Going to the movies on date night is a special treat for my husband and I.
Good thing… because it’s spendy! Two tickets to an evening show with all the popcorn and candy you can stomach can easily set you back more than $30.
Here are a few ways you can save money at the movies:
Go to the matinee. Sure, it’s not as romantic during the day… but you can shave several dollars off the ticket price.
See an older movie. If you’re not caught up on having to see the newest releases, you can head to a 2nd run theater and grab an older (but still new to you) show for just a couple of bucks a ticket.
Eat before you go. If you’re already full, you’ll be less likely to load up on movie theater food. Most theaters make their money from the concessions, so if you don’t buy any food, you’ll save a ton of money. That said, don’t smuggle in your own snacks – most theaters have policies prohibiting that, and you do want to be able to show your face there again someday.
But if you must have that movie theater popcorn and ice cold soda, check for coupons. Look on the theater’s web site for deals. Check to see if your theater is on Twitter or Facebook – if they are, chances are they’ll share special offers in those places.
Share a large beverage or popcorn. If you’re with your significant other, get the largest size and share. Many theaters offer free refills on the largest size – but you’ll have to sneak out during the movie to take advantage of that deal.
Make friends with a theater employee. Theater employees usually get deeply discounted or free movie theater passes. If you’re friends with a movie theater employee, ask if you they can get you a deal. (Don’t abuse your friends’ generosity, though, or you’ll lose the friend!)
Check for weekday discounts. Some theaters offer morning shows for families with younger children.
Get free tickets with purchases you already make. A lot of companies are now offering e-movie cash with a qualifying purchase – like Hersheys, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Tampax, and more, so check your cupboards and see if you have some codes you can cash in for for free movie passes.
Get rewards. Earn free movie tickets through MyPoints or through your credit card rewards program. You should also check to see if your movie theater has a loyalty program.
What are some ways you save money at the movie theater?
If you have an AAA membership or Entertainment Book you can purchase discounted tickets. First run movies are about $2 cheaper while movies that have been out for two weeks can be much cheaper.
I also recommend buying the kids pack at the concession stand. It comes with a small popcorn and drink (at most movie theaters). Ask for no ice and you'll get more soda for your money.
Average Parent says
I just put together a post about finding free or deeply discounted tickets as well. Most of the major movie theater companies are offering promos to get people in the door. Plus there are free kids movies all summer long.
The Kerasotes theaters in MN have a $5 club that's great!
Thought I would post quickly about Kerasotes – they recently were purchased by AMC which means the 5 buck club will most likely be going away as soon as that takes effect. I know Kerasotes is maintaining ownership of 4 or 5 theaters, but unfortunately for the rest of the theaters, changes will be happening. I know plenty of people who enjoy the 5 buck club!!
Thanks for all of the great info!
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