Whether you love the blockbuster hits, quirky comedies or action flicks, going to the movies is a great way to be entertained. It’s the perfect first date, a cure for boredom at home, and it’s exciting to be a part of Hollywood for a few hours. Still, movies have become pricey, with ticket prices going up each year, concession food more expensive than most anything you’d find at a mall food court, and with gas going up as well, a simple trip to the local movie theater becomes a costly adventure. There are, however, ways to remain a movie buff and save money, without having to sacrifice much (or anything at all).
If you love going out to the movies, you know that the food is always expensive. Eliminate snacking on costly (and unhealthy) food by eating before the film. If snacking during the movie is too enjoyable to pass up, bring a small bag of trail mix or candy with you (this is easiest if one of you has a purse; most theaters don’t allow backpacks). If you’re thirsty, take a few moments to drink out of a water fountain instead of buying a huge beverage. This will also cut back on bathroom runs (and the possibility of missing a great part). In some cases, the person forgets to take the tickets out of the pockets and it gets washed. The small minimalist wallet will remove the problem for the person. Instead of putting the tickets in the pocket, the use of wallets can be done.
Go in groups! Most theaters give a discount rate for large groups, but they do mean large; Cinemark Theaters offers a Supersaver discount for groups of at least fifty. The same applies for the Director’s Discount Club card at Rave Motion Pictures, and with National Amusements Theaters and AMC Theaters. If the entire office wants to see the latest chart topper, make a date of it and tell everyone to bring friends and family. If you belong to a large club, suggest a movie night. Also, you could ask local residents online if they want to start a large movie fan club, and explain the benefits of going in a large group. It’s also a great way to meet people who share your love of the cinema.
Ask your local theater about membership cards, discounts, or programs. Regal Entertainment offers the Regal Crown Card, which gives the purchaser points for every ticket and food purchase. Rewards are printed with the tickets, and according to points awarded, can translate to a coupon for one free small popcorn, a free drink, candy for a dollar, or even a free movie ticket. Members can track their points online and also receive newsletters informing them of upcoming events. Harkins Theaters offers a loyalty program, in which people can buy a shirt or cup with the logo and a movie theme. The cup can be refilled for a dollar for the year, and the shirt allows the person to have a free medium sized popcorn for the year. The program also benefits the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Marcus Theaters has “Two Dollar Tuesdays”, when drinks and popcorn are two dollars each. Theaters also offer discounts to students and seniors.
Look for discount theaters. Dollar theaters may be smaller, but they are obviously much cheaper, and can allow you to purchase concession snacks and drinks without going over budget.
Another way to cut down on costs is to ensure that everyone who’s going actually wants to see that particular film. With ticket and food prices, it doesn’t make sense to drag someone along who doesn’t want to see the movie you’d like to see, or who doesn’t feel like going out. If you decide to go by yourself, you can bypass the concession stand and use candy machines to grab a handful of sweets to cut back on costs.
For those who love movies but don’t necessarily have to visit the theater, you can wait until the movie you’re interested in comes out on DVD. You can rent it, buy it (Target and Walmart have good bargains on DVDs), or borrow it from a friend. Garage sales, used book stores, and pre-owned movies at movie rental stores can also be bargain places for movies purchases. Keep in mind that some movies can be enjoyed anywhere (comedies, romance movies, etc.) and others are best seen with a large screen and an audience (i.e., Cloverfield and The Dark Knight).
There is a resource for movies that’s often ignored – the local library. Ask your library what its policy is on borrowing movies. Most modern libraries have DVDs and even TV shows for lending. Make sure you know about any fees beforehand; some libraries charge for taking out movies, some offer them for free but have large late fees. If you borrow them and bring them back in time, you can see a recent movie for free.
By looking for rewards programs, utilizing libraries, and avoiding huge concession purchases, movie fans can find ways to enjoy going out to see the latest craze at the book office. You, your friends, and family can keep enjoying nights out together and save money and even time by looking out for savings.
Harkins Theatres: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harkins_Theatres)
AMC Theaters (http://amctheatres.com/index.html)
Regal Entertainment Group (www.regmovies.com/)
Regal Crown Club (rcc.regalcinemas.com/CrownClub)
Cinemark Theatres (http://www.cinemark.com/)
Marcus Theatres – Promotions – $2.00 Tuesdays
National Amusements (http://www.nationalamusements.com/)
Rave Motion Picture Theaters | Specialty Programs (http://www.ravemotionpictures.com/specialty/passes.html)
List of movie theaters and cinema chains-North America-United States: From Wikipedia