Saving Money at the Movies

by Andy Hough on July 24, 2007

I’m a big movie fan and watch lots of movies. I can watch DVDs very cheaply or even free but I still like to go to the movies. For some movies,like Harry Potter, I just can’t wait for them to come out on DVD. Also,big,action-packed, summer blockbusters are a better experience seen on the large screen at the theater than on my small laptop screen. Here are some ways to keep the cost of going to the movies down.

  • Go to the matinee. These are usually a few dollars cheaper than the evening shows. Check to see if there special showtimes that are even further discounted. Locally, AMC theatres has a special $4 price for the first show of the day.
  • Wait for the movie to come out to the dollar theater. These seem to be going away but if there is one near you it is an option to consider.
  • Buy discounted tickets. Some theaters give you a discount if you buy tickets in bulk. Also you may be able to buy discounted tickets through your employer.
  • Ask for a discount. Most theaters offer discounts for seniors and students and there may be additional discounts available as well.
  • Buy tickets off eBay. These tickets go for more than I pay locally but they can be a good deal if you live somewhere with high ticket prices.
  • Go to free movies. Sometimes free tickets are available to sneak previews of movies. I’ve done this and just had to fill out a short questionnaire about the movie. I did have to wait in a long line to get in the movie and the theater was packed so I don’t really consider this worth the hassle.
  • Another source of free movies are kid’s movie programs that some theater chains offer during the summer. These movies are free but are usually movies from the previous year and have a morning start time. Since I don’t have kids this isn’t really an option for me.
  • Concessions can easily cost more than the tickets. An easy way to save here is to eat before attending the movie and not buy any concessions.
  • If you want to eat during the movie bring your own snacks. Most theaters have a policy against this but often it is not strictly enforced.
  • If there are two or more of you attending you can buy the large size with a free refill and split it.
  • Join the chain’s club. AMC offers its members a free small popcorn on Wednesdays and Regal offers a free small popcorn on Tuesdays. Also your club card earns you points for purchasing tickets and concessions that can be redeemed for free tickets and concessions. Additionally when you use your card you are usually given a coupon for a small discount on concession purchases.

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