Movie biz banking amid recession

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The parking lot at Lufkin's Starplex Cinemark theater is somewhat full for a Sunday. "It's a good escape, a good way to step into somebody else's world," said Rena Lowther, moviegoer

"Take two hours of your schedule and just escape," said Sharon Ford, avid moviegoer.

Box office trackers claim ticket sales are up 17.5% this year, and attendance has surged 16 percent. "We love the movies," said Ford. "We come all the time."

Some said when economic times are not exactly ideal, the big screen feeds the void. "Kind of gives you a time to relax and not think about things too much without costing a whole lot of money," said Connie Phillips, moviegoer.

Although ticket prices have climbed higher, Connie Phillips said it is still easier on her wallet. "It's cheaper to go to the movies than it is to make a long trip," said Connie Phillips, moviegoer.

Whether it's a glimpse into a magical adventure or two hours of sitting on the edge of your seat. "Really, it's just seeing something that's totally really cool, you know just something that's totally different than your everyday life," said Lowther.

It's something families can do together, even if kids would rather go with their friends than their parents. "But they pay for your movie tickets and your popcorn!" said KTRE. "Oh yeah, well I like that," said Benjamin Lowther, moviegoer with his parents.

If ticket sales keep up the pace, it would amount to the biggest box-office boom in two decades.