After emptying our wallets to see Avatar we got to thinking that there must be a cheaper way to see movies. Sure, going to movies early in the day and avoiding the concession stand will save you money. We know that. But, there are other tricks to seeing movies—even on opening night--on the cheap.
Buy Many at a Time
Regal Entertainment Group offers Super Saver tickets for as low as $6.50 each. These tickets carry some restrictions, but you can get a ticket valid for all movies and show times, for just a dollar more per ticket. We recommend going in with friends: If you and four friends bought a pack of 50 tickets together, you could each see ten movies at about 40% off. If you don't want to buy quite as many at a time, there are options for you, too.
Harness Social Media For Movie Rewards
Fandango offers chances to win free movie tickets to its followers on Twitter. Those who participate in Movie Review Monday – in which Fandango followers tweet movie reviews with rhymes in them – are in the running for two free tickets.
Go for Dinner and a Movie
For every order of $50 in movie tickets (at $8 per ticket), this deal will grant you a $25 Restaurant.com gift certificate, too. Similarly, the Entertainment Book costs $21 to $30 and provides you with hundreds of coupons for restaurants and events--plus dozens of coupons to popular movie theaters. With an Entertainment Book voucher, each movie costs as little as $5 to $6. A showing of The Lovely Bones at AMC Loews in Chicago costs $11 regularly; if you used an Entertainment Book voucher, you'd save nearly 50%.
Take Advantage of the Perks
AMC has a MovieWatcher program in which you earn two points for every ticket you buy. Thirty points makes you eligible for a free ticket. Meanwhile, Regal's Crown Club provides one credit for every $1 spent on admission. Fifty credits will get you a free small popcorn, and 150 credits (or 12 movies at regular adult admission price) will get you a free ticket. Once you’ve earned 150 credits, you gain Star Status and can take advantage of Extra Credit Thursdays, in which you get five extra credits with admission. While the purchase-to-reward ratio for these programs isn't as stellar as it might be, we like them because participating requires practically no effort.
Use Your Connections
If you work with a large corporation, check to see if your company has any special deals with theaters. We've heard stories of people who can purchase cheap tickets (think $6) because of their company's relationships. Likewise, some colleges offer cheap tickets to students. Barnard College, for instance, has been known to offer movie tickets for nearly half price. The AAA club is good for more than peace of mind when you're on the road or discounts when you're staying at hotels: If you're a member (which costs $64 per year), leverage that connection for movie discounts.
Shop Around for Your Matinee
A matinee of Up in the Air at Cobble Hill Cinema in Brooklyn, for example, costs only $6.50. A matinee of the same film at a local Regal theater is $12.50, whereas it's $6 at the local AMC. That's a big difference! Plus, if a matinee is what you're after, consider some of AMC's value-priced programs, including AMC Weekday Escape and A.M.Cinema, which has deals on shows that start before noon. We like this for those with more flexible work schedules.
Happy watching! (Um, can we come with you?)
Question: What's the cheapest ticket price you've ever paid? And, what's most outrageous price you've ever paid for a movie and popcorn, etc? Please answer in comments.