When was the last time you were in a movie theater? Movies at the theater are under further assault as new flicks quickly go to DVD or become available on pay-per-view.

Yet some people are upset that the communal experience of cinema is being lost. In an effort to bring in customers, there's a new push to make theaters extra swank with accommodations like plush seating, reserved seats, and gourmet food.

Hollywood legend Robert Redford opened a theater that offers $20 entrees and fancy wines. Regal Entertainment Group is renovating about 2 dozen of its theaters to be ultra fancy. And another chain has set up a VIP area in one of its Massachusetts theaters. They're finding people tend to spend at least $16 when they get into the VIP area.

Is that a good use of your dough? Gosh, you don't have to go that many times before you could buy a nice TV, some nice furniture, or a nice meal ordered in from your favorite restaurant.

Or you can buy discount tickets. I bought 20 tickets at Costco for around $6.50 a ticket recently. I don't go to the movies, but my family does, so now they can go at a discount. 

And there are still some dollar movie theaters around the country. And RedBox offers DVDs for from $1.20 to $1.50 a night.