Sitting in the Cheap Seats: 5 Tips for Saving Money at the Movies

Sitting in the Cheap Seats: 5 Tips for Saving Money at the Movies

With movies running $11 each (or more in some areas), it’s hard to afford a night out that includes even popcorn and a movie.

How to go to the movies for free

Photo by latinofashionwk on Flickr

But there are ways you can see movies for less. Here are five suggestions for doing that from our money-saving experts at Living on the Cheap:

  1. Go to movies at less popular times, such as matinees. Nearly all movie theaters have times or days when you can see new movies for less. Some cities also have theaters that run slightly older movies and charge less all the time. Prices and dates vary by theater, even within the same chain. Find Cinemark discounts here. Find Regal discounts here. Find AMC deals here.
  2. Find free movie previews. Movie promoters put on free screenings all over the United States a day or two before major films open. Many of the sneak previews are listed at GoFobo, but you sometimes need a promo code. You can get those from local newspapers, radio stations or websites, such as the On the Cheap sites in many cities.
  3. Try an all-you-can-watch movie pass. For $25 to $50 a month, MoviePass offers one movie a day through its subscription service. The price depends on where you live. The service operates with smartphone check-ins and a special debit card.
  4. Look for discount tickets or ticket packages. Some employers offer discounted tickets to their employees, and some unions (like the United Federation of Teachers), college and alumni organizations offer discounted tickets to members. AAA sells movie tickets at a discount, and Costco sells discount movie ticket packages.
  5. Look for free and cheap movie showings in your city. City parks and recreation departments in many cities show free outdoor summer movies (if you’re in Florida, you’ll find these in winter). Libraries often put on free screenings of older movies, some for children and some for adults. During the summer, the major movie chains show family-friendly films for free or about $1 per person once a week. Harkins Theatres has already announced its 2013 film lineup, and ticket sales begin April 12.

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