How to Save Money at the Movies

September 7, 2016

Last year Nick and I saw 27 movies in theaters and this year we’ve seen 34 so far.

Just let that sink in for a second. Yes, I know we are insane.

A lot of people ask us how we see so many new releases, and we always tell them its about getting familiar with your local theater chain. Before we dive into the details, I wanted to explain exactly why we are so interested in movies. (You can read more about this challenge here.)

A few years ago Nick and I realized that we were very lacking in our movie knowledge. Growing up we tended to watch the same movies repeatedly and never really explored any of the classics. Plus, tons of movies were being released each month that just added to the list of movies we hadn’t seen. In February 2015, we noticed that our local Cinemark location was doing an Oscar Movie Week, with all eight Best Picture nominees being shown once or twice over one week. We decided to accept the challenge and saw every movie, finishing the last one (Birdman) just hours before it won Best Picture at the Oscars. As you might imagine, seeing eight movies in one week quickly turned trips to the movie theater into a habit. We started seeing movies more frequently and before we knew it, we were seeing one or two movies a week. I’m proud to call myself a movie junkie, but we still have a long way to go!

How to Save Money at the Movies

Now that I’ve confessed our habit to the world, it’s time to get down to the dirty details. Here are just a few tricks we have learned that has allowed us to see at least one or two movies a week without breaking the bank:

– Join all of the rewards programs for movie chains in your area. Yes, all of them. Most programs are free (Regal Crown ClubCinemark Connections, Alamo Victory or AMC Stubs Insider) but some have premium programs as well (like AMC Stubs Premiere, $15/year). Our memberships to these programs have saved us well over $150 this year alone in movie tickets and concessions. Who doesn’t want free popcorn?

– Check your local theaters for discount day promotions. Almost every weekend we are seeing a movie before noon on either Saturday or Sunday. Some AMC and Alamo Drafthouse locations offer half-price tickets before noon on the weekends. (Now why can’t all theaters adopt Alamo Drafthouse’s no talking/texting policy?)

Tip: Since this is a popular promotion in our area, we always buy our tickets in advance through Fandango. As AMC Stubs Premiere members, our service fee is waived, so no extra charges!

Other discount deals include Cinemark Discount Day (prices vary) and Regal Value Day. By using these discounts, Nick and I can often see a movie for $10 for the two of us. Pretty great, right?

Oscar Movie Week Cinemark 2015

 

– Take advantage of special programs, like Oscar Movie Week at Cinemark. We were able to see all 8 Oscar movies for just $40 a person. That breaks down to $5 per movie! Most of the movies nominated were currently in theaters anyway, so we really did save a ton.

Oscar Movie Week 2015 Pass

– If you’re interested in advance screenings in your area (or seeing movies for free) visit GoFoBo.com or AdvanceScreenings.com to find screenings in your area. We were lucky enough to find out about an advance screening of The Light Between Oceans and were able to see it four days before it opened, and for FREE.

How to Save Money at the Movies

Do you have any movie-going tricks? I’d love to hear ’em! (Especially if they keep me from eating popcorn and soda every time…)

Fall 2016 TV Preview
September 2016 Goals

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