9 Ways To Save At The Movies

Summer means movies, but don’t get stuck paying $12 per ticket or $7 for a bag of popcorn. Instead, check out these nine ways to slash your movie budget without missing any summer blockbusters.

  • 1. Why pay anything? Many theaters offer free family film screenings on weekday mornings.
  • 2. Keep an eye out for movie ticket coupons at grocery stores.

    Safeway’s “Flicks for Free” promotion offers two free movie passes to shoppers who buy $40 worth of products from participating brands such as Coca-Cola and General Mills in one transaction.

    Perfect for that rowdy Soda & Cereal party you’ve been planning!

  • 3. Seek out a drive-in. If you can find one, you’ll be rewarded with $6 tickets.
  • 4. Ditch the theater chains. Independents may take an extra few weeks to get the summer blockbusters, but the tickets can be 70% cheaper.
  • 5. Sign up for reward programs. Unlike frequent flier miles, theaters aren’t depreciating their rewards programs.

    AMC MovieWatcher Rewards offers coupons for a free small popcorn each week, plus two points per ticket purchased. After you’ve earned 30, you’ll get a free ticket. The Regal Crown Club awards one point per $1 spent. Rack up 120 points and redeem them for a free ticket.

  • 6. Buy in bulk with your friends. AMC sells blocks of 50 tickets at $6 apiece. The tickets don’t expire, but they can’t be redeemed until two weeks after a film debuts.
  • 7. Don’t go on Friday or Saturday night. Instantly halve the cost of tickets by checking out a matinee.
  • 8. Skip online reservation sites. Save the $1.50 and spend a few minutes waiting on line.
  • 9. Be careful with the concessions. Theaters make their profits on popcorn, so if you need to buy, buy big and share with your friends. Even better, buy your snacks at a convenience store for a fraction of the price.
  • 9 Ways to Save on Movie Tickets [Smart Money]

    (Photo: Getty)

    Comments

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    1. LucyInTheSky says:

      or you could skip sitting in a dark room in uncomfortable chairs, eating crappy cold popcorn and weak soda and wait for your movies to come out on dvd and netflix em’. you get a comfy couch, cheap (and tasty) microwave popcorn, and you don’t have to sit through half the movie having to pee. i see a totally win win situation here.

    2. LosersHaveCreditCardDebt says:

      10. Don’t go.

    3. umbriago says:

      Gotta agree, there’s only one way to save, and that is to not go. Sorry Hollywood. Usually, Seeing Everyone Never Ends Things.

    4. Tracy Ham and Eggs says:

      I’m a big fan of the early movies. The big chain theaters around here have a discount for movies before noon on holidays/weekends. Nothing like saving $4.50 a person for an 1030 am showing, and still having your whole day to do other things.

      The Matinee discount ain’t what it used to be, maybe a buck for showings before 6.

    5. VikingP77 says:

      I’m one of the few I think that hasn’t seen Ironman. Do I think Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow need more money than I have? NO! I don’t go to the theatre anymore.

    6. zigziggityzoo says:

      My local theater sells matinee’s for $2.50 and regular price at $3.50. two can go to the theater, snacks and all, for $10. They also get the big name movies the same time as the big chains do.

      [mooretheatres.com]

    7. Welmoed says:

      One local theater chain (Regal) offers G and PG movies during the summer for free. Nothing first-run, of course. However, from what I understand they are clamping down on “no outside food” at these events (I think they only make exceptions for baby bottles).

      We go to a movie theater maybe four times a year, and always do a matinee. We skip the popcorn. When did it become a requirement to be eating something during a movie?

    8. TheMu says:

      #7 is a no brainer. Also, a lot of movie theaters get pissed if you bring in your own concessions. It’s pretty much a question of if two wrongs make a right.

    9. TacoDave says:

      I used to work at a theater. Here’s my advice.

      If you have a discount or free ticket that isn’t good for “new engagements,” get a ticket for a show that’s old but starts around the same time, then go to the other auditorium.

      Bring your own candy, but purchase popcorn and drinks from the theater. It’s the only way they stay in business. Or if you don’t want them to stay in business, sneak in food every time.

      You can buy packs of discounted tickets as Costco. Last time I went, they were right inside the front door in trays.

      And I’m dry.

    10. efroten says:

      To avoid online service fees at AMC theaters pick up an AMC Movie Watcher Card. It’s free and you won’t pay the online service charge when you purchase tickets online.

    11. morganlh85 says:

      Many theaters in my area have $4 and $5 tickets if you go on weekends before 12pm. Early, but the theater is empty (i.e. QUIET).

      You really can’t beat drive in theaters though. Most drive-ins offer double features for $6, and you can bring your own food so you aren’t being gouged for snacks either.

    12. wring says:

      find someone who will pay for you, e.g. date.

      also, netflix. trust me you can wait till it comes out on dvd.

    13. MrsLopsided says:

      1) go to a matinee
      2) take an extra bag to dump your popcorn in so you can get a free refill right away.
      3) take your own snacks/candy bars to the movie
      4) make it a 2 for 1 night – pay for 1 and see 2 (easy at most multiplexes – but that would be wrong).
      5) be more selective about the movies you see – I hate walking out at the end feeling like I wasted my money.

    14. wring says:

      @TacoDave: getting accosted by security: priceless.

    15. morganlh85 says:

      @LucyInTheSky: Some people do like to leave their homes occasionally, even if it costs a little more.

    16. theRIAA says:

      @morganlh85:

      you have to spend money when you go outside?

    17. Jonbo298 says:

      @LucyInTheSky: Do you live in a run down city? Here we have quite a few nice theaters. Stadium style seating, fresh popcorn, friendly staff shockingly enough, great sound. Just recently got our first IMAX Movie theater. Zoo has had one for years now but it only does Nature things.

      Seeing Speed Racer in IMAX was absolutely nutty though.

    18. racermd says:

      @LucyInTheSky: Enjoy your butter-flavored cancer-causing chemicals.

      I’ll just air-pop some regular stuff, thank you very much. A teaspoon or so of real butter and a dash of salt is all it needs from there.

    19. chiieddy says:

      I get my tickets for $7 per at AAA. I’ve also seen packs where you can buy them in bulk at CostCo, Sams or BJs. We buy up about 10 tickets in advance and just spend them whenever we want to go. We usually don’t hit a movie opening weekend so sellouts aren’t a problem.

    20. Angryrider says:

      Shoot, I’ve so many movies to watch, I think I’ll go to the library this summer. Ong Bak- Salsa Instructor here I come!

    21. DashTheHand says:

      Theres some decent movies out that I want to see this summer, plus if I don’t see them within a month or so of release, some assclown at my work will almost always ruin it for the people who haven’t seen it by blurting out some detail or surprise or even the damn ending.

      Matinees for many movies this summer are a problem because people apparently think their children (from infant to 10) should be seeing R rated movies, as well as PG-13. These idiots inevitably ruin the movie for any people sitting within 10 meters of them.

      This leaves the late late late movie, which people also seem to think their children need to see, only this time the kid isn’t hyperactive and bored, hes tired and whiney and bored.

      Thanks.

    22. Trai_Dep says:

      The theaters are an amazing business. Besides the airline industry, they’ve done the most spectacular job of destroying their own product to the point where people dislike using their services. How wonderful is that?

    23. laserjobs says:

      Have your buddy buy a ticket and then open the emergency exit door so the whole group of you can sneak in.

    24. rdm says:

      @VikingP77: I don’t believe they take your ticket money and send it to the two lead actors of a picture.

    25. tedyc03 says:

      BitTorrent anyone?

    26. hellinmyeyes says:

      I was floored when I went to AMC last weekend for a movie, and, when I handed the attendant my student ID, credit card, and MovieWatcher card, she told me they no longer have student prices AND that their ticket prices went up to $9.50. I was on a date or I would’ve taken issue. Definitely going on weekdays during the day from now on, or I’ll just have to get better use out of my Netflix on the ones that are out on DVD. (Don’t even ask how much concessions were.)

    27. Devidence says:

      Sorry guys, watching movies at home is a sad excuse for a theater.

    28. devomedes says:

      Alright, if you’re really hurting on cash (students out there):

      Go into a theatre that’s just been let out. Find a large bag of popcorn. Dump out the contents. Bring it to the concession stand and demand your free refill. Voila. Free popcorn.

    29. Rando says:

      AMC also costs a lot more than showcase!

    30. kingzilch says:

      Most of the time, I’m happy enough to watch movies at home, but when it comes to the big summer blockbusters, nothing beats being in a full theater, preferably on opening weekend, surrounded by an appreciative crowd who’s really into it. One of the best times I ever had at the movies was when I saw Moulin Rouge on opening night; when Christian slips and says to the Duke, “Because she doesn’t love you!” Two hundred people gasped in unison. Now THAT’s entertainment.

    31. taylorich says:

      Some movies need theater (Indiana Jones, Ironman) and some need DVD (Baby Mama, What Happens in Vegas). Nothing like a seat-rattling explosion to make you glad you’re in the theater. Plus there’s something about the common experience that makes it different. Yes, there are good things and bad things about both.

      Before anyone cries “home theater” — some of us don’t have thousands to spend on a theater.

      And anyone who pays more than $6-$6.50 for a movie should really do some research.

    32. notbob50 says:

      Movie theaters are such a waste of time. The only people who go to them are dweebs who have never learned to be considerate in public. Thanks to Netflix, life is good in front of my HD TV.

    33. badgeman46 says:

      Movies suck. I’d rather spend the 50+ bucks on a good dinner.

    34. ejp1082 says:

      For *one* ticket, movie theaters aren’t bad. The model utterly falls apart when we’re talking about a small group though. A group of four will spend anywhere from $24 (for a dirt cheap matinee) to $44 (for a saturday night show). That’s before you pay for the snacks.

      That’s the same price as a new release DVD (or two of em), which you can all watch together. Or two months worth of Netflix.

      And for what? The *only* thing a movie theater offers are new releases – with an added bonus of twenty monutes of pre-feature advertising, twenty minutes of trailers, and the inevitable crying kid and person who won’t shut up sitting next to you.

      The “theater experience” has long since been usurped by my home theater. And an HDTV actually pays for itself relatively quickly if you’re a family of four and use it in lieu of going to the movies.

    35. visualbowler says:

      One of the best things which was sort of mentioned here, but avoided was one of the best perks of joining the AMC moviewatcher club. You get the discounts and the freebies but what you also get is the ability to purchase tickets online for free without the transaction fee. You pay the same price as in the theater but you dont have to get there only to find out its sold out.

    36. Trai_Dep says:

      @kingzilch: Truth. There’s no substitution for seeing a great film with a crowd that’s into it. Comedies, especially. Tho shiny blockbusters or scary ones, too.
      That’s the sad thing. I LOVE film. I HATE the theaters.

      To anyone that doesn’t want to see an excellent film because the leads make “too much”, you’re leading a sad, sad life full of bitter self-recrimination heading towards quiet loneliness capped by accidental, pants-less suicide by auto-asphyxiation.
      Lighten up, buttercup!

    37. haimtime says:

      Let’s play devil’s advocate for a minute. You shouldn’t put as a suggestion to bring your own food. That is technically not allowed because that is where the movie theaters make all their money.

      /Brought in an entire pizza once.

    38. missdona says:

      I get discounted tickets through work. If you have access to Working Advantage or Corporate Perks the prices are good and you only have to order a minimum of 8. These are the current Corp. Perks prices.

      AMC Silver (not valid in the 1st 10 days) -$6.50
      AMC Gold (valid for any movie, any time)-$7.95
      Regal/UA, restricted (same as AMC silver) -$6.50
      Regal/UA, unrestricted -$7.45

      In NYC, 2 advance purchase tickets are $27 including the surcharge, so these can be a tremendous savings.

    39. phelander says:

      GOD BLESS AMERIACA …YOU WAIT “IN” LINE NOT ON LINE. When you are IN A LINE you wait IN LINE!!!! GOD DANGIT!!!!!

      YOu don’t “loose” a bet and you don’t wait “on line” in a physical line.

      Get it right.

    40. lordargent says:

      That

      /I stopped going to theatres entirely when two things happened.

      1) The closest one to my house hit a $9.50 ticket price five years ago. And I relized that two movie tickets cost more than a netflix subscription.

      2) My roomate moved out, took his 30″ screen with him and I bought a 51″ screen in its place.

    41. bohemian says:

      I would be more inclined to go to a theater if they were not such a miserable experience. Small children in R rated movies and people talking. I also seem to have the luck of getting the tallest idiot with a giant head and a cowboy hat sitting close enough in front of my that I can’t see most of the screen. Oh and add in the cell phone talkers. We have two multiplexes in town. One is a run down hell hole that hasn’t been updated or cleaned since the 80′s when it opened. The other is a 5 year old AMC that isn’t much better. Neither have stadium seating or much in the way of sound systems.

      Netflix, on demand rentals or bittorent seem to be far better options even if the movies were free.

    42. wjmorris3 says:

      Those of you who have an Entertainment book (I buy them just for the grocery store coupons – $35 book and I get to save $80 on the year on groceries? Pays for the cost of the book right there.) might also have coupons for the local cinema chains. My book had 12 coupons for up to two tickets each at Regal/UA for $6, rather than the almost $10 they’re charging in this area. These coupons can also be used at newer movies for $7.50.

      In addition, I try to hit the movies on Thursday nights, for two reasons. One, the theatres are mostly dead that night, and two, my Regal card gives me extra credit on Thursdays.

    43. missdona says:

      @phelander: And just for fun, alot is not a word. It’s a lot, not alot.

      Even though there are no offenders on this thread, currently.

      And back on topic..
      @wjmorris3: If you have the Entertainment Book, you can order discounted movie tickets online after you register.

    44. crackers says:

      @Trai_Dep: “To anyone that doesn’t want to see an excellent film because the leads make “too much”, you’re leading a sad, sad life”

      I’m curious how many of those people refuse to pay for sporting events because of the inflated salaries of athletes?

      And I totally agree – there is something great about seeing a movie with and enthusiastic crowd!

    45. lordargent says:

      morganlh85: @LucyInTheSky: Some people do like to leave their homes occasionally, even if it costs a little more.

      Yes, but there are other things to do that are far more cost effective and less annoying.

      My last theatre experience.

      1) Buy two tickets ($9.50 each) Some popcorn ($2.50) and nachos ($3) and a drink ($3) and some candy smuggled in ($2.50)
      2) Enter theatre 30 minutes early to guarantee a seat.
      3) Sit through 30 minutes of commericals.
      4) Ohh, now it’s the start time.
      5) Sit through another 30 minutes of previews, many for crappy movies.
      6) The movie actually starts and I’ve already seen an hour of commercials. (which is a crapload for a Tivo owner)

      Total movie experience for 2 people $30, plus an hour wasted being bombarded with commercials & previews.

      Compare to

      1) Go to a nice hole in the wall pizza joint. And have some jumbo slices ($5) and drinks ($3 for 2 drinks mind you)

      2) Hit up a pool hall for an hour or two ($10), have a few drinks ($10)

      3) Come home and watch a netflix movie (free I already have netflix, but if you really want to break it down $18.31 a month / ~30 days in a month / 3 (you get 3 discs out at a time) =~ 20 cents.

      Grand total $28.2, no annoying commercials, plus you got a few beers and some real food in your stomach.

    46. jpx72x says:

      @TacoDave: So what you’re saying is that because popcorn and soda are high margin items for theaters, we’re obligated to buy them? I don’t even get a tax deduction for that donation.

    47. redknight says:

      I live it when Northeasterners complain about high movie prices. In Kentucky, a Friday evening performance is still $8; student tickets $6.75.

      And I live in Louisville, not a tobacco field. “Big” cities are overrated with the rampant inflation of today’s time.

    48. laserjobs says:

      No question, having fun with your lady is so much more exciting in a theater than the sofa at home.

    49. DavidCopperballs says:

      All AMC movies are $6 before noon, even on the weekends. Caught Indy at 10:15 at Boston Common. $12 for me and wifey. If you must go during peak hours, AAA is your best bet.

    50. balthisar says:

      Hate the cinema. Love the drive-in. The Ford-Wyoming still exists for those in my part of the country! And like the article says, it’s cheap, double-feature, and they both repeat!

    51. Macroy says:

      If you live near a major city (like Los Angeles or whatever, I don’t want to offend anybody’s hometown) you should check out the Free Screenings thread at Fatwallet.com’s Free Stuff board (sorry, no link, as I am typing on my phone). Not only are they free, you get to see major blockbusters before they release!

    52. morganlh85 says:

      @balthisar: Woot for Ford Wyoming! (although boo for their poor service…once a movie was messed up with no sound for 20 minutes…people were honking and nobody fixed it. Then they fixed it but didn’t rewind it! Lame)

    53. @Welmoed: Baby bottles full of Maker’s Mark for the win?

    54. P_Smith says:

      Putting aside the issue of price, there are several reasons to wait for a movie on DVD:

      1) No assholes smoking in the theatre. Despite the ban, some morons still do it.

      2) No talking or cellphones. Whether they’re talking about the movie (MST3K talk or “here’s where they…”) or anything else, I don’t want to hear it. I paid to hear the movie, not them.

      3) No kids or babies. I love kids, but why do people take them to movies like Pulp Fiction? They could hire a babysitter for the price of the kid’s ticket. Making other people put up with your noisy kid isn’t right.

      [wolfox.werewolves.org]

      [wolfox.werewolves.org]

      4) I prefer sandwiches or other snacks when I watch, not popcorn. I can keep my eyes on the movie when I’m feeding my face instead of dropping oily popcorn onto my clothes.

      5) The pause button. You can’t rewind in the theatre after a bathroom break.

      Going back to price, why pay ten bucks when you can rent it for four? Sure, I want to see Iron Man, but it’s not *that* important.

    55. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

      Even a matinee can be pretty expensive. I took a six-year-old to see “Horton Hears a Who,” and matinee tickets were $8.25 each (and all one price — no child price).

      There aren’t a lot of movies that I *need* to see on the big screen. Whenever I see a new movie trailer, the first question I ask myself is “big screen or DVD?”

      +/- $20 for 2 people to see something at the theater, or $3-5 for a bunch of people to watch a DVD? It’s a no-brainer.

    56. FilthyHarry says:

      My two tips:

      1. considering the general quality of most films, chances are anything you see is going to be a waste of money. So don’t go UNTIL people you know tell you its good.

      2. Unless the movie is a visual blockbuster, wait til it comes out on DVD. for the cost of two tickets you can OWN that piece of shit.

    57. Sami_Sdata says:

      I’ve got to agree about the drive ins. I’m lucky enough to live a couple of miles from one. Right now they are showing “Iron Man” and “Drillbit Taylor” on the big screen. There is a playground under the screen for the kids to use before the movies. They don’t care if you bring food and drinks. I load up a cooler with snacks and sodas. We spread blankets out on the grassy playground and watch from there. $26 gets our whole family in. That’s pretty good for a long evening. We show up before dark and let the kids tire themselves out. We’re there from before 8pm till after midnight. URL is below. It’s about an hours drive west of DC.
      [www.user.shentel.net]

    58. prmononoke says:

      @LucyInTheSky:

      Are you insane? I’ve never had cold popcorn at a theater, and I’ve never had microwave popcorn that was even half as good as what I can get at the theater. The seats are almost always quite comfortable, and AMC theaters have amazingly comfortable seats. And besides, movies are just better in that environment, and on that screen. It’s worth the money.

    59. puyro {who was banned for "junk comments" what? says:

      I never buy snacks or bring snacks into the movies. Don’t really like popcorn… and not a big fan of candy either. I might bring a bottle of water in my purse – but I’m not gonna die from not eating for 1.5 – 3 hours.

    60. gibbersome says:

      I never buy popcorn, but still dish our $2-3 for a soda because theaters make money mostly off concessions. However, in terms of real food, I like to smuggle in some french fries or chicken nuggets. Yummy!

    61. Half Beast says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever gone to the movies without my pockets being inundated with store-bought goodies…

    62. 4. Ditch the theater chains. Independents may take an extra few weeks to get the summer blockbusters, but the tickets can be 70% cheaper.

      This is true. There was a theater in Riverside, California that sold tickets for all movies for $4 a pop. Food started at $1. I don’t understand either because for those prices you’d think the theater would do great, but they closed a year later.

    63. 9. Be careful with the concessions. Theaters make their profits on popcorn, so if you need to buy, buy big and share with your friends. Even better, buy your snacks at a convenience store for a fraction of the price.

      Don’t forget to wear a jacket or have pockets.

    64. #9 is inappropriate at best and maybe illegal unless otherwise allowed by the theatre management.

      Having said that, I did bring a pan of brownies (stuffed into the pockets of my overcoat) into a theatre when I was in college. I also got escorted out of the theatre for violating the code of conduct posted on the door.

      These days …. Lazy Boy and my home theatre are quite nice.

    65. Jon Mason says:

      @Corporate-Shill: It might be ‘inappropriate’ and/or cheap, but there’s no way it’s illegal. I will freely admit that I do it – carry my jacket in with a can of soda in one pocket and a bag of candy or chips in the other. I spend $1.50 instead of $6, it’s a no-brainer, and when going with my wife it saves us around $10 bucks a visit. If it was to save $1 I wouldn’t do it, but if I can save 75% by bending (breaking) a rule I’m gonna do it. Especially when the worst that can happen is they catch you on the way in and make you toss it away.

      Sidenote: I used to work in a movie theater during college and would stop people who were bringing in McDonalds or pizza, because of the smell/mess, but if they do a half decent job of concealing some candy and a soda they’re getting past me, Im not there to be a policeman…

    66. corthepirate says:

      @Corporate-Shill:
      Inappropriate? iIlegal??? Are you kidding??
      Movie theaters price-gouging us into buying their over priced candy is the inappropriate and illegal thing to do. I know they make the majority of their money on the concession stand, but still. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that you are not allowed to bring your own snacks, especially if you have special health needs. Do they escort diabetics out for snacking on something else than the theater’s candy??

    67. jonc20 says:

      Just sneak in.

    68. e-gadgetjunkie says:

      I usually wait until things come out on DVD, but this weekend, my friends and I really wanted to go see Sex and the City and get cocktails after. So we went to the theater. We just graduated from college and can still get student tickets which cost 5.75 each. After deciding against the 6.75 nachos, I was happy to go into the theater and (this really fits well with the movie) find my friend pulling enormous amounts of candy out of her fake Prada bag!

    69. DeltaPurser says:

      You forgot: Buy tickets on eBay – people who buy them in bulk resell them online. I’ve used ‘em several times without a hitch…

    70. consumersaur says:

      I still enjoy going to the movie theater so I just sneak my own snacks an drinks in…

    71. mac-phisto says:

      $12 for a ticket near me. for that price, they can keep their popcorn. i eat before i go in, or if i go late nite when the concessions are closed (wait, what?!? closed?), i hit wings over for some afterburner & honey barbeque. YUM!

      when i was a kid, we used to theatre hop all day long. that’s back when they showed more than one movie you actually wanted to see in the same theatre. nowadays, i’m lucky if i enjoy the movie i’m paying to see.

      when i was in high school, the old fox theatre in town used to showcase foreign movies on wednesday nites. i used to love going to see those w/ a friend – wish there was a place near where i live now that did the same…

    72. t325 says:

      #10: Make friends with someone who works at a theater. I haven’t paid to see a movie in years since my little brother works at the AMC theater by us. It’s great, no restrictions or anything like that either. I’ve been to many movies on premiere night.

    73. Yes, illegal.

      We had one of those “family theaters” open up. Not first run movies. Had family night specials so the family could bring in a pizza and sodas and see a movie for $20 for everybody in the family. Good deal.

      Well the big name (read expensive) theaters hated the competition. There was a law proposed by my stupid city council which was supposedly modeled after several other city’s stupid laws which would allow the city to restrict outside food from being brought into such establishments in the name of “rodent” control or health code regulations.

      The Family Theater failed shortly after opening and the proposed law was never submitted for a vote. But somewhere, somebody has had or still has laws on the books to prevent outside food from entering.

      Remember city’s are free to write any laws that their constituents so desire. Spitting on the sidewalk is a good example of such laws. It is not enforeced in my city because we don’t have sidewalks, but the law is on the books just in case sidewalks are installed.

    74. Sami_Sdata says:

      @corthepirate:

      I have a son who has been diabetic for eight years. We almost always bring in some peanuts or other low-carb snack for him. The few times that theater employees have complained I explained it was due to my sons condition. None have ever pushed the issue any further.

    75. Derffie says:

      I’ll second that Entertainmet book suggestion.. but with a twist… they have so many coupons for movies in the book that you can easily beg for a few on freecycle… folks will send them to you for the cost of a couple stamps envelops…

    76. RayDelMundo says:

      I rarely go to movies, for most of the reasons already stated. But when I do I always bring my own food & drink. I may buy popcorn occasionally.
      I don’t care if most of the theater’s profit comes from concessions. Screw ‘em. It’s not my job to support their crappy business model.

    77. forgottenpassword says:

      I go to the matinee, but it is still expensive at $7.00. I will also occassionally moviehop (flame away!). I still spend about 13 bucks on concession food though (I used to bring in my own coke in a thermos during the winter (lol) but I stopped doing that since I cut down on the frequency in which I go to the theater (I go maybe once every 2-3 months or so on average).

      IMO the theater experience has gone way down hill since the prices have gone up, the popularity of cellphones & commercials during the previews.

      @MrsLopsided:

      LoL! Pretty Smart with the “bring your own bag & then get double the popcorn by getting a refill on the popcorn right away” trick!. Those theaters make an obscene amount of profits from popcorn.

    78. Doug Nelson says:

      I’ve been to two movie theaters in the past two years. Both times I got sick afterwards. Once was just a bad cold, but the other time I got food poisoning.

      I’ll stick to DVDs from now on.

    79. battra92 says:

      I just don’t go. Unless it’s a movie worth seeing or a foreign film that I want to see (like Kung Fu Hustle for example) I just skip it.

      99.99% of new movies suck!

      Now, if someone was to start a theater that also showed classic films, I’d definitely be there.

    80. Lambasted says:

      @CCS: I’m curious how many of those people refuse to pay for sporting events because of the inflated salaries of athletes?

      The difference is most sporting events are entertaining, quite good, suspenseful (unless it’s the Miami Dolphins playing then you already know the outcome) and worth every penny. Movies are terrible nowadays. Most are poorly written with unoriginal or idiotic plots and bad acting. Even the last three Star Wars movies, which should have been an entertainment slam dunk, pretty much sucked caca.

      I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie theater. Personally, I’ve no interest to fill the coffers of overpaid Hollywood stars when all they offer is a junk product in return. Producers offer Hollywood elite $20 million per film and expect me as a consumer to pay the bill. Forget it.

    81. 4ster says:

      Yo stop at that deli, the theater’s overpriced.
      You got the backpack? (Gonna pack it up nice.)
      Don’t want security to get suspicious.
      Mr. Pibb and Red Vines equals Crazy Delicious.

    82. ninabi says:

      I can think of a lot of people who would pay for a pricey movie theater ticket if there was 3D IMAX porn.

    83. S3CT says:

      When I go to the movies I don’t buy any food there. Too expensive. I’ll sneak stuff in but fasting for 2 hours shouldn’t be a big deal for most normal people. Then again this is America and the cletii just have to have popcorn, giant sodas and nachos.

    84. arcticJKL says:

      We need more price controls on movies.
      Cap the price at $3.00. Big entertainment starts are already rich anyways.

    85. TechnoSmurf says:

      @hellinmyeyes: This happenned to me at our local AMC theatre as well, cept instead of a date I was with a group of friends and we all mouthed off at the dude working behind the stand.

      As a student that has many alternatives for viewing the exact same movie at a much more reduced cost (DVD rentals) or in even more ways that there would be no cost at all (internet), I’m quite saddenned that prices have gotten so high for what is becoming a quickly depreciating product. I cant remember the last time I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed a movie I watched at the cinema, and such a practice is quickly becoming more and more disliked, even with excercising the multiple cost saving measures discussed here.

    86. katyggls says:

      I agree for the most part with the “don’t go” people. To me there are very few movies worth putting up with theater hassles for (obnoxious patrons, disgustingly dirty theaters, bad screens, ridiculously expensive concessions, etc.)

      For the rare occasions that I have to see a movie on the big screen, I carry a large purse and take along some snacks from the grocery store. The plus with that is that I can bring something somewhat healthful like nuts or dried fruit that I can’t get at the concession. Interesting story, about a year after 9/11 happened I had a theater in upstate/central New York tell me that they weren’t allowing anyone to carry bags/purses with them into the theater due to “terrorism”. Yeah, terrorists are really going to take out a movie theater that holds about 200 people max. Of course I knew they were just callously using 9/11 as a cover to try and cut down on people taking their own snacks into the theater.

    87. morganlh85 says:

      @prmononoke: Wow…I don’t know what magical movie theaters you attend, but I’ve had some awful, cold, disgusting, stale popcorn at movie theaters. This problem happens especially when seeing the discounted movies during a weekday, since the turnover of food is so slow.

      We usually stop at a 7/11 next to the theater we frequent and get those taquitos and a Slurpee (they usually don’t care or inspect so much during the week) and I grab some candy and a bottle of water to stash in my purse. IF the popcorn is fresh we’ll buy some.

      I remember movie hopping when I was younger, but I’m too chicken shit to do it now that I’m a boring adult :)

    88. petitcerise says:

      @bohemian: Hey that sounds like my city. Do you live in South Texas too?

    89. nybiker says:

      @CCS: The actors’ salaries aren’t why I don’t go to the movies any more. Here in NYC, the last price I heard for a Manhattan theater was about $11. It’s probably 12 or 13 by now. Even that’s not the reason. Some of the reasons:

      1. Commercial tie-ins whereby the ad might be a car or a cell phone, but half-way in you find out that it’s the ad for the movie and they want me to go see the movie so I can see how great their car or cell phone or fried chicken is. Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. As someone who hates with a passion the corporate naming rights dance, I also don’t like being told to go see a movie just because some corporation decided to pay buku bucks for product placement.

      2. Sometimes I just don’t like an actor or actress and I refuse to pay to see the movie. You know, some just rub you the wrong way.

      3. As others have said: commercials before the movie and yakity-yak by others in the theater.

      4. Sometimes the reviews are so bad, why pay for it?

      5. And finally, I’ve gotten spoiled with Netflix. The pause button and the subtitles (you would think the sound people could ensure the dialogue is heard since everything else is done in post-production – see the ‘foley editor’ and ‘sound editor’ credits for the people who synch up the non-dialogue sounds) are really helpful sometimes.

    90. audiochick says:

      Luckily, I live just two blocks away from a new AMC. For some reason, they are totally cool with outside food. I bring a Jamba Juice in every movie I see there with no problem whatsoever.

    91. farker says:

      @VikingP77: That movie was freakin’ awesome! It’s worth the $6 to $12 (depending on where you live and when you go)

      I love seeing action movies in theaters. For comedies and such, I usually wait until they’re out on DVD. A recent exception was Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I’ll see anything that Judd Apatow has worked on in theaters after seeing Superbad, he’s a comedic genius.

      On another note, I’ve had good luck with buying children’s or senior tickets at the credit card kiosks at the movie theatre (usually located inside). The people checking tickets don’t typically care (for movies like Spiderman or other similar releases where there will be lines, etc, this is not advisable, as theater managers will be nearby.)

      Movie theaters make their money on concessions. Most of the ticket price (not sure what the percentage is, but theaters don’t make much) goes to the producers and distributors of movies, so the theates, especially their workers, don’t give two shits if you pay $6 or $10.

    92. thesupreme1 says:

      6.50 here for a movie, not too bad. Popcorn is 6 or 7Dollers for a large though and a large soda is 4$ with one free refill. Only time worth goin to the movies is on a date and the everyother time I just watch my movies online. I don’t mind youtube quality and think HD is a ripoff anyway so it all works out for me.

      I’ve gone in the morning with my own food and drink. I hit all of the movies in one go or maybe two but I pretty much spend an entire day there. Requires some planning and knowledge of employee shifts and the screening times but you can work it out most of the time. Also helps knowing the people that work there.

    93. guevera says:

      Three great tips:

      1) Drive ins are the best cheap date around
      2) Some city’s still have second run theatres around. For people with actual lives these are awesome… movies are out of the theater by the time I get around to watching them. Catch ‘em on the cheap screen for 3 bucks a head.
      3) bittorent….

    94. @TheMu:
      @TacoDave:

      A big purse (or a girlfriend with a big purse) helps.

    95. HappyHiker says:

      The Regal Crown Club, at least here in North Carolina, gives you free popcorn on Tuesdays. We generally go to the matinee (yeah, supercheapskates), and the popcorn would be more than the price of the movie. So we’re actually getting more than a 2 for 1 deal. Yay!

    96. coren says:

      @VikingP77: Guess what? If no one ever went to a movie again? Robert Downey Jr. would still have more money than you.

    97. nybiker says:

      @CCS: I realized after I sent my response you were asking about who doesn’t go to sporting events because of the athletes’ salaries. Well, the only sport I ever followed was baseball.

      I used to go to Mets games, but after the strike of ’94, I said forget it. No more agita for me when they lost and no more joy when they won. I just stopped caring about them after the strike. And, now with all the naming rights for stadiums and ‘this call to the bullpen is brought to you by …’ crap, I see I made the right decision back then. And there’s no way I’d be able to easily afford a game next year when the Citibank Mets move into their new corporate home.

    98. RandomHookup says:

      I can’t justify paying for movies anymore. I’ve found there are so many free movies showing at libraries, colleges, nonprofits, independent theaters and such in the Boston area that I started an online calendar:

      [www.google.com]

      It’s a little slow right now because the colleges have left town, but I’ve seen decent films (focus on foreign, classics and documentaries) before they hit theaters, sometimes had the director present and even have been fed as part of the festivities. During the school year, we were averaging 30-40 free films a week on the calendar.

      If there’s nothing good on, I go to my local library and check out some DVDs.

    99. @RandomHookup: What a great idea!

      Like lots of other posters, I also prefer watching at home. For some reason knowing I *can’t* go pee makes me have to go pee, so I never make it through the movie. I’ll go see big effects-heavy SFF movies (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Narnia) on the big screen to get the full experience, but otherwise I’d just as soon watch them at home. (I’ve read theaters are going in for 3D again now b/c it’s something you CAN’T do at home, whereas home theaters are pretty sophisticated now and you don’t have to put up with other theatergoers. I can see that; I’d pay for 3D.)

      We have a small “independent chain” locally that does $4 matinees with $1.50 soda-and-popcorn deal, which isn’t bad. But still with the sitting in the dark with other people. And I HATE going in the summer; at least during the school year I can reliably pick a matinee where there will be no high school students.

    100. henrygates says:

      I go for the early morning Saturday viewings. Less crowd, $5 tickets where I live. Plus right after breakfast, popcorn doesn’t sound too appetizing, where as if I go in the evening I just crave it.

      I don’t go often though. Movie theaters have turned into a horrible experience, and its both the fault of the theater and the patrons. I don’t like being bombarded with so many commercials (the days of elevator music and, if anything, movie trivia on the screen are long gone) at ear-blasting volumes.

      But worse are the customers. People talking during the movie. With the cellphone it is much worse. Once had a lady get on her cellphone, go down the stairs and talk loudly on it. She wasn’t sitting in her chair, but the whole theater could hear her yacking. And when someone went down and told her to be quiet, she got all pissy and starting complaining loudly about it to her friend when she sat back down. People also frequently text, letting their bright little phones shine throughout the theater.

      People are just plain rude. I don’t know why they pay so much for a movie just to ignore it and play with their phone, but it ruins it for me. I imagine many people avoid the theater for the same reasons, yet the theater companies do nothing about it.

    101. shockwaver says:

      At our local big chain theater, they’ve got a couple fast food joints (burger king, pizza hut, sometimes taco bell depending on the location) – and the food is the same price as the fast food chains normally are. Of course the drinks are $9 apiece. It’s amusing to see a Whopper for $3, and a whopper combo for $12.

      Sometimes there is no substitute for going to see the movie in a cinema, but on the other hand, when my dad would take my family out (Dad, mom, me, older brother, little sister) it’d be $50 for the tickets, another $50 for snacks, and that was after $75 for dinner somewhere. My wife and I only usually go when we’ve got a two for one coupon, and occasionally it we will have two free tickets, and two drinks and large popcorn from air miles to use. And until I get a new tv, the 27″ tube I have that hums loudly sometimes is no substitute.

    102. bohemian says:

      @battra92: AMC & TCM on cable are great for classic films. There are also lots of them on archive.org. I am always surprised how much time we spend watching those two channels. Look for a local film society. We have one that shows classic, foreign and indie films a couple of times a year at one of the local colleges that has a film ready theater. I am more willing to go to those, the number of bad behavior theater goers is extremely low. Most people too stupid to leave their baby home or that yak on their cell phone have no interest is obscure films.

    103. nycborg says:

      If you subscribe to cablevision’s tripleplay package, you can sign up for their entertainment card. With this card you can get 2 free tickets to any movie any showing on tuesdays at the Clearview Cinemas chain. Other days are only $6 per ticket. That’s a $24 a week value each week here in NYC.

    104. baristabrawl says:

      Kerasotes has a $5 movie club. After the movie has been out for 2 weeks it becomes a $5 movie, which in my personal opinion is a great deal.

      Sure I have to wait 2 weeks to see a new movie, but it is also less crowded.

    105. WEGGLES90 says:

      @LucyInTheSky:
      OR to save even more money… buy a bag of kernels and pop it in a saucepan on the stove. It’s quicker, healther and SO DAMN cheap. :D

    106. Trai_Dep says:

      To those that hate players taking a cut of the massive revenues that sports generate: you’re okay with the owners sucking hundreds of millions per year by jacking the rates up so that tickets are unaffordable by families. But you’re okay with that; in fact, you think they should keep it. In spite of it being the only legal monopoly in the US.
      Yet the players, who are, after all the people that make the sports worth watching, shouldn’t be able to offer their services to the highest bidder? I mean, it’s the OWNERS that bid up the salaries. The players don’t have a gun to their head. And it’s far from the case that owners would return money to the fans if their expenses dropped. Far from it.
      So why shouldn’t athletes be able to get market rate for their services?

      (Same with actors vs studios, but the sports case seems worse since it’s a protected monopoly)

    107. donkeyjote says:

      @Trai_Dep: How is a sports league a monopoly?

    108. LucyInTheSky says:

      @prmononoke: where do you live? our theaters are crap. i don’t really live in a run down area, but seriously, the popcorn is disgusting and usually cold, the floors are sticky, and the seats are deplorable. maybe it’s just me. i don’t know.

      also, a personal peeve i have with the movies is the fact that no matter what, no matter where i sit in the theater, i always come out with a splitting headache.

      i really have to want to see a movie NOW to go to an actual movie theater.

    109. atypicalxian says:

      @Lambasted: Gotta agree with you. However, I’m noticing a disturbing trend of commercials/crappy previews on DVD’s. I frantically press the Menu button on the DVD player to no avail. The best I can do is fast-forward.

      I have a really hard time believing the entertainment/movie industry is in dire straits, requiring commercials before the previews, with the outrageous salaries and budgets spent for crappy movies. Most flicks are a retread (or “Hollywood Out Of Ideas”, as sister site Defamer calls it). Most previews I see are for what I call “Must Miss” movies.

      I thought the latest Indiana Jones movie was “meh”, and I recently rented Cloverfield and watched it with a friend, enjoying it much more than when I saw it in the theater trying to suppress my gorge rising due to the jumpy camera.

    110. SacraBos says:

      Ah, the Galaxy Drive Inn near Ennis, TX. It’s a bit of a drive, but the price is great – and you get a double-feature! The food is reasonably priced compared to any other theater, and it does help support the theater. The kids love it. And there is the dollar theater near me. On Tuesdays, it’s only 50 cents! Fri/Sat nights are really crowded, though.

    111. richcreamerybutter says:

      @nybiker: geez, you’re really going to blame the post-production sound engineers for not EQing for every specific theater’s crappy speakers? I’m sure it sounded fine in the final mix on their systems.

      Like paying for cable, I’m not going to act holier than thou for abstaining from most movies. I just have little to no desire in most cases. I think the last movie I saw in a theater was “Sunshine” about a year ago. It was in one of the few tolerable NY theaters (plus it was screened in their GIANT sub-ground level room). Even then though you still stress about getting there in time to grab a good seat.

      So, theaters are bitching about concessions being their main source of income? How about opening more “adult only” screenings in which I can buy beer and wine (not to mention palatable appetizers)? This kills two birds; 1. obviously I get to drink booze, and 2. NO KIDS!

    112. Trai_Dep says:

      @donkeyjote: The major leagues are the only business that the Supreme Court has ruled it being okay that it’s a monopoly.

      Federal Baseball Club v. National League is a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Major League Baseball was exempt from the provisions of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

      [en.wikipedia.org]

    113. synergy says:

      It sucks to live elsewhere. I go to a movie theater that’s decent looking, but not in the popular ‘burbs. Their tickets from 4-6PM every day are $4.25. They used to be $3.50. These are first run movies. That includes opening days/weekends. A friend of mine who never uses purses recently was telling me she keeps a large purse in her trunk for when she decides to go to the movies. She stops by Target first, buys a normal sized soda and container of popcorn, places them in the big purse, and goes in to watch movies at the $1 cinema. Movie, popcorn, and a soda for less than $5.

    114. synergy says:

      @DashTheHand: If I want to see soemthing that for some reason insane parents think they should take kids to, such as “Iron Man,” at 10PM on weeknight I go to the Alamo Drafthouse. It’s more expensive, but the silence is absolutely worth it.

      Their policy:
      Q: What is the age policy and can you explain it?
      A: The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is an 18- and up establishment. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. No children under 6 years of age are allowed except for Baby Day or “All Ages, with parent” designated shows. The Alamo Drafthouse caters to an adult clientele and strives to offer an entertaining and mature environment.

      Alamo Drafthouse FTW!!!

    115. Jetgirly says:

      I paid the equivalent of $3 to see Ironman a few weeks ago at a really nice theatre in Mexico City (at a shopping centre on Reforma- maybe called Reforma 222 or something?). We’re talking big, comfortable, reclining (!) chairs with cushy armrests. There were four other people in the theatre for the matinee. Last night I went to Sex and the City in Guadalajara (opening weekend here). Again, huge, comfortable chairs with cushy armrests (they didn’t recline though). It cost the equivalent of about $4.75 for the evening show on Saturday night. You could also bring in outside food and drinks. My little brother worked at a movie theatre in Canada all through high school and it definitely didn’t sound like the theatre was rolling in cash, staff were paid minimum wage and the facilities aren’t half as nice as they are in Mexico (even at new Canadian cinemas)… so where is all the money from my $10 ticket and $5 popcorn going?

    116. samurailynn says:

      We have a local theater that charges $3.00 for second run movies. Sure, it’s second run but it’s also $3.00. Plus you can buy actual meals (most meals around $5) that are delivered to you shortly after the movie starts, you can buy beer and wine (around $3 a glass), and no one under 21 allowed after 6pm or sometime around there.

    117. @Devidence: Sorry guys, watching movies at home is a sad excuse for a theater.

      You obviously don’t have the right equipment.

      Get a LCD HDTV for around $1k. Most people get a bigger screen than is needed for your room,. so don’t overbuy – anything over 42″ and you might want to check your room size again.

      Get a decent (not great) home theater in a box for $300 or so. Use you existing stereo speakers as you main left and right. Toss out the passive subwoofer that came with the cheap home theater system and get a powered one for $100 or so.

      Voila, a great cinema experience and well under under $1,500.

    118. PricklyPete says:

      I owned / managed a one screen movie theatre in the 80s and late 90s. I rarely go to theaters to see a movie anymore.

      A few people mentioned that theaters make their profit on concessions. That is indeed true.

      The movie studios take a large percentage of the ticket price. If we showed a first run movie, we would have to put up a guarantee (if we didn’t make that much money in ticket sales, too bad for us the studio kept it) and their take of the box office receipts was usually 70%. I imagine it probably works pretty much the same way today.

      I was also the projectionist, so I could look out over the auditorium and watch all the cheapskates taking their hidden food and drinks out of purses, pockets, etc. This would mainly happen on family night when the ticket price was a whopping 3 dollars and the place was packed. BTW, a 170 oz large popcorn was $3.50 at that time.

      I know times have changed and things have gotten ridiculously expensive, but people have always bitched about ticket and concession prices and they probably always will.

      I spent some money and had a home theater system installed, that’s always an option.

    119. Edward Lionheart says:

      The big theater chains, which have disproportionate power, need to think about more options when it comes to concessions if they need to make their money that way. I’m tired of flat $5 Diet Cokes and overly salted fake tasting old popcorn for $7. I wouldn’t mind paying a small premium for better treats. This is one area in which newspapers could make a difference by celebrating good concessions in the same way they do restaurants (concessions affect far more people). The reason that will never happen is because newspapers, hurting more than theaters, depend on those big chain movie adverts and in no way would risk alienating theater and chain owners. Too bad. Under the circumstances, I say–regretfully–smuggle in what you can, unless you’re lucky enough to patronize an indie-art house with good cookies, Newman’s popcorn, etc.

    120. @BaysideWrestling: Most people get a bigger screen than is needed for your room

      Damn straight. I’m looking at 80″ myself for viewing distance that’s 140″ away.

      OK, so I’m getting a projector. Not quite the same. But if you want that “movie theatre” feel, you need a projector. There are many decent ones now that can be had for around $1000. Check ProjectorCentral’s popular projectors for good ones. I’m leaning towards the Panasonic PT-AX200U.

    121. @Edward Lionheart: What? You want real butter on your popcorn? What fun is that?

    122. kuebby says:

      I’ve just stopped going to the theater. Not because it’s too expensive but because there’s nothing I want to see.

      Almost every movie that comes out in major theaters looks like crap to me and I would much rather just watch a classic movie that I’ve never seen.

      Then of course there’s the independent movies that I wouldn’t mind seeing in the theater, because they actually look good, but in NYC they’re $12-15 a ticket and are often at non-chain theaters where one can’t get these discounts.

      When I think about going to the movies I usually just look at the listings, realize it’s all crap, and then either watch a DVD (what did I spend all that money on DVDs if I’m never going to watch them) or I go do something else (play pool, go to a bar, etc like someone said earlier.

    123. RaphaelAquilinus says:

      @audiochick:
      The reason the AMC near you is cool with you bringing outside food
      is, AMC theaters has a corporate policy that they’re not supposed to
      stop you from bringing outside food it. However, it’s not an
      advertised or announced policy. I worked at an AMC theater for seven
      years, and we were made to take down a sign our manager posted that
      said “no outside food” when corporate came through for an inspection.

    124. Alan Thomas says:

      I’d also add: Be a stickler for quality. Your experience in a cinema should involve perfect visual and audio, and reasonable “neighbors”–every time. If the soundtrack is off, or there’s a video issue, or if someone seriously disrupts your enjoyment, insist on getting your money back (or passes to come back after they’ve addressed the problem).

    125. silentluciditi says:

      The Kerasotes chain of theatres has a Five Buck Club, where you sign up, get a membership card (for free), and that gets you in to pretty much any movie showing there after its initial two week run. Probably the cheapest deal we’ve found for movies.

    126. Rctdaemon says:

      1) No free shows around here…except for on Fridays for business people thanks to the company that does the cinema advertising
      2) These are actually really popular around here… as much as the assistant managers and managers despise them during deposit.
      3) No drive-ins around here.
      4) QFT. The national chains are expensive and crappy. All of the local theaters are independently owned (and are first run along with second) and the owners are around extremely often.
      5) Again, very popular around here; provided the software ever works right. Probably about a third of the general public have the cards and we advertise them before the movie starts.
      6) Unless you make arrangements with the owners, tickets are the same price; no matter how many you buy.
      7) Around here, Friday and Saturday night tickets are the same price as every other night.
      8) No fees for online tickets around here as of over a year ago.
      9) Just don’t let anyone SEE it if you’re sneaking stuff in. Mind, the owners have eagle eyes. But seriously, I will be one of the first to admit that concession prices are outrageous, but when Hollywood steals 85%+ of the ticket revenue, all of the employees have to be paid with SOMETHING! Now, for all of the people who are bringing up diabetics and other such: If there is a special situation like that, just explain it and you’re good.

      @TacoJohn and others who encourage theater hopping: Cheap asses; welcome to the real world, where you HAVE to take risks if you want to get somewhere. If you don’t like the movie, LEAVE! As in the premises; not just that movie.

      Independent theaters are the way to go. For all of the people who supported big chains until they drove all of the small owners in their area out of business: TOUGH LUCK!

    127. RetailGuy83 says:

      @nybiker: Feel you on no. 2, Ashton Kutcher.

    128. ironchef says:

      [www.amazon.com]
      AMC anytime certificates for $7.50 per ticket on Amazon.

    129. jrat84 says:

      Cost for a ticket 5 years ago when I worked at a theater: $8.25

      Cost for a MATINEE two days ago: $7.75

      Looks like its wait-for-DVD time from now on.

    130. pileofmonkeycrap says:

      #9 – just don’t shovel junk food into your face for 90 minutes – save money and pounds.

    131. Mary says:

      @visualbowler: Yup, that’s the only reason I’m a member. I don’t go to the AMC often enough for the points to be worth it and the free popcorns are only on the days when I work late.

      At a restaurant next to our local theater, they have a deal where if you buy your tickets from them along with your meal, it’s $2 off. You have to pay with cash, but it’s a very nice savings.

    132. muffingal says:

      I’m with HappyHiker. In the summer, I take 1/2 day and hit the Regal Theatre in New Rochelle. Free Popcorn Tuesdays, matinee pricing and I get points on my Regal Club Card! It’s the best bet.

      Also, having a large purse for water and other goodies helps too.

      BTW, I’ve signed up for rewards cards at AMC, Clearview and the City Center. It definately pays off. I have 2 free tickets I have to use by next week! (I have been really busy!)

    133. ringo00 says:

      After moving across the country I miss the small theater back home. If you live near Joliet, IL and don’t yet know about it, the Super Saver Cinema at Louis Joliet Mall shows nearly new movies at $2.50 a ticket. The movies they show are usually 6-8 weeks out, but it is worth the wait for some of the lesser blockbusters. It is also a great chance to catch the summer blockbusters for a second or third time around.

    134. jimv2000 says:

      Go during the matinée showings? It’s like $4.50 vs $8.50 here.

    135. chknstrp says:

      another way to save money on a trip to the theater is to bring your own food in, a friend of mine use to work for AMC theaters and while they won’t tell you, you can bring in your own food as long as it fits a few conditions.

      1. non alcoholic
      2. not in glass container
      3. not “loud” (crunchy chips, etc.)
      4. no strong odor (no pizza!)

    136. pat_trick says:

      Easy–go to the $1 theatre that gets all of the movies a month or two later. Same thing, just as good.

    137. krom says:

      1.: Um, do you people not work? Are you independently wealthy? If so you don’t really need to save money then do you.

      4.: And the theaters 500% dirtier and noisier.

      5.: That’s great, except you can’t use Regal Crown Club on online or machine-bought tickets.

      7.: Great for family movies, not so great for grown-up movies, unless you can find a babysitter who wants to work on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

      9.: Make sure someone has a big jacket (in the summer!) or purse to smuggle your outside food in against the theater’s policies.

    138. kylenalepa says:

      Here are a couple:

      1. Some theaters have first-showing deals that are significantly cheaper. I think my local theater has a deal where all showings before noon on the weekend are, like, $4 or something.

      2. Bring your own food. Most theaters won’t allow you to bring in a drink or anything that could be bought at the theater, but as long as it’s something else, they’re cool with it. I’ve brought in pizza, Chinese food, Cinnabon, Jamba Juice, and loads of other stuff.

    139. Android8675 says:

      My favorite is “make it a double-feature”, thank god for these 20 screen theaters! Am I right fellahs?!

      Saw Zohan and Kung Fu at a Saturday Matinee price, even better, buy your popcorn, walk through the ticket checker (because they are usually between the food and theaters now) while other people are getting their tickets checked. (Haven’t tried that, I always have a ticket, but I’ve rarely gotten checked when going to the screen holding a popcorn/soda)

      i’m dishonest.

    140. banmojo says:

      I stopped going to cinema years ago. Has saved me at least 100$/month, which adds UP!

    141. redkamel says:

      only go to good movies. That means watching previews for free over the internet multiple times and reading reviews to get a good idea. It also means being discerning and not going to every dumb movie.

      learn to appreciate old movies. Theres a lot of good ones you can rent. or buy for 5 dollars.

      or, my advice: only go if you have a date. That way you might get a little play, so even if you spent money for a bad movie, its not a total loss. And yes, it is possible (note “possible” not “required” or even “highly reccommended”) to go dutch on a date, its 2008 not 1965.

    142. Scorcho says:

      10. Date a movie theatre manager. I’ve paid for one movie in the last year,everything else has been free, including snacks. Saved at least a few hundred dollars. :)

    143. corruptsuperspy says:

      Those AMC tickets for free popcorn/soda have expiration dates but never really expire. I used one from 2007 two weekends ago.