It's five o'clock and you simply must see "Star Wars" for the third time. Somehow there's got to be a way to avoid paying that first-run price.
Relax, the Force is with you! Darth Vader, R2-D2 and company are willing to share their galaxy with you at bargain rates every sundown. AMC's Academy 6 offers daily twilight-show prices, and "Star Wars" is there.
They are not the only ones: Many theaters offer bargain-show prices, discount ticket books and special reduced rates for students and seniors.
If you can't handle the rush-hour shuffle and don't want to try a new restaurant, theaters in D.C. are more than willing to accommodate you.
The Inner Circle, West End Circle Outer Circle 1 and 2 let you in weekdays before five for a mere $1.75. Lincoln Twin 1 and 2 have matinee prices until 5:30. Georgetown's Cerberus, Dupont Circle's Janus and downtown's Keith's, Senator, Town and Langston feature supper-hour prices of $2 or less.
The Circle Theater, granddaddy of discount movie houses, offers bargain books of 10 tickets for $10. Similar ticket books are found at the Biograph and Shirley Duke theaters as well. Don't forget the American Film Institute, which offers half-price tickets to members.
Maryland's Hampton Mall, Laurel Cinema, Riverdale Plaza, Town Center, Capri, Roth's College Park and Capital Plaza offer supper-show prices for those who brave the evening commuter crunch.
Twilight shows, for those who rushed home and grabbed a quick bite before heading out again, are available at Laurel's Town Center Twins and Hampton Mall Twins. Academy 6 and Carrollton 6 feature a Tuesday family night as well as daily twilight savings.
If you wish that the cheapo Saturday movie matinee had not slipped into the past, take heart - for a mere $1.50 you can take in the matinee at Maryland's Baronet West, Bethesda, Flower, Georgetown Square, Langley and Silver.
Virginia's Springfield Mall 4 discounts matinees daily before 6 p.m. Roth's Tysons Corner 5 offers weekdays twilight discounts.
Special discounts for seniors are found at the Uptown, Avalon and Roth's Manor, American Multi-Cinema, along with K-B, District, Showcase and Loew's theaters feature specific cards for seniors, entitling them to discounts. Many theaters offer similar discounts for students as well.
While the options for movie discounts may not be as convenient or numerous as they are with air fares, there are still enough specials around that you can hold up your end of the conversation while still staying solvent.