I just did a count and, one day late last month, I saw my 800th movie at Willow Creek Theaters in Plymouth. 800! Wow! And you thought I couldn't commit to anything.
Well, I loves me my visual entertainment and for eight years, 1999-2007, I literally lived across the parking lot from Willow Creek. Convenience has been a big factor in my continuing attendence. And it's a decent theater - clean, well maintained, comfortable seats, employees old enough to shave. Did I mention convenient location? One block away from work and about a mile from my current home.
But still, 800. That's a lot. I wonder if anyone else patronizes the establishment as often? Possibly. Funny thing, in the 16 years since I first went to a movie there, those 800 moves are less than half of my total viewings (47%ish). Of course, I lived in Georgia and Florida for three and a half of those 16 years, so that skews the stats a bit. For the last 10 years, though, I've seen 757 movies at Willow Creek; about 1.5 per week. That really doesn't sound like a lot on a day-to-day basis.
Despite the impressive attendence figure, I have got to be one of Willow Creek's worst customers. I almost always hit a matinee showing, which is about 2/3rds the cost of an evening ticket. I almost never stop at the concession stand. In fact, of the 1054 movies I've seen at all theaters in the last ten years, I stopped at the concession stand exactly 15 times. Five of those times were at the old Oak Street revival theater. I figured that if they were going to show me The Producers, Ghostbusters and Caddyshack for only $2 each, I should buy some high-markup popcorn from them. I don't feel the same about first-run theaters charging $6.50 for a matinee ticket.
I mentioned before that I think Willow Creek could make me a good customer by giving me an unlimited pass under the condition that I buy the equivalent of the ticket price's value in food or drink. It's the same out-of-pocket for me but moves their revenue from the low-profit box office to the high-profit concession stand. It's still fraud, but I can live with it.
800. All right. Arbitrary milestone acknowledged. Moving on.