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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Magic Lantern: Discount prices for unique films

It's one of the ironies of business that, to make up for declining business and rising costs, you have to raise the price of your goods/services. Which can lead to even more declining business … and so on.

Word from the Magic Lantern Theater is that management has decided to raise its basic ticket price from $7 to $8.

On one hand, it's nice that we're being made aware of this price hike (the first, the management points out, in three years). When any of the chain houses — Regal, AMC or the two Village Centre sites — raise prices, we usually don't find out until we're reaching for our wallets. On the other, I could point out that even at $8 the Lantern is still cheaper than the basic price of most other area theaters (except for the second-run Garland, where tickets are $4.50, a dollar less on Wednesdays).

The truth is, though, that we don't go the movies at the Magic Lantern because of cheap tickets. We haven't even considered, in a traditional sense, seeing movies there out of comfort (especially at its old site, on the third floor of the Atrium Building, which sits next to the railroad tracks). No, we go to the Lantern because of the films that it shows.

Yes, I give AMC full credit for its continuing policy of bringing independent movies such as "All Is Lost" and "The Counselor." But the Lantern shows even more diverse and, in some cases, unique films such as "The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear," "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" and "Muscle Shoals." And in certain cases, the Lantern shows those AND the films that AMC usually closes after a week or two.

Take this evening. At 7, you can catch a one-time-only showing of the documentary "Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve." And beginning tomorrow, you can catch the new releases "The Motel Life" and "Desert Runners," plus see Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine."

So, yes, the Magic Lantern is raising its prices. Small price to pay for all the theater gives us.