My wife and I are self-proclaimed movie buffs, we just love going to the movies.
From the latest Jason Bourne movie, to the courtroom dramas and tear-jerker “chic-flicks”, we usually end up going to the theater a couple times a month.
Going To The Movies Is No Longer Cheap Entertainment
Going to the theater is becoming a pricier proposition every year, with movie ticket prices in our area topping out at $12.00 per person recently. For a family of 4 or 5 you could easily spend over a $100 for a night at the movies!
I knew there had to be ways to cut back on spending at the movies, and I found plenty of advice. So here are some ways that you can save some money at the cinema this summer.
10 Ways To Save Money Going To The Movies
- Bring your own treats: With popcorn prices going through the roof, and the prices of candy at the concessions being so high, bring your own refreshments. Not all theaters will allow this, but call beforehand, and many will allow you to bring your own goodies.
- Seek out family freebies: In the summertime many theater chains offer days where parents can bring their kids for free movie days. For example, Regal Cinemas offers a “free family film festival” every Tuesday and Wednesday through August.
- Use coupons and freebie movie ticket deals: Use coupons from your local “Entertainment Book” to find reduced rates on tickets, or you can often find deals at your local grocery to get free movie tickets when you buy certain products. Keep your eyes peeled for the deals.
- Go to the movies at a second-run theater: This is by far our biggest money saver. My wife and I go to most movies we see at an independently owned second-run theater. The movies come out a couple of months later than at the normal theater, but the ticket prices are $8 cheaper – $2 instead of $10. Wait a month or two and see the movie at your local cheap theater.
- Buy ticket packages through the theater chain: If you still want to see movies when they first come out, try buying packages of tickets through your local AMC, Regal or other movie chain. Often you can save $2-$3 per ticket by buying them in blocks ahead of time. The catch is that often you can't use the tickets on special engagements or opening weekends.
- Go to a matinee: Instead of seeing the movie at a peak time, Friday or Saturday night, go to an afternoon showing. The prices will often be $2-$3 cheaper, and the theater is often less crowded as well – meaning you'll get to sit wherever you want!
- Avoid reservation sites: When you buy your tickets online a lot of the time you'll have to pay an extra .50 to $1.50 per ticket. Buy your tickets at the theater to avoid the fees.
- Join a movie-watchers loyalty club: Many movie chains offer loyalty programs where you get free refreshments and movie tickets once you've accumulated enough points. If you go to the movies often, it may be worth it to join. Our local theater has a rewards program that gives us $5 tickets on Tuesdays, as well as free popcorn to boot!
- Go to a drive-in movie: Go to a drive in movie with friends and see a double-feature! Not only will you get to see more movies for your dollar, but the prices are almost always cheaper to begin with! Its a fun experience to go to a drive-in and is a good value for your dollar! Also, its easier to bring your own refreshments!
- Buy movie gift cards at a discounted rate online: Buy gift cards for your local theater at a discounted rate via sites like GiftCardGranny or eBay. Discounts on AMC movie cards for example are currently around 21% off at GiftCardGranny.
- Bonus idea: Stay at home, rent at your local RedBox: Get a movie from your local RedBox movie rental kiosk, and use a coupon for a free rental from the website InsideRedbox.com. The movie rental kiosks can be found in McDonald's restaurants, grocery stores and other local locations.
So there are a few ways you can save on going to the movies this summer.
What are your tips for saving on summer cinema spending?