This article possibly contains original research. (May 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Discount theaters, also known as dollar theaters, dollar movies, second-run theaters, and sub-run theaters, are movie theaters that show motion pictures for reduced prices after the films leave first-run theaters. Originally, they received 35 mm films after they had been shown already at first-run theaters; therefore the film quality was lower because the film was worn by dozens of showings, and the audience for the film would be reduced since it had been released weeks or months before.
At the time, VHS was just rising as an affordable home video technology. Consequently, budget-conscious film-goers might wait for a film to hit a second-run theater instead of paying more money to see the film first-run. For example, six months after its theatrical release, Titanic was playing in budget theaters in still viable but well run prints.
Many discount theaters have been driven out of business both by an oversupply of new movie screens, which has allowed films to stay longer in first-run theaters, and a drastically shortened delay between theatrical and home video releases. However, in cities like Portland, Oregon and Arlington, Virginia, older, discount theaters now show second-run movies in an upscale setting, often featuring food and alcohol sales in refurbished moviehouses.