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View Full Version : Does anyone know the cost of a movie during 1938-1940


artemis31386
11-23-2010, 09:11 AM
I'm writing a historical piece set during Hollywood's Golden Age. I need the cost of a movie ticket between 1938 and 1940. I thought I heard somewhere that it was ten cents, but I want to be sure.

mscelina
11-23-2010, 09:28 AM
Am currently watching the movie moguls miniseries on AMC. They just mentioned that the average Shirley Temple movie cost $150,000-200,000 to make and netted between 1.5-2 million on first runs alone. I would think that would serve as a mean average--full on musicals(think Golddiggers of 1933) or big epics (GWTW) would cost more.

mgencleyn
11-23-2010, 09:37 AM
Looks like this list might be helpful:

http://boxofficemojo.com/about/adjuster.htm

It is largely about how to adjust for inflation, but the list to the right looks like actual prices for each year starting in 1910.

This site may also help you generally:

http://www.natoonline.org/statisticstickets.htm


Since these are averages, I suppose some theater might have had a cheap ticket for half off somewhere. So ten cents might have been right in a few cases, maybe. Otherwise, it looks like about 24 cents.

Also, I'm wondering where these are averages, if any ticket would've cost 24 cents. Maybe more like an even 20 or 25? I dunno.

search strategy (Google search): movie ticket costs history

artemis31386
11-23-2010, 09:55 AM
Am currently watching the movie moguls miniseries on AMC. They just mentioned that the average Shirley Temple movie cost $150,000-200,000 to make and netted between 1.5-2 million on first runs alone. I would think that would serve as a mean average--full on musicals(think Golddiggers of 1933) or big epics (GWTW) would cost more.

Thanks. I wasn't looking for the cost of production though. I found that information on imdb.

artemis31386
11-23-2010, 09:56 AM
Looks like this list might be helpful:

http://boxofficemojo.com/about/adjuster.htm

It is largely about how to adjust for inflation, but the list to the right looks like actual prices for each year starting in 1910.

This site may also help you generally:

http://www.natoonline.org/statisticstickets.htm


Since these are averages, I suppose some theater might have had a cheap ticket for half off somewhere. So ten cents might have been right in a few cases, maybe. Otherwise, it looks like about 24 cents.

Also, I'm wondering where these are averages, if any ticket would've cost 24 cents. Maybe more like an even 20 or 25? I dunno.

search strategy (Google search): movie ticket costs history

Thanks, these links are helpful. :D

Gugland
11-23-2010, 10:10 AM
Try ebay and collector sites too. I'm sure people collect old ticket stubs, and some must surely have admission prices on them.

Cricket18
11-23-2010, 10:11 AM
According to this, 11 cents. Frankly, I though it was even less. Like, just a few pennies.

http://www.wildeytheatre.com/Memories/1930_s/1930_s.html

mgencleyn
11-23-2010, 10:15 AM
According to this, 11 cents. Frankly, I though it was even less. Like, just a few pennies.

http://www.wildeytheatre.com/Memories/1930_s/1930_s.html

When I was a young girl, it cost 11 cents to get into the Wildey. I'm not sure how much an adult ticket cost. At Christmas, my sister, brother and I would each get a book of gift certificates to the show.

...

A child's admission ticket cost ten cents, plus one cent for tax. Another five cents would buy a package of candy or popcorn. This was quite a thrill for a girl growing up in the 1930s.
Then that looks like a juvenile rate. Too bad there isn't a list to account for that. Anyway...

mgencleyn
11-23-2010, 10:18 AM
Hmm. I put in King Kong (2005) just now and see on a poster at ~12:41 and ~13:24 for the adult live stip show a price @ 25 cents. The movie takes place in 1933, so if you're having an adult theater, then that's about right. I would've expected a markedly different rate. And I trust Jackson did his research thoroughly.

johnnysannie
11-23-2010, 10:32 AM
Between twenty five and ten cents - depended to some extent what theater, where, how new the movie etc......not so different than now.

PeterL
11-23-2010, 06:01 PM
Most movies were a dime. There might have been a few that cost more, and there probably were places that charged more, but they were variations around a dime.

thothguard51
11-23-2010, 06:14 PM
My mother, says most movies in St. Louis, Mo. cost 10 cents. These were mostly the matinee and serial type movies. The larger productions like Gone with the Wind, the Ten Commandments, etc, cost 25 cents. She said it wasn't until after WW2 that the prices went up.

jallenecs
11-23-2010, 07:37 PM
My father used to tell stories of when he was a kid (this would have been the mid- to late- thirties). He and his cousin would go watch movies every Saturday. He would take a quarter with him: A nickel for the trolley ride, a nickel for the ticket, a nickel for soda, and that left a dime to buy a hot dog after the movie.

Then again, this was Huntington, WV, the Keith Albee theater. The cost of living was lower in the backwaters like Appalachia than in big cities.

artemis31386
11-23-2010, 10:01 PM
Thanks everyone!!! :-) I really appreciate all the help.

RJK
11-24-2010, 03:32 PM
According to my mother Who's long gone, a matinée cost 10 cents and an evening show could be as much as a quarter. She said she was a good girl until she sneaked off to see King Kong. It was all down hill from there.

I remember matinées in the fifties costing a quarter. We'd see two cartoons and sometimes a double feature, for 25 cents.