With the Oscar buzz still in the air, movies are on everyone’s mind. Going to the local movie theater is still one of the most affordable options for family entertainment. Other family entertainment options, like a kids musical, concert, or ice skating production, can run you up to $75 a person. For a family of 4 that’s $300 just to get in the door.
Movies, especially when you know some tips and tricks to save money, can be one of the most affordable family values out there. Sure, it’s always fun and cheap to have family movie night at home, but some movies are just meant to be seen in a dark theater on the big screen.
Here are 6 ways to save money when you take your family out to the movies:
- Go to the matinee – Shows early in the day, usually before 5pm or 6pm are several dollars cheaper than the evening shows.
- Check for value day – Some theaters have a ‘Value Day’ where one day of the week is a low price all day long, even for the evening shows. Do your research and know which cinemas offer the best deals. Plan to get homework and housework done early and go out on a school night.
- Eat before you go – When you have a big meal right before you head out for the movies, you will be too full to want popcorn and candy. If the kids fuss, promise a special treat after the show and buy it somewhere that doesn’t have theater concession stand prices or use a coupon.
- Stick with the standard film – With the invention of Digital, 3D, and IMAX there are sometimes several different prices depending on which film type you choose. If they have the option of just the plain old movie on the big screen, choose that one. It is fun to splurge on those sometimes, but if you are really looking to save money, you can save about $4 a ticket by choosing a standard movie without the special effects.
- Check for loyalty or rewards programs – See if your local theater has a loyalty card program. Several theaters offer special discount cards or loyalty programs. Regal Cinemas has a loyalty club and unlike most things at the movies, it’s FREE. You can earn points for free movie tickets and get special offers like $2 Candy Monday and Free Popcorn Tuesdays. Other cinemas, even locally owned theaters, offer these types of programs.
- Be patient and wait for the discount theater – Some theaters specialize in older movies. They offer deeply discounted admission prices as low as $2. If you wait several weeks after the movie opens, you can usually catch them at the discount theater just before the movie hits DVD.
Use these tips on your next movie night to have a fun and frugal family entertainment outing.