My family and I are avid movie goers. We love to see the latest animated feel good movie. We look forward to the bag of popcorn and a large soft drink. Sometimes we get so excited that we plan our day around the movie release. Let me tell you that once we hosted a birthday party at the movie theatre along with a back stage access to how the movies are played at our local theatre. We even planned the meal to match the theme of the movie. To say we are fans is an understatement. Of course, we try to save every time we go to the movies. Today, I will share my money saving tips to help you maximize your dollars at the movies.
(1.) Discounted Tickets - Planning ahead is the key to saving on going out with the family. Costco, local diners (participating Ruby's Diner, Johnny Rockets, and AAA Auto Club) and other retailers offer wholesale discounted ticket purchase. Sometimes companies human resources departments also sell discount tickets. Check with your employer.
(2.) Love your College Student or Your Student ID Card - Check with your employer or local College because they often offer group rates on entertainment such as movie tickets. The place to start is human resources and student service. http://www.sac.edu/SBO/Pages/Discount-Tickets.aspx. Theatres may also give you a discount at the box office for showing your Student ID card.
(3.) Frequent Movie Goer Card - My local movie theatre has frequent movie goer card, sign up and use it. I am diligent at registering every purchase I make at the movies. The rewards that I have received from this program have included: Free Movie Tickets, Free Drinks, and Free Popcorn. Rewards come very quickly and often. If you add the savings of a free ticket with 3 Costco $8.00 tickets for a family of four, your savings is 50% off the normal retail box office rate ($48.00 at the box office vs $24.00 with 3 Costco tickets and your free Crown Club ticket.)
(4.) No Stadium Seating Offers Savings Triangle Square and Laguna Hills Mall Cinema offer new movies at great prices. You can watch new movies as low as $4.00 on Tuesdays. So having no stadium seating or an older theatre may help you save. Plan ahead and go early to get the best experience. With great prices be prepare for a crowd.
(5.) Go to your Local Discount Theater - Most cities have a Second Run Movie Theater. Kids like to go for the experience of getting out, so going to a discounted movie theater is perfect to get out and have some fun. We have a local theater with great discounts called Starplex-Irvine that we visit. If you are taking your kids to the movies for the first time, this option might be the best for you so you don't spend $50.00 to learn your child will not sit for a 2 hour movie. There are big savings in deciding to wait until the movie goes to the second run theater.
Some final thoughts on how to save at the movies; you should always check the movie theatre's website and social media pages. Often, special offers are posted on Facebook, websites about combo food packages or free offers with purchase. I once found a local paper hosting a coupon for free popcorn to my local theatre, which saved us $8.00 dollars. If you are really on a budget you can always buy small $1.00 snacks at your local store and secretly hide them in your purse. Please understand that this is an option that is frowned on by theatres as they typically allow for outside food. Some theatres however have local eateries that they will allow you to bring your lunch or dinner item in with you. If you do accidentally bring snacks into the theatre, please be courteous and respectful by placing your trash in a marked receptacle.