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By the author of The Faithful Prepper, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices.
You’re finally heading back to the movie theaters once more. The only problem now is that the price of everything has proven to be somewhat prohibitive. You’re already paying top dollar for food, for gas, and even your rent has gone up. How is it even possible to save money on movie tickets?
If this is the conundrum you find yourself in, desperately wanting to get out of the house and head out for the night, but finances are looking rather intimidating, here are a few thoughts that will help you to save a few dollars on your movie tickets.
Are you a student?
If you live in a college town, odds are that the theaters in your area offer a student discount, provided you can show your student ID. Where I lived, this used to be somewhere around $5 off per ticket. If you can get into a $15 movie for $10, that’s not bad.
Are you old?
Perhaps there’s a more discreet way of putting that. *Ahem* Do you have…life experience? If so, odds are that you’ll qualify for a senior discount at your local theater. From what I’ve seen, this is around a 75% discount in my area.
Is there a dollar theater in your community?
Two different places that I’ve lived have had the “normal” theater and then had the “dollar” theater. In each town, the dollar theater has shown older movies, and often in a theater where your knees are smooshed into the seat in front of you, but if you only pay $2 to get in, you may be able to put up with it.
The cool thing about these places is that if you don’t want to pay full retail price to watch a new release at the “normal” theater, all you have to do is wait about two months, and then you can watch it for virtually nothing at the dollar theater.
Can you go to the movies before dinner time?
This is the primary method I turn to in order to save money on movie tickets. Not only do I save between $3-5/ticket, but I also get to sit in an empty theater. It’s wonderful. There’s no couple making out at the end of the aisle, no little kid kicking my seat, and nobody with an unnaturally massive hairdo sits in front of me (all things that have happened).
I highly recommend it.
Do you have a community coupon book?
You know how every year the middle schoolers in your town will go door-to-door selling community coupon books that give you good discounts on local stores? Typically, you can pick up one of these books for around $20-$25, but the savings in them can be in the hundreds of dollars. If you have one of those books lying around your house somewhere, check inside to see if the local theater has a few coupons inside it.
You may be able to get a free ticket out of the deal. Always buy those coupon books when you see them. They’re worth every penny.
Are you a member of an AARP-style organization?
If so, odds are that you get sizeable discounts on movie tickets. These types of organizations give you a discount on just about everything that you can spend money on, so there’s no reason that you won’t see discounts available for movie tickets.
Do you work at a hospital?
I don’t know if this is just a regional thing or not, but I have heard reports that if you work at some hospitals, you can get discounts on movie tickets through your employer.
In that same vein, ever since 2020, there have been a host of businesses that have started to give discounts to healthcare workers. You may be able to get a discount even if you don’t technically work at a hospital (e.g., a nurse at a walk-in clinic).
Check out your local Sam’s Club/Costco
Sometimes these places will sell a big pack of four tickets or so that are sold for the cost of three tickets. If you’re trying to take the whole family to the movies, this is an option that you’re definitely going to want to consider.
Do you go to the movies often?
A lot of movie theaters out there actually have a membership rewards program. You know how when you buy ten cups of coffee at your local café, you get the 11th cup free? It’s the same at many movie theaters. If you find yourself hitting up the theater at least once a month, this is something that is well worth the time of looking into.
What are your tips on how to save money on movie tickets?
There have to be other methods that I just don’t know about. If you know of something that I didn’t list above, let me know in the comments below. I’m not the only one that’s wondering, and you can help save us all a bit of money.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.
6 thoughts on “How to Save Money On Movie Tickets”
Another cost saving strategy is to check around for reduced rate days. There are some theaters I’ve seen (usually local ones, not the big chains) that have one day a week with reduced rates, or a special day in the month, or something like that.
(I don’t ever go into a theater anymore, and I did maybe once in ten years before Covid. However when I was a kid I loved to go to the $3 matinee with my dad, and I’ve heard plenty of people talking about how I should go to the movies with them on the cheap day.)
Or you could just stream the movie when it comes out and that way you aren’t paying for tickets and popcorn for the family.
I worked in a movie theatre in the summer of 1980. I remember the outrage directed at us when tickets went from $2.00 to $2.50. Our when the price of a large drink (20 ounces, not 32) went from 50 to 60 cents.
I do not want to spend a hundred bucks to take my wife and kids to see the latest Top Gun. I’ll wait until it streams. It’ll probably be $15, but I can watch it on my own TV, air pop a big bowl of popcorn for a quarter (I’m including butter), and not have to drive there.
My local theater, a Cinemark, has a subscription plan. For nine dollars a month I get one ticket and 20% off food and drinks. The ticket rolls over so I can have multiple tickets. I usually save up tickets and go with one or two family members. I have a thing for movie theater popcorn so I always get a drink popcorn combo. It may not be saving me a lot of money but it gives me options and I think it saves me a little money.
I haven’t been to a theater in 30 years. I just wait for whatever movie to come out on DVD or Blu Ray.
I’ve a confession to make. The sound of open mouths crunching popcorn and slurping soda about sends me ’round the bend. It’s why I don’t go out to eat very often either. Doesn’t anyone teach or believe in Table Manners anymore?
It drives me nuts, and has ever since I can remember. So, I avoid the activity.
On way to get free movie tickets is if someone in the family works at a theater. When my husband went back to college, I got a part-time job working in the concession stand and box office for a local theater chain. That gave us access to 2 drive-ins, a couple of 2 screen theaters and an old really large theater that seated 1000. We went on my days off, and my husband and son went to see The Empire Strikes Back while I was working.
At my favorite thrift store, DVDs are $1.00 each, except when they’re half price. They have a huge selection. Also, garage sales. Pawn shops, too, although they can cost more. Search on ebay. Sometimes you can get a really good deal on a bundle.
Of course, they’re free check-outs at the library, but we live far enough from the closest one, that it’s cheaper to buy it at ebay rather than pay for all the gasoline.