Some sources indicate that Americans spend roughly $10 billion dollars a year on movies. As someone who almost never watches movies, my mind reels at the thought, but I also accept that I am in the minority. (And here's a genuine eye-opener: $10 billion pales in comparison to the more than $40 billion Americans spend every year on their pets, according to "Business Week." Does that include movies about dogs? Or watching a movie with your cat?)
Wouldn't you like to hold onto some of that $10 billion? I thought so. You probably know the Library has DVDs. Maybe you've assumed we only have educational films, or classic cinema, artsy foreign films, documentaries, travelogues. We have all of those things. But we also have "Zombies, Zombies, Zombies," "The House Bunny," "Mamma Mia!" and whole seasons of TV shows ranging from "Lost" to "Ice Road Truckers."
It's almost as easy as that Internet movie service: search for what you want in our Library Catalog. (Simply search the movie's title, or, watch this online tutorial for tips.) Find it and click the blue "Place Hold" button, whether the item is on shelf or not. If it's here, we'll grab it for you and hold it on the first floor. Wait for us to call you or email you, then swing by and check it out. If it's checked out, we'll call you when it gets back or even obtain it for you from another library. Free of charge. Yes, unlike that other service, you have to return the items on time. But you don't have to pay a fee to join, so unless you're a procrastinator, you'll save money with our system, guaranteed.
Maybe you are one of the 20% of Americans (Pew Research Center) that prefers going out to the movies, instead of watching them couch potato style. We've got you covered, too. For example, our Friends of the Library sponsor Sunday Afternoon Movies throughout the year. We also hold Friday night movie screenings, generally once a month. The movies are always top-notch: the Sunday afternoon films tend to be super-popular box office hits, and the Friday night films might be art films or foreign films. Either way, they're the same movies people pay $10 to see at a theatre - you can come here, park in our comfortable attached garage, and watch the movie for free. One catch: we can't tell you on our Web site what movies are being shown, but you can find out easily by giving us a call at 847.376.2841. To find dates and times for these film showings, consult our online Events calendar.
Sometimes, we get really crazy about movies and hold additional screenings. During the summer, there are teen movie nights with free snacks. This coming Valentine's Day (Saturday, February 14, 2009), join us for our Romance Movie Marathon, featuring 3 of the American Film Institute's Top 100 Romance films. Free!
So, save your money for popcorn and Jujubes (or whatever candy they're selling these days - see? I don't go to the movies!) by enjoying a free movie at home or at the Library, courtesy of DPPL. Check back tomorrow for another "Make the Most of Your Library Card" tip.