Is Buying A Discount Movie Ticket At Costco Worth Standing In 5 Different Lines?

Some movie theater chains sell discount passes at Costco that can save you over $2 per person. Not a bad deal… if you don’t mind waiting in five different lines before you sit down in your seat at the theater.

Over at, Rob broke down all the work that goes into saving $2.25/ticket at his local theater.

1. First, you need to go to the Costco cashier to purchase the cardboard placeholder for 2 movie tickets.

2. Then it’s over to the Costco gift card “cage” where they actually exchange the placeholder for the pair of theater passes.

3. Now you’ve got to stand in line and wait to have your receipt checked against your purchases.

So now you’ve left the Costco (assuming there’s no line of cars waiting to get out of the parking lot) but you’ve still got at least two lines left.

4. You’ve got movie passes, so now you’ve got to stand in line at the theater box office and turn them in for actual tickets to the movie you want to see.

5. Then finally you get to wait in line outside your movie until it’s showtime.

Of course, there’s also the line at the concession stand, but that’s optional.

So is it all worth it?

Standing in Line Five Times for the Movies []


Edit Your Comment

  1. phildbs says:

    If you feel that it’s not worth standing in line that you’ll have to stand in anyway – go ahead – by the tickets full price. I for one will continue to buy discount passes at Costco.

    • Charmander says:

      This is ridiculous! I’ve only ever had to deal with #1 and #4.

      You bring the cardboard placeholder to the cashier; somebody brings the passes to you while you are at the register.

      I’ve never had to wait in line to leave Costco….I’m out the door in 30 seconds or less, while the receipt checker looks at my receipt.

      Of course you have to go the box office and exchange the passes for movie tickets – do the movie tickets come pre-printed with the theater location/movie/movie time? Of course not. You’d still do this whether or not you were buying a full price ticket.

      And last, I’ve rarely waited in line for a movie. Generally if you don’t go the night it opens, you just walk right in.

      All these extra steps………………..THEY DON’T REALLY EXIST.

      • El_Red says:

        This article is bullsh@t, It is not like I buy only tickets there. Groceries and lots of household goodies in the same trip.

        • coffeeculture says:

          I agree, this is stupid…if I go to the movies alone, that’s 2 lines; if I go to costco alone, that’s 2 lines.

          So really, it’s only one extra line to stand in (the cage line).

          Slow news day?

  2. MikeF74 says:

    Come on, that’s only one extra line. Two if you had no other reason to go to Costoco. The exit line doesn’t count, since you knew that going in. You can’t count the theater lines as extra (well, maybe if you always use a kiosk).

    I’m not one use usually puts down stories. But this one is trumped up.

    • CaptCynic says:

      My thoughts exactly. If you’re going to stand in four of those lines anyway, it’s only one additional step. I don’t think it’s worth saving $2 per ticket, but mainly because those discounted passes are usually only good on movies that are 6-8 weeks past their open date, and I prefer to hit the movie in the first week if at all.

      • jefeloco says:

        The ones that my local Costco sells are for Edwards cinemas are have no restrictions, period. The Boise area Costcos don’t have a cage to stand at, the runner brings them to you; as long as I already shop at Costco I do not have any extra lines to stand around in.

        To add a little extra fuel to the anti-fire, there typically aren’t lines to many movies here unless it is some special engagement or a midnight release showing. The obvious exceptions are flat out blockbusters like Iron Man and Avatar but I usually get my tickets for the actual show and walk right in and choose some seats, only needing to stand in a fourth (one for the checkout at Costco, second is the receipt check, third is the actual transfer of generic ticket for seat) line if I want to actually get a snack or drink.

      • Lali says:

        There are no restrictions on the tickets purchased at Costco that I’ve ever seen. Certainly not on the AMC ones that I’ve used frequently.

        • Jevia says:

          The only restriction I’ve ever dealt with is that the tickets are only good for normal 2D movies. If you use the tickets to see a 3D movie, the theater will charge you the difference, such that the discount ticket saves you nothing. So just be sure there is a 2D version of the movie you want to see.

          • lilyHaze says:

            This is false. Regular 2D price is $10.50, 3D price is $13.50. If a Costco ticket is $8, you do not pay $5.50 more for a 3D ticket. You pay $3 additional for the 3D. You’re still saving that $1.50.

      • Sumtron5000 says:

        Exactly. If you’re already buying other stuff at costco, then the only extra step is exchanging the placeholders for passes. Every other step you is something you always do when you go to the movies. And why would you not be buying other stuff at costco???? They have coffins there!

    • jmhart says:

      This is a ridiculous story.

      I expect more form Consumerist.

      This is as bad from Consumer Activism as Glenn Beck is for MSM.

  3. mupfather says:

    So other than standing in an extra line at Costco, how is this different from any other Costco and Theater transaction?

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Some of those lines need to be waited in no matter how you pay for your ticket.

    Namely, numbers 4 and 5.

    Numbers 1 and 3 are the consequences of shopping at Costco in general, not specifically for buying movie tickets.

    And number two: well, that’s the only actually extra step. Pretty sweet for $2.25/ticket.

    • ajlei says:

      Well, you’re saving $2.25 per ticket, not paying $2.25 per ticket.

      I think the line thing is a little ridiculous, though. Most people don’t go to Costco for one single thing, and I’ve never had to wait in two lines at the theater. Just go right in. Unless you’re crazy enough to go to a midnight showing.

      • CyberDave says:

        Even number 2 isn’t always an extra step. Every time I’ve purchased something like that at Costco, there’d be a second person at the register who would do things like look at what you’ve put on the conveyor belt and go preemptively grab anything necessary from the cage while the person ahead of you is being rung up.

        And yeah, all the others are normal consequences of either shopping at Costco or going to the movies, so I don’t really see what the big deal is.

  5. BStu78 says:

    Well, it might not be worth a trip to Costco, but if you are going there anyway its just the difference between standing in 5 lines and standing in 4 for many people. In which case, so what?

  6. gamehendge2000 says:

    Methinks the trolls in many cases are not the commenters, but the articles themselves.

    • phildbs says:

      Agree. I rarely comment, but this article is just ridiculous.

    • NikonGal says:

      I agree too. This article is just ridiculous. What is the purpose of posting this article here at Consumerist? You say “Over at, Rob broke down all the work that goes into saving $2.25/ticket at his local theater.” What work? Cause I don’t see any “extra work”.

  7. ShruggingGalt says:

    I see some with “no restrictions” on the front and others without.

    How long before the “Movie Theatre refuses to honor Costco-bought ticket, calls them ‘passes’, which can’t be used for the opening week of Machete” story?

    Honestly, the line list should be reduced by ONE. Because if you buy your tix from some online sources, you can go straight to the theatre with your printout.

    /wondering if he thinks this is the Alamo Drafthouse and their lines….

    • BrianneG says:

      We usually go to AMC which has two versions of passes. Gold means you can go to any movie, Silver means you can’t go to movies that came out in the past two weeks. Since they are the same passes that the theatre sells, the ones I buy at Costco or my university ticket office will always have to work.

  8. hypochondriac says:

    Depending on when you go to buy your discount tickets you can get rid of of almost all those steps. The only additional step might be the gift card cage unless you were already buying something from there for your visit.

  9. Cialis Cooper says:

    So to summarize:
    1. Buy cheaper tickets from a store that you were probably already going to.
    2. Go to movie with those tickets.
    3. Save enough money to pay for some food at the movies.

    What a pain in the ass.

    • Sumtron5000 says:

      But, but, there might be a line at the consessions stand! And you have to wait in line outside your movie? You never would have done that if it weren’t for those scammy free passes.

  10. DanRydell says:

    This is one of the stupidest articles I’ve read here. It’s one extra “line” if you buy the passes on a regular shopping trip to Costco. I put “line” in quotes because I’ve never actually had to wait in line at the merchandise pickup cage.

    • phildbs says:

      At my Costco they usually have someone that will run and go grab the tickets while the cashier is ringing up my order. Is that not what it is like everywhere?

      • spugbrap says:

        My Costco usually has someone go grab the tickets as well. A couple years ago, it was a bit more disjointed and time-consuming, but now it’s pretty streamlined.

      • dyzlexiK says:

        Not all the costcos are like that. The one in my city has a room for it directly past the cash, but there is rarely a line so usually the only waiting you do is while they physically locate your stuff in the room.

  11. El_Fez says:

    At the risk of being disemvouled – what the hell? This is colossally stupid!

    1. First, you need to go to the Costco cashier to purchase the cardboard placeholder for 2 movie tickets.

    So you’re making a special trip to Costco JUST for the tickets?

    I’m in there all the time, so it’s just one more item in my cart that I’d have to stand in line with anyway.

    2. Then it’s over to the Costco gift card “cage” where they actually exchange the placeholder for the pair of theater passes.

    All the Costcos in the region dont have Secure Item cages. They send a runner to get your swag while you check out – but fine. We’ll call this a valid line. That’s one.

    3. Now you’ve got to stand in line and wait to have your receipt checked against your purchases.

    Again – something you’d already have to be doing, assuming that your not making a special trip for just the tickets.

    4. You’ve got movie passes, so now you’ve got to stand in line at the theater box office and turn them in for actual tickets to the movie you want to see.

    And of course without the Special Tickets, the theater lets you walk straight into the auditorium without standing in line at all.

    . . . oh, wait.

    5. Then finally you get to wait in line outside your movie until it’s showtime.

    Of course these Magic Box Office Tickets let you cut the line and head right in. Right. Got it.

    So, lets sum up – grand total of extra lines that you have to endure is. . . . one. And not always in all Costco locations, either. Again, I say: what the hell?

    • AnonymousCoward says:

      Our local Costco has a swag cage, but I’ve only once had to stand in “line” behind anybody, and even then it was only one guy. Usually, you just take your receipt up to cage guy, he gets your stuff, and you sign a thing on his clipboard. Not exactly a big deal.

  12. kennedar says:

    We just buy our movie tickets when we do our monthly shopping at costco, so those lines do not exist. Our local costco goes to get the tickets for you while the cashier is ringing you up, so there is no line there. Regardless of how you pay, you have to stand in line to get into the theater. So I am only counting one extra line – to pay at a cashier in the theater instead of a kiosk or online. The promotion here is 2 tickets, 2 pops and a popcorn for $25 making the pop and popcorn free. I will happily wait in one extra line for that!

    • ktetch says:

      $12.50/ticket? You should look elsewhere for movies.

      I don’t think I even paid that much last year for Star Trek IMAX on opening weekend.

      The Cinema business org NATO even gives the average US ticket price to be around $8. Find another theater!

      • SNForrester says:

        I’m sure you can understand that movie pricing is regional. It’s not like one theater in town is expensive and the rest are all cheap. Where I live, even an afternoon matinee is $10 and that’s not counting popcorn or drinks. $12.50 for a ticket with extras is a great deal for most people.

      • davidc says:

        “$12.50/ticket? You should look elsewhere for movies.”.

        Yea, they can just up and move to your neck of the woods. I am assuming you live in the Ozarks or something? Cause you don’t live in a major metropolis with $8 movie tickets.

        Do you even have a Costco in your neck of the woods? (and I mean that literally).

  13. fantomesq says:

    Somebody call the wahmbulance… really Chris? You stand in TWO lines for the passes, not FIVE. You’ll be standing in the line for tickets at the theater regardless of how you purchase (save Fandango) and I don’t remember the last time I stood in a line outside the theater (remember that these passes are not typically for the initial run of movies). Exaggerated much?

  14. mythago says:

    $2.25 per ticket adds up pretty damn fast when you’re buying tickets to take the whole family to the movies. And believe me, if you have a whole family you’re shopping at Costco anyway.

    • stevejust says:


      In Los Angeles, the tickets for AMC at Costco are $8.00. My girlfriend swears by them, because if we get them at Costco, our movie dates cost $16.00. If we pay full price, it costs $27.00 ($13.50 for a regularly-priced adult ticket.) For us, it’s a savings of $5.50 a ticket, and there’s no restrictions.

  15. Lando242 says:

    Since when do people have to wait in line to see a movie AFTER they have their ticket? With my ticket in hand I walk up to the hall with all the screen entrances, hand my ticket to the usher and walk into my screen and sit down. I’ve never encountered a line at the usher. 20 screens showing films 18 hours a day, one way in, and only one person checking tickets and still never had to wait. Hell, half the time if their are people in from of my they never have to break their stride to turn in their ticket.

    • cockerham says:

      Waiting in line for the showtime is the actual fun line. It usually happens on opening weekend, but the energy of the crowd is always electric.

      If I wanted to watch a movie by myself, I’d probably watch it at home.

  16. HannahK says:

    Subtract 1 and 3 because you wouldn’t buy an entire membership to Costco just for these movie passes, you’d be buying other things and waiting in those lines anyway.

    Subtract 4 and 5 because you have to wait in those any time you see a movie.

    It boils down to one extra line to get the gift card from the gift card “cage” and for $2 a ticket, I’d say that’s definitely time well spent.

    Not to mention you could just shop at off peak hours and avoid every line. Or stream netflix to your house if you’re that lazy.

  17. b612markt says:

    Consumerist, you really should have passed on picking this up from This is possibly the lamest post you’ve ever done.

  18. chiieddy says:

    These tickets are generally not accepted for opening weekends of movies, so if you’re waiting in line at the theatre, you’re doing it wrong or the movie is REALLY good. I haven’t seen a REALLY good movie in a LONG time.

  19. Cyniconvention says:

    5. Then finally you get to wait in line outside your movie until it’s showtime.

    Isn’t that only for movies that end up being more popular than anyone imagined? The last time I remember doing that is…whoa, maybe five years ago.

    • winnabago says:

      Who waits in line to get into a movie theater? Actually, where are movies popular enough anymore to see more than a few other people in the entire place?

  20. blinky says:

    Kind of a whiner. That would be like saying “the discount tickets actually cost more because YOU HAVE TO BUY THE MEMBERSHIP!” So that you’re paying $115 for the $16 tickets. I mean come on, if he’s going to costco for the tickets he’s probably going for other things anyway, and would spend the $2 in gas if he drives any distance or drives an SUV. Sheesh. And he waited in line, incidentally, at each stop light that was red, and probably other places too.

  21. VOIDMunashii says:

    I like Cockerham’s stufff normally, but this one walks the fine line between whining and snark.

    1. If you already shop at Costco, you would be standing in line to pay for stuff anyway, so this only counts if you are only buying movie tickets.

    2. This is a bit more legit, as unless you are buiying small electronics or video games you would not normally be in this line.

    3. You agreed to have your receipt checked when you signed up, and unless the only thing you are buying is the movie tickets you would be standing in this line for your purchases anyway.

    4. If you just wanted to buy full price tickets you would be standing in this line anyway.

    5. Don’t go during the busiest time, you big baby!

    Unless you made a special trip to Costco just for the tickets (which may well have wasted as much in gas as you saved on tickets) then you only have one extra line to stand in than normal. So the real question is “Is Standing in One Extra Line Worth it?”, but then that doesn’t sound quite so dramatic, does it?

  22. louiedog says:

    Meet post quotas is hard…

  23. donjumpsuit says:

    I just paid $12.25 for a medium soda and medium popcorn at the theater. The only reason why I went to the theater was to get some poppy corn cooked in coconut oil.

    That pretty much just ended the theater for me. My movie purchases will now be limited to what I can download off the internet for free, meaning just about everything.

    • missdona says:

      Dude, get a Whirley pop, some kernels and coconut oil and you’ll really never have to leave your house again.

      I don’t mind going to the movies, but I hate the people who fill the theatre. There’s always some idiot who brings his/her kids to an R Rated movie, wont leave when they wont stop crying or talking/texting on their cell phone.

      I always go after a movie’s been out for 2 weeks, and then I go on a weeknight that is not student or senior night. All too much hassle for too little entertainment.

      • Pinklette says:

        God I hate those people! I have a 10 month old, and I’ve only been to three movies in the theater since he was born. Two were children’s movies at a mid-week matinee, and the third was an anniversary present with my MIL babysitting at home. The most recient matinee was actually more full than I expected, but the baby behaved beautifully. I wish I could say the same about the other patrons. My son is at the stage where he’ll laugh if others around him are laughing too. We tried to sit in a less occupied section of the theater so we wouldn’t bother anyone, but someone decided to sit right in front of us. Then he glared and made “noisy kid” comments throughout the movie! The baby wasn’t crying or being obnoxious, and we were there first! My husband managed to calm me down so that I didn’t say/do anything that I’d regret later. I hate people. Thank god for netflix.

        • mythago says:

          A lot of theaters have a “cry room” that’s soundproofed, so parents can take their babies and not bother anyone if the kid wakes up.

  24. El Matarife says:

    I’m not sure how applicable this scenario is to real life. I don’t think anyone is going to Costco JUST for the cheaper movie tickets. But yeah, if I’m already there it is definitely worth it.

  25. sufreak says:

    This is totally stupid. Rob needs a better hobby. Or a girlfriend.

  26. Herbz says:

    I usually just buy them from

    Cut down on 3 lines :P and save money

  27. georgi55 says:

    Pretty much worst article of the quarter or maybe year…geez.

  28. jp7570-1 says:

    This is a misleading headline. It implies Costco is responsible for making you stand in 5 lines at Costco.

    In reality it may be just two additional lines – getting the cardboard holder and taking it to the cage. Chances are you are also purchasing other items at Costco (although you may be daring enough to brave the parking lot just for a couple of movie tickets). Since everyone leaving Costco has to pass by the dreaded receipt-checker, that is hardly another line.

    So in reality, it is more like 2 additional lines, not 5, only 40% of the misleading headline.

  29. edosan says:

    Methinks Rob from is a whiner.

  30. vlv723 says:

    Actually #6 for concessions is great if you’re in Costco. It’ll be #3…get yourself a Hot Dog and Soda for $1.50 or whatever else you want (Pizza, Chicken Bake, etc.) and eat it on the way. Better than paying $6+ for the same thing at the movies.

  31. AnonymousCoward says:

    Standing in 5 lines, as opposed to standing in the 4 lines you’d already have to stand in for a trip to Costco and a trip to the movies (5 if you also buy an ipod when you’re at Costco). Or 5 lines, as opposed to sticking a Netflix DVD into the player.

    Compared to Neflix, yeah, 5 lines sucks. Compared to any other trip to Costco and the movies? meh.

  32. liamarbetman says:

    Like most things at Costco this only makes sense if you buy them in bulk. What kind of expirations do these things have? Makes sense if you could get like 20 tickets at a time, I guess.

    The standing in line at the theater box office is a huge buzzkill, however. Those can be brutal. Too bad you can’t do some kind of online redemption with fandango or something.

  33. Kevin says:

    If Costco was next door to the theater, it might be worth it. It’s stupid to drive all over town for $2 though. My time is worth quite a bit to me as is gas.

  34. FrugalFreak says:

    Line waiting for showtime? never in my 40 years have I stood in a line for that.

  35. JulesNoctambule says:

    I like to think that this was posted because you’re all running a betting pool on how many people will bitch and moan. It’s what I would do!

  36. psm321 says:

    I wonder if there’s a single comment here that wouldn’t get disemvoweled if Consumerist decided to enforce their policy strictly :-P

  37. spugbrap says:

    For one person who isn’t already planning to go to Costco, the savings may not be worth it. For a family who shops at Costco regularly, the ticket vouchers are great! My favorite local theater now charges $11.25 for non-matinee adult tickets and $8.50 for child tickets. So if I use Costco movie ticket vouchers for me, my wife, and 3 kids:

    ($11.25 * 2) + ($8.50 * 3) = $48 (full price tickets)

    ($7.49 * 5) = $37.45 (Costco voucher prices)

    $48 – $37.45 = $10.55 net savings

    However, If we were going for a matinee showtime, and we did not already have any vouchers from Costco, I would not make a special trip to Costco just to buy vouchers (total savings would be $5.55).

  38. cockerham says:

    Can you think of another situation where you have to stand in line five times?

    • MDSasquatch says:

      I bought some discount tickets to King’s Dominion last month.

      1 Stood in line to buy the tickets
      2. Waited in line to enter the parking lot
      3 Stood in line to have my tickets scanned
      4 Stood in line to be checked by a magnetometer
      5 Stood in line to ride the rides

      I saved almost $60 off regular ticket prices.

      • cockerham says:

        That sounds like a significant savings.
        Would you do it that way if you were only going to save $2.25 per ticket?

        • MMD says:

          Since the whole 5-lines theory has been completely debunked by the previous 40 or so comments, I’m not sure what your point is here.

          • cockerham says:

            Your experience may vary, but I definitely have to wait in line to buy the tickets and to get the tickets at the cage and to leave Costco and to buy the tickets at the box office. If I had had to wait in line for the screening to start, that would have been five lines.

            It isn’t the end of the world, I just counted the lines and though, “damn, that’s a lot of lines.”

            • MMD says:

              Are you willfully misunderstanding the point everyone else has made here?

            • jaydeflix says:

              So, just to ask.

              Are you going to Costco *only* to buy these movie tickets, or are you buying other stuff too and the movie tickets are an extra item?

              Also, are you only buying 1 movies worth of tickets, or are you buying multiples?

              If I buy 10 movies worth in one trip, even if I’m only going to costco just for the tickets, then even if we take your theory that I’m waiting in line 5 times, I’m doing it once.

              For 10 movies.

              Not 5 times per movie.

              Oh, or I could just go to BAM! No line.

  39. MDSasquatch says:

    don’t forget standing in line to use the restroom….

    Using the word “line” is a bit deceiving, this fella should have calculated the extra “time” involved, which I believe would be quite low using my COSTCO experiences.

  40. lehrdude says:

    If you buy 10 at a time, it averages out to 2.3 lines per ticket, which is only slightly higher than normal tickets, but now you are saving $22.50.

  41. UnicornMaster says:


  42. Kevinsky says:

    Well, might be worth it if I was going to Costco anyway. I try to go when it’s not too crowded, so the line to check your receipt on the way out (We call it Costco Customs) is usually not really a line at all.

  43. TIJAG says:

    If its not worth it for you, then don’t buy it?

    I suspect its targeted more at people shopping for a variety of products at costco, where the extra time to get the tickets wouldn’t even be noticed.

    Why is he including waiting in line at the box office and then waiting in line for the movie? Wouldn’t you have to do that no matter what?

    Basically this all boils down to a complete waste of a post. The only ‘extra’ line you have to wait in is at Costco, for them to get the tickets out of the cage. I know from experience you’re looking at an extra 2 minutes or so.

    Really, stupidest thing ever to complain about. If you don’t want to save 4.50 a movie, don’t buy them when you are at Costco…

  44. hamburglar says:

    Another good question: Is Consumerist a worthy RSS feed when it clogs my reader up with non-stories like this?

  45. MonkeyBoy says:

    Well, 4 & 5 you’re going to do anyway. Unless you want to pay EXTRA to buy online & avoid 4.
    My local Costco has eliminated #2. And since I only buy movie tickets when I’m shopping at Costco ANYWAY, #1 and #3 are going to happen regardless. Honestly – kind of a dumb and pointless post. Just like this.

  46. haoshufu says:

    And I wasted my time reading this.

  47. DoodlestheGreat says:

    Line #5 is optional. You may not be seeing a movie where there are any lines to get into the theater.
    If you’re already going to Costco, then the only additional effort you really have over normal tickets are lines 3 & 4. Which isn’t all that big a deal since they’re in the same building as line #1.

    If it saves $2 per ticket, then it’s worth it.

  48. Damocles57 says:

    You forgot the line to stand in when you interview for a job to earn money to buy the discount tickets at Costco. And the line to stand in when you deposit your check. And the line at the ATM to get cash to pay for the tickets at Costco.

    What about the line at the store to buy the paper to see what movies are playing? And the line to pay for the paper? Then there is the line to stand in while you are at the water cooler at work to tell everyone what movie you will see or have seen and how much money you saved or didn’t save.

    You forgot the line to the restrooms at work (because of the water cooler), at Costco (the $1.50 Polish and drink line), and at the theater (restroom again because of Costco’s Polish and drink.

    Then there’s the line to leave the theater, the line (lane) to drive in going home, the line to the restroom there (if you have kids), and the line to stand in front of the fridge deciding what late night Costco snack to enjoy before falling asleep.

    I’m sure there are more lines to count, but I am tired and need to find a short line to stand in while pondering this weekend’s activities.

  49. thelauhingsun says:

    Yes, considering that, assuming you are in the Costco and are planning on going to the movies anyway….you’re really only waiting on one additional line.

  50. Clyde Barrow says:

    I think Rob “thinks” too much. Maybe he has OCD?

  51. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Something here really doesn’t pass the sniff test. If you’re in Costco anyway, these discount movie passes are usually near the checkout anyway as an impulse buy. Unless this particular Costco’s still living in the stone age, it usually means grabbing a gift card for (insert movie theatre chain here) and going to the checkout with it. Once there, the cashier will swipe said gift card in the same swiper (s)he’ll use to swipe your memebership/credit/debit card to activate it after purchasing. How many more lines did you end up in? ZERO! You’re there buying things anyway, unless you, for some real strange reason, just had to go to Costco for the sole purpose of buying a discount movie pass. Sounds pretty trumped up to me IMHO.

  52. bkdlays says:

    This post is a waste of time

  53. DanGarion says:

    If you are shopping at Costco anyway it’s not an extra line. If you are you buying is the tickets you don’t have to stand in line to exit.

    AND if you are going to the movies already you will be standing in the last too lines anyway. Not to mention you only stand in the last line if the movie is a new release. There I have solved your line problem.

  54. Halfabee says:

    Wah, wah, wah! Who would make a special purpose trip to Costco to save $2.50 anyway? Time is money. I was at Costco the other day and saw the discount ticket display, If I picked some up, I would have waited in the same checkout line (they bring the tickets to the register at my Costco by the way), and waited two seconds to have my receipt checked.

    The discount deal never promised expedited tickets. How else can they track seats for each screen if they gave you a blank ticket good for any movie?

    • sayahh says:

      I would, but the movies nowadays are so lame that I still have unused tickets from before. Even the older ones where I don’t have to pay extra to watch it in IMAX or 3-D.

  55. DanGarion says:

    In Costco Russia tickets buy you! rimshot…

  56. psykomyko says:

    The biggest waste of time was this article. When I buy movie tickets at Costco, I use the self-checkout lane, and the employee who hangs around that area to scan large items (like soda) will get someone to get the movie card for me. I save a lot of money without losing any time.

  57. unimus says:

    This article only makes sense if you’re reading it on Pirate Bay.

  58. yankinwaoz says:

    So you made a special trip to Costco just to buy these? That was stupid. The idea is that you ge them on your normally scheduled trip to Costco. Then only 1 extra line, to the bird cage.

  59. CapitalC says:

    I go to Costco weekly … I don’t see the problem in saving a few bucks by tossing movie passes in my cart while I’m there.

  60. sayahh says:

    (This applies to the Regal-United Artists-Edwards Theaters tickets only. I do not know what the AMC and Cinemark restrictions are.)

    The blue Costco Movie Park tickets are unrestricted. It says “Premiere Super Saver Movie Ticket” in the front. Red tickets, aka “VIP Super Saver Movie Ticket,” are restricted, and you cannot use it on opening day. However, there are still certain surcharges for the blue “Premiere” tickets:

    The disclaimer printed on the back of OLDER (and no longer available for purchase) “Premiere” tickets:

    Premiere Super Saver ticket is UNRESTRICTED.
    Valid for all movies and all showtimes

    The Premiere Super Saver ticket is honored at all Regal Entertainment Group locations nationwide (Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres, and Edwards Theatres). Super Saver tickets will not be replaced if lost or stolen. Super Saver tickets are non-refundable. $1.50 surcharge applies if redeemed at any Manhattan, NY locations.
    Issued by Regal CineMedia Corp. NO EXPIRATION.

    The disclaimer printed on the back of the CURRENT “Premiere” tickets.

    Premiere Super Saver ticket is UNRESTRICTED. Valid for all movies and all showtimes. Not valid for special events or private screenings. Surcharge Fees apply to all IMAX, Large Format or 3-D Films and Manhattan, NY locations. Regal Entertainment Group reserves the right to change any surcharge fee without notice. Super Saver tickets will not be replaced if lost or stolen, are non-refundable and carry NO EXPIRATION date. Issued by Regal CineMedia Corporation.

    (Note: I assume that the “special events” or “private screenings” refer to shows where, a) tickets are not purchased, e.g., free, or not available to the general audience, unless invited, e.g., by family, or belonging to a certain group, e.g., the press or academy members, b) it’s an extremely limited-engagement show (as in only one show), c) a Q&A session with the cast and/or director is available after the show, or d) other circumstances. It is unlikely that a typical Friday night moviegoer will run into those problems, unless there was already a 3-week wait around-the-block line for a next Star Wars movie and you were not in line.)

    I also found the article below online.
    (Note: Costco only sells #2, the “Premiere Super Saver Movie Ticket”)


    1. VIP Super Saver Movie Ticket: Save up to 40% when you purchase the VIP Super Saver ticket. A restricted pass, it allows you to see any standard feature at the low price of $6.50, 12 days after the film’s release. This ticket has no expiration date – you can use it any time. Plus, you can opt to have it upgraded.

    2. Premiere Super Saver Movie Ticket: Valued at $7.50, you get 35% off on tickets. Unlike the VIP Super Saver, this pass gives you access to any standard feature at any time. No expiration date.

    3. Ultimate Premier Pack: The perfect gift for the movie-buff couple, this pass gives its bearers two unrestricted premiere movie tickets, plus $10 gift certificate good for any concessionaire or box office purchase. It also has no expiration date so the couple could opt to use it for any movie they wish to see, at any time!

  61. Lali says:

    AMC theatre tickets are 2 for $15.99 at Costco. A single ticket at our local AMC is $11. I’d say the savings is worth it. It’s not like you’re not standing in line to get out of Costco anyway, because who goes to Costco and just buys one thing.

  62. BurtReynolds says:

    Why does Consumerist even bother posting these stupid “rants”? Just when I thought you hit your lowest point with the “24 hours at the gym” guy’s “story”, you post this.

    I’ve bought tickets at Costco. Assuming I buy other things there, my only “added” time is getting the tickets, which at my store takes about an extra 30 seconds.

    Handing over the passes at the theater is the same thing as buying tickets with my Amex.

  63. haimtime says:

    I’m probably the most avid costco defender you will ever meet. I live my life based off the costco free samples and $1.60 hotdogs. But a few things I’ve noticed:

    1)Costco lines move faster than most. There is a scanner and a bagger
    2) On busy days they have the pre scanners to make it move faster. I’ve seen the entire line of cashiers clear everyone in less than half hour.
    3) If this is a problem buy a whole bunch of tickets. Costco’s return policy will let you return it years later
    4)Know when the lines are. Sat/Sun at 11.30 and 1.30 are the worst.
    5) Get lunch while you are there. You will save even more money with the $1.50 hotdog and free sample walk

  64. Vhalkyrie says:

    Is this a real question? Uh, yeah. It’s worth it. At least all the times I’ve bought movie tickets at Costco, there isn’t all this waiting around. This is idiotic. No one is so important they can’t wait a minute or two for a Costco employee to bring them a movie ticket. And it’s not like I buy the movie tickets then head straight to the theater. I buy them, unload my groceries, then use the tickets a week or two later. Hardly jumping around waiting in all these lines.

    What is the real issue the author is trying to complain about? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

  65. mandy_Reeves says:

    where are these old timey theaters where they are making you wait outside? Every AMC,LOEWS, MARQUIS theater lets you hang out…hell some even have a starbucks or a bar.

  66. mandy_Reeves says:

    forgot to add: I just go 10 minutes before the show starts. Of course I live within walking distance of a theater so…

  67. muzicman82 says:

    You can buy better discounted tickets from AAA retail offices. Last I checked they were $7, which is still $4 off our theater’s $11 ticket price. Add to the mix that my girlfriend works for AAA, and the ticket is another $1 off. You normally have to stand in three lines, but I only need to stand in two.

  68. vastrightwing says:

    No it’s not. I only go to a few movies anymore because they’re so expensive and I’m usually dissapointed with the movie experience. If you buy tickets online (to save time), forget it. You pay a “convenience fee” that more than makes up for the convenience and then you still have to have stand in line anyway. Not worth it at all. I give Costco credit for at least working the right way: pay less and stand in line.

  69. xaraan says:

    Well, if you are shopping for other things at Costco already then you will not be standing in any extra lines. And if you are going to the movies, then you’ll have to stand in those two lines anyway as well… so not seeing the extra work?

  70. coren says:

    I think the byline on this story is incorrect.

  71. twritersf says:

    Well, the steps in the article are fundamentally wrong. You stand in 2 lines (unless you’re going to see a jam-packed premiere):

    You stand in line at the Costco cash register. You’ve picked up the cardboard thing that represents blocks of two tickets as part of your shopping; there is no standing in any line to get this. The cashier gives the tickets to you. (#3 used to be the case, but not any more.)

    You stand in line at the movie theater. Instead of handing the cashier money in exchange for a ticket, you hand them one of the coupons you got at Costco.

    Completely fear-mongering, irresponsible “reporting.”

  72. 44Wadeable says:

    doesn’t AAA still sell discounted Regal movie passes? Way easier.

  73. marintech says:

    If I’m just buying tickets, which is most of the time, I never get my receipt signed exiting costco, therefore that is not a line. And why would you count the line getting out of costco, that is a fact of life, you might as well count all the lines you wait at for red lights ad stop signes too…in my book it is well worth it, plus I buy a bunch at a time.

  74. falnfenix says:

    It must be our location and the times we shop at Costco, but there’s never a line at the cage or when we exit…and we’ve never waited in line for a movie. Hell, there’s rarely anyone at the theater for the matinee shows.

    That said, sure, they can come in handy. We give those free passes as little gifts…so we save money, and we’re not contributing to excess clutter in our friends’ homes.

  75. Admiral_John says:

    I have an issue with a couple of points on that list of lines:

    3) I don’t know what Costco is like getting receipts checked, but the longest time I’ve ever waited at Sams to get my receipt checked is probably less that 60 seconds.

    5) I’ve never waited outside a theater in line for a movie… again, the longest line I’ve probably ever waited in to see a movie is 1-2 minutes.

    But that’s just me, your mileage may vary.

  76. ahecht says:

    My costco has runners bring gift cards to the register, and I’ve never waited in a line to get into a theater after purchasing tickets. At most that’s one extra line for me, since I never pay the $1 fee to print tickets at home.

  77. ichiban1081 says:

    The only line I hate waiting on is the one to buy your ticket. I usually go to Downtown Brooklyn theater and I just walk in, pay at the kiosk and walk out. Then it’s off to Chipotle to grab some burritos and a drink then stroll on back to the theater.

  78. steamboatdevil says:

    This is the dumbest article I have ever read on Consumerist. Wait? I am already at Costco so I did ZERO extra waiting. While I am checking out the guy runs my passes over to me. When I leave my receipt is quickly checked at the door.. JUST like it always is..

    Sheesh.. You are really reaching for stories!

  79. Serenefengshui says:

    Huh. At my Costco, a runner takes those cardboard thingies and brings back your goodies by the time you’re done paying. Just pick ’em up on a regular Costco trip and you’re fine.

  80. operator207 says:

    Other than this story is utter whining to the 5th degree, the cost in savings to a family is pretty decent. If I want to take my family of 4 out to a movie, it’s not cheap. The $9 I save is good enough to pay for at least one of the family’s concessions. Regardless it makes it cheaper.

    Going to Costco is literally a “stop along the way” for me to the movie theater. It is also an almost weekly trip for groceries.

    I am thinking most of the people that write this kind of crap do not remember the “book of credit card numbers” at each register. You didn’t swipe your card back then, you handed it to someone, they made an impression, and then looked up your card number in a book to make sure your card was not blacklisted. This was when writing a check was actually faster than using a credit card.