Frugal Fun: Memorial Day with Mad Max

I’ll take a little break today from philosophizing about saving and frugality to share something much more fun and exciting, even for you non-PF nerds. Yesterday, BF and I decided to spend our extra day of Memorial Day weekend freedom at the movies watching Mad Max: Fury Road. While the movie was BF’s choice, I have to say that we both LOVED it. And, because I am a PF nerd, I loved it all the more because we took the thrifty route and saw the move for a bargain price. Win-win!

The movie

I have never seen any of the original Mad Max movies, but after seeing this latest installment I will definitely be checking the older movies out. The best word to describe Mad Max: Fury road is INTENSE. There is a lot of action and a lot of suspense. I was gripping BF’s arm basically the whole time. It was moderately gory and definitely not for the faint of heart. I won’t go into detail on the plot in case any readers are planning to see it, so all I’ll say is that I would highly recommend it. If you enjoy what I call the “future dystopia” genre, this movie is for you.

For me, the most impressive thing about Mad Max was the attention to detail. The filmmakers did a superb job of creating a very realistic and believable future society (and not one you would want to live in!). Everything from the costuming to the props to the special effects was extremely well done. Much of the move takes place, as you might expect from the name, on Fury Road, and the cars were nothing short of amazing. I left the theater wondering how on earth they created the action scenes, and after conducting my standard post-viewing Wikipedia de-brief I am still unsure.

The money

OK, so now that I’ve told you to go see Mad Max: Fury Road (as long as you’re not squeamish), let me share a little movie viewing tip that we inadvertently stumbled upon in the ticket-buying process yesterday. We have many movie theater options in and around the great city of Cambridge, ranging from national chains that show the typical blockbusters to local art-house type theaters that show more obscure fare. And I’ll be honest, we don’t often price shop for movie tickets. I know, I know, it’s a personal finance sin. But we don’t go to the movies that often, and when we do we like to have a certain experience, so we pick the theater that will offer that experience (again, this is the personal aspect of personal finance).

We were thisclose to buying tickets to see Mad Max at a major national chain. This particular theater is new and has great seating. It also lets you reserve seats ahead of time. When we went online to book seats, we saw that the show time we were interested in happened to show the movie in 3D, and we also saw that the only seats left were at the very front of the theater. I was not interested in paying $16.50 per person to crane my neck for two hours and have a less than ideal viewing experience.

So we decided to see where else the movie happened to be playing at the same time, and were happy to find that the movie was playing at the same time at one of our local theaters, the Somerville Theater.  We’ve been to the Somerville Theater many times and love its historic character, location in the heart of Davis Square, and the fact that they serve wine and beer. It is also nice to patronize a local business when possible. This theater has open seating, so we got to the movie early and got great seats. And the icing on the cake? The price! Any show before 6 pm is considered a matinee, so we paid a mere $7 per ticket. That’s right, both of us when to the movie for LESS than the price of ONE ticket at the other theater. Frugal win.

If you’re wondering, no, the movie we saw was not in 3D. I’ve personally found that 3D movies make me a bit nauseous, so I was actually happy about this. Also, at the end of the movie, BF and I agreed that the movie would have been way too intense in 3D. We might have had a collective heart attack right there in the theater if those cars had come out of the screen.

Did you celebrate Memorial Day with any frugal fun?

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2 thoughts on “Frugal Fun: Memorial Day with Mad Max

  1. Yup, we saw Mad Max on Memorial Day weekend, too. But we shelled out the $12 for the multiplex. Our normal theater is an independent where I get tickets for $6.50 as a benefit through my union, but they weren’t showing the movie.

    I’m a movie buff, but I always avoid 3D because I think it’s just a cash-grab by the studios. For an extra couple dollars, you’re still seeing the same movie, so what gives? And like you say, Mad Max was more than enough in-your-face to begin with.


    • That is too bad that the local theater wasn’t showing Mad Max. Our independent theaters also tend not to show the big blockbusters. Luck for us Mad Max was an exception!


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