10 Ways to Save Money at the Movies

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10 Ways to Save Money on Movies

  1. Coupons! – Many times you can find coupons to movie theaters in your local Entertainment book or even online.
  2. Movie Theater loyalty programs – Regal Entertainment Group offers the popular Club Crown program.
  3. Go to a Drive-in. Tickets at a drive-in tend to be much cheaper than at a theater. Also, you can usually pay for a double feature and still save big!
  4. Student Discount – Just bring your student ID with you to the theater and get treated to a deep discount!
  5. Senior Discounts – Qualifying ages may vary, but every theater that I’ve ever been to offers a senior discount.
  6. Don’t buy snacks – Eat something before going to the theater, and resist the urge to pay ridiculous prices for candy, popcorn, or soda!
  7. Redbox – They have rental kiosks nationwide (including supermarkets and retail establishments), that offer you cheap DVD rentals. You can even find codes for free rentals online!
  8. Netflix – Pay a set fee each month and you can rent DVDs through the mail. For $9.99/month, you get 1 DVD mailed to you at a time, and its replacement comes as soon as you mail the first one back. However, this also includes unlimited hours of “Instant Watch” – where you can watch movies and TV series through your internet connection! This also works on your PS3, X-Box, Wii, and other dedicated devices.
  9. Host movie night w/ friends – Get together with a group of friends and split the costs of snacks and drinks! Great way to enjoy a movie and fellowship! My wife and I spent many “dates” watching movies with friends!
  10. Borrow a DVD from your local library – Your local library is a great place to “rent” movies (as well as books and CDs) for free!

What are your tips for saving money on movies?


  1. says

    Here are some things we do:

    Go to the ‘cheap’ theater. There’s a place in town that shows movies for $3 and only $1 on Tuesdays!

    Borrow from a friend. I don’t buy movies, but I have friends who do, and they usually let other people borrow their movies. (still don’t get the concept of buying a movie…unless you watch it 20 times)

    Limit yourself. (You can cut your movie budget in half if you stop going so often and substitute the movie for a game night or something)

    Go to the matinee showing (daytime). If you just have to see the newest movie, try going a few hours earlier. You can usually save 2-3 bucks per ticket on matinee prices.

    Great post Khaleef!

  2. Thomas says

    Some ways my wife and I save money on the movies include:

    WAITING: Let the movie run through the theaters and then catch it when it becomes available to rent.

    RATINGS & REVIEWS: If you MUST go see a movie in the theaters (or even if you are just going to rent it), check out the ratings first and see if it’s something that you really ‘should’ be seeing. We like Plugged In Online (www.pluggedin.com). It’s a movie reivew site put on by Focus on the Family that provides in-depth movie reviews from a Christian perspective. Bottom line, be sure this is a movie that you actually want to see before spending the big bucks.

    MATINEE: I agree with Tim above. Matinee showings can save you a ton.

    LIBRARY/NETFLIX/REDBOX/BORROWING: All wonderful ideas per the article and other people’s comments.

    Great post!

  3. Thomas says

    One more thing…. Call the theater ahead of time and see what their policy is on snacks. Some movie theaters will allow you to bring in snacks if they are ones that aren’t sold at the concession stands.


    • says

      I have the coolest suggestion of all so I hope I can pick myself to with the $15 Amazon Gift card. Move to a city overseas where there is no movie theater and no place to rent movies. That will slash your movie budget in a second!

  4. says

    One more every movie review/promotion on FM radio is often clubbed with winning free tickets. I have won many they even offer you snack coupons along with tickets of the latest releases every week.

  5. Bob says

    Some theaters in our area have a $5.00 admission all day and night on Tuesday. This is when we go to the pictures.
    Also, we avoid the high prices for popcorn, drinks, etc. that the theaters charge, either by taking our own or eating before the film.

  6. Kelly S. says

    Great article! We don’t go to the movies often at all. Sometimes for a special occasion maybe. I do love Redbox, Netflix, and most of all the local library which is on the same street I live on just down 1 block. Also if my kids want to see a movie I give them the choice of go to the movies or buy the DVD when it comes out. They have always picked buy the DVD cause if they like it they can watch it more than once. If they don’t like it we sell it and put the money toward the next one hey want.

  7. says

    Many office buildings have special deals that get office workers deep discounts at certain movie theater chains. My husband regularly pre-buys $6 or $7 movie tickets to use at Regal or AMC theaters. The restriction is that you usually can’t use these cheaper passes on opening weekend.

  8. says

    @ Tim, when I was a kid we had a cheap theater in our town. It played new movies and charged $4, and also had “Two Dollar Tuesdays”!

    Taking advantage of a matinee is a great idea as well.

    @ Forest, I didn’t realize that the library had movies until my wife told me. I always knew about music, but learned something new this week!

    @ Thomas, waiting is a great idea! I go to theaters about once a year or less!

    Thanks for the link, that is definitely a great suggestion.

    Also, I never thought of calling ahead for the snack policy. I just assumed they all were against bringing your own. Thanks!

    @ Nicole, that will reduce your movie and cable budget! Plus it’s good for your brain :-).

    @ James, free tickets will definitely reduce your costs! Great tip.

    @ Bob, we always try to eat something before going in. I can’t stand paying those crazy prices. The only thing worse is a sporting event!

    @ Craig, I’m not sure if it works like that ;-). But not going to theaters or renting at all will definitely do the trick!

    @ Kelly, I’m glad that your kids have enough forethought to choose the DVD over the instant gratification of seeing the movie! Sounds like they’ve been raised pretty well!

    @ Liz, using a discount from work is a great idea. I know at my job (I work for a major University), we get discounts on many services!

    Thanks to everyone who left a comment. I hope that each one of us learned something new from all these great tips…I know I did!

  9. says

    Red Box has been a great deal. I don’t like NetFlix because it’s a subscription and I might not regularly use it. But with Red Box, I can go get a movie for $1 whenever I feel like it.

  10. says

    @ John, I think that is what makes Red Box a great service. If you only want an occasional movie, it’s probably not worth a full subscription service.

    @ Kay Lynn, that’s a great tip! Sounds like you found a good deal – that would be close to $30 where I live.

  11. Dave says

    Similar to Craig’s “coolest suggestion,” move to the boonies. Our local theater in rural New England charges $7 max for a ticket or $11 for ticket, popcorn, candy and soda. Monday is Buddy night–buy one, get one. And every morning, the local radio station gives out free passes as prizes for their trivia contest. So live in the middle of nowhere, and see movies for as little as nothing, $3.50 or, at the most, $7

  12. Alan Reed says

    I watch a lot of movies on international flights. By the time I am in my seat and we are flying over the ocean, the movie is free. Of course the cost of this is buried in my ticket so my employer is paying indirectly.

    You can see a lot of movies this way. My conclusion is most movies are horrible. The good news is with the new ‘movies on demand’ feature on newer airplanes, I can can start and stop movies at will.

    As I get older, I seem to enjoy movies less. Maybe I am becoming more cynical and less patient with bad content.

    Lately I have found myself watching more documentaries or kid movies.

    • says

      Since we don’t watch many movies any more I’d have to agree that in general most movies don’t add a lot of substance to our lives, but it is a great way to pass time on an international flight.

  13. says

    We buy the refillable bucket of popcorn. Before the movies starts, I put it into another container (Walmart bag, or three cardboard box/drink trays – 1 for each kid) and refill it before the movie even starts.

    When my kids were younger, I would get the large drink as well. Pour it into three courtesy cups, and refill IT before the movie started as well.

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