 1930s, people found escape from the bad news of the day by going to the movies. In fact, I can’t count how many movies — Sullivan’s Travels, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Matinee, Cinema Paradiso, just to name a few — are about people going to the movies for entertainment and escape. People stood in line and rushed to get their favorite seats; first come, first served. You’re part of a couple who are both comfortably making six figures? You’re paying off a college loan or trying to make it on your Social Security benefits? Doesn’t matter. You’re entitled to the best seat you can wrangle.

Even when theaters began selling advance reservations, it was still first come, first served — if you wanted to see a…

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