A couple weeks ago, my sister begged me to take her to watch “Eclipse” and I caved. Since I wasn’t interested in the movie, the last thing I wanted to do was spend a bunch of money, so I decided to try an independent theater near my area.
I paid $6.50 for a matinee showing. Score! Nowadays, the cost of movie tickets is steep but with some simple changes you can save money when going to the movies. Here’s how:
Think independent. I’m not suggesting you go by yourself. Find local independent theaters and frequent them for their low prices. The theater I went to is small and only has three screens but it was clean and had an old Hollywood vibe to it.
Go to a matinee. The easiest way to save money and avoid the crowds is to head to the movie theater in the morning and not during peak days like Friday and Saturday. Make sure to check the times your local movie theater considers matinees as it varies from theater to theater.
Avoid the concession stand. These days, popcorn is more expensive than movie tickets. Instead bring your own snacks. Many of our friends confessed to sneaking in snacks to save money. I’ve done the same.
Use the student, senior, and military discount. Many theaters offer discounted prices to students, seniors, and military personnel so make sure to present your ID at the box office to get a discount.
Head to Costco. Not only can you buy a year’s worth of toilet paper but you can get cheaper movie tickets. I bought two tickets for $15.49 for the Regal Cinemas chain that I will use to watch “Inception.” The cashier told me the warehouse also sells AMC tickets for a couple cents more.
Clip coupons. Another friend, Kristin, said she buys Entertainment Books when they are discounted (the books are currently going for $10-$15 for 2010) and clips coupons to get cheap movie tickets. Movie tickets cost $5 to $6 with the Entertainment Book.
Buy in bulk. If you’re loyal to a theater, take advantage of their rewards program. AMC Theaters’ offers two points per ticket purchased and you can receive free concessions or tickets for every 10 points earned. The Regal Cinemas’ Regal Crown Club awards one point per $1 spent. When you rack up 120 points, you can redeem them for a free ticket. Other theaters send special offers to members.
Avoid reservation sites. Buy online and you’ll end up paying more for your tickets. Movietickets.com has a $1 surcharge and Fandango.com tacks on $.75 to $1.50 per ticket, depending on the area.
Get a free ticket to a TV show instead. BargainBabe.com blogger Bobbi previously shared about a dozen tips for getting hooked up with free TV show tickets.
Sign up with Film Metro. It’s free and they will send you invites to movie screenings. At college campuses, there are often people offering free movie passes for screenings.
How do you save money when going to the movies?