Screening movies in 3D is a major contributor to the rise in movie ticket prices (at least $2.50 to $5.00 per ticket).
Just because you desire to catch the season's best flicks, doesn't mean you have to blow your movie budget. As ticket prices keep rising, you will have to search for creative ways to satisfy your movie bug without having to break the bank. So before you head to the theater again, keep the following tips in mind.
For Purchasing Movie Tickets at the Theater
- Many a time, certain theaters host free movie nights. Depending on which city you live in, go online to find information on whether there are any free screenings of new movies in your area.
- For families and large groups, instead of purchasing tickets for a specific movie, buy tickets in bulk, (AMC, Carmike, Regal, and Cinemark) at your local theater's website. You can make your own group, depending on the limit the theater allows, and make a plan to purchase tickets.
- Join your local theater's loyalty rewards club (Regal Crown Club, Carmike Rewards, and AMC Stubs) to avail discounts and upgrades. You can get free movie passes and discounts at the concession stand.
- Opt for matinee or weekday shows instead. Watching movies during odd times will not only save you money, but also avoid a crowd. As for making your schedule slightly flexible, tickets are much cheaper on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- Purchase movie packs at CostCo, find deals on sites like Groupon, or get a discount through AAA. These are some of the not-so-obvious places to buy tickets from.
- If you are a senior citizen or a student, show your ID to the cashier and avail discounts.
- Search for free advanced movie screenings near you. Mostly on Wednesdays, you can get vouchers through radio stations, grocery stores, theaters, and movie review sites for a free screening.
- Consider watching 2D screenings of 3D films. Some 3D screenings are darker and slightly blurry to enjoy to the fullest; the IMAX screens aren't that much better either. Also, many theaters charge you separately for the glasses.
- Choose small, independent theaters instead of major multiplex chains as the cost of tickets will be much, much lower.
- For more savings, choose second-run theaters or drive-ins as they show popular movies a month or two after the original release dates.
For Avoiding Other Expenses While at the Theater
- As theaters make a lot of money selling refreshments, skip concession stands altogether. Plan ahead of time and eat before going to the movies.
- If you do wish to purchase some snacks, purchase the large tub of popcorn and divide it among everyone. Take brown paper bags so that each person gets an equal amount.
- Feel like having something sweet to munch on while at the movies? Purchase your own candy at the pharmacy or grocery store, and avoid paying 4-5 times more at the concession stand.
- While going to the theater, carpool with others or use public transportation.
Apart from the tips mentioned above, there is another way to enjoy movies without having to spend a lot―watch movies at home via DVDs (Redbox), online movie subscription, and online streaming (Hulu, YouTube, and iTunes).
In order to really make a difference, you have to make a plan, understand where you can reduce the expenses, and implement it. Apart from the tips mentioned in the article, talk to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers about how they save money at the movies. It won't hurt to share some of your secrets too.