DVDs haven’t hurt theaters

Lindsay Sainlar

It seems that the increasing affordability and convenience of DVDs would appeal to the often cash-strapped college student.

But if there’s a battle between DVDs and more expensive trips to movie theaters, there doesn’t appear to be a clear winner.

“I used to love to go to the movies,” Bowling Green sophomore Ryan Sprouse said.

But he has recently avoided theaters due to the expense and lack of quality movies being shown.

The last time Sprouse went to the movies was December, when “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” was released.

With one admission ticket, a large popcorn in his right hand and a soda in another, a trip to the movie theater averaged Sprouse around $12.

He said he would go more frequently if it was cheaper.

Judie Epperson, manager of the Blockbuster Video store on the 31-W Bypass, said she believes most college students wait to rent movies on DVD or VHS.

“It’s more cost effective to rent two movies and have 10 people over,” Epperson said. Blockbuster charges $4.23 for new releases in both formats.

Epperson, who watches about four movies a week, said she buys a lot of Blockbuster’s previously rented DVDs.

“I’ve seen a huge increase in DVD sales,” she said, noting that the prices of DVDs – which can range from about $10 to $30 for new releases – are starting to drop.

“They’re so much better than VHS,” she said. “You don’t have to rewind, they’re not as bulky and a lot of the older classics are coming out on DVD.”

But while the high cost of movie trips and the popularity of DVDs may be keeping some college students away from the cineplex, plenty of others prefer the atmosphere of the theater.

Plaza 6 Theatre manager Jereme Dickens said he hasn’t noticed a change in movie theater attendance.?

“We live in Bowling Green and there’s not much else to do,” Dickens said. “For the most part, all college students have is school and the free time they’re trying to fill with friends.”

Dickens said about 75 percent of the college students who attend Plaza 6 Theatre are males coming to watch horror and action flicks.?

“Most of the guys come in groups,” Dickens said. “Most girls who come, come with their boyfriends or boyfriends-to-be on dates.”

Greensburg sophomore John McCloughan said that when he goes to the movies, he generally goes with a group of guy friends.

He owns almost 40 movies on DVD and VHS, but doesn’t often rent movies.

“If I watch any movies other than what I own, I

usually go to the movie theater,” McCloughan said.

Dickens thinks that most girls probably find other things to do with their free time, such as shopping or hanging out with their friends.

But this isn’t universally true.

Russellville freshman Rachel Thomason said that before she came to school, she would watch a movie once every two weeks. But recently she’s found herself spending less time watching movies because of school.

Thomason bought two DVDs for herself recently. She said the good thing about owning movies is that she can watch them multiple times without worrying about returning them in time to avoid late fees.

Reach Lindsay Sainlar at [email protected]