How to save money when going out for movies?

This always happens with ME!!!

I love going to the movies.

It’s pretty much heaven for a stressed up millennial like me, to escape the reality for a while and slip into the fantasy world.

Laugh my lungs out for a satire opera,  ๐Ÿ˜‚

Tremble from head to toe when it's a cold-blooded sinister play, ๐Ÿ˜จ

Shed tears for a charming picturesque tale, ๐Ÿ˜ญ

And out of nowhere become an imaginary co- character when it comes to a sci-fiction thriller. ๐Ÿ’“

Perhaps, out of all, I vouch for more for sci-fiction thrillers and second inline advance with sinister plays.

Let's do some math...

On an average, every year roughly there are 100 thriller releases (of course all are not blockbusters and all do not enter the movie theaters), of them my easy count is 15-20, excluding Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Chinese ( fight scenes are fantabulous๐Ÿ˜) movies.

With these breathtaking (at least if you see the money I spent on it) count, spending the traditional way for binge-watching would blow a big, huge, gigantic hole in your wallet.

And now it's my Dad's reaction time,

Remember the scene in "Game of Thrones", where Stannis Baratheon, ordered his little girl Shireen burn at the stake, and did not show mercy as she screamed for her father to help. 

That would be my situation had I not searched for an alternative way to still get along with the movies without blowing my pocket.


I save, I watch movies, I enjoy life!

Psst... I'm kind enough to share with you immensely impressive tips on "How to save money when going out for movies?"

So it's our secret now!

Here are some of the ultimate tips to save money yet enjoy the fun of watching movies and make memories! 

1. Stuff  your tummy

Make sure you well stuffed before setting out for the theater. This will keep you away from spending premium-priced popcorn and coke. And sometimes magically you don't have the urge of munching. The snacks offered at multiplexes are always higher priced than usual. Imagine buying popcorn that costs over ₹200 for a group of 10 people! Definitely not worth it.

2. Drive-In’s 

There aren’t a lot of drive-ins left but they still exist and if you are lucky enough to have one close by, these are the way to go. Drive-in’s usually charged by the car-load rather than by the person and they don’t care if you bring food in. Oftentimes they’ll also show a great double feature, and at the very least, the nostalgia is worth it.

3. Second-Run Theaters 

If you aren’t in a rush to see the movie on Opening Night, consider waiting a few weeks until the flick starts making the rounds at second-run theaters, which are way cheaper for both admission and snacks.

4. Avoid 3-D

Here’s the thing. If the movie doesn’t warrant a 3D showing, avoid the extra cost. A lot of movies get pointlessly made into 3D and it adds nothing to the movie but a higher price tag. Ask yourself if it’s worth the upcharge before paying additional fees. Do some research. If a movie is receiving high praise for visual effects, don’t be afraid to pay the extra cost because it could enhance your experience, and really be worth the extra cost.

5. Avoid IMAX

Again, don’t pay extra money just to sit in an IMAX theater for a movie that doesn’t deserve such an experience. Yes, IMAX theaters are cool, but really, how large does the screen need to be? Don’t get duped either… most theaters that advertise “IMAX” screens actually have screens that are way smaller than true IMAX theaters so be sure you know what you are paying for.

Crap! Not again!

6. Take Advantage of Discounts Available to You 

If you are a student, in the military or a senior citizen, whip out that ID card and start asking for discounts. If you are none of those, but still feel you deserve a discount, it never hurts to ask.

7. Watch at Home

This one is a bummer but really, the best way to save money at the theater is by not going to the theater at all. Nowadays, a lot of movies are available at home the same day they hit the theaters with your cable On-Demand feature. It’s a lot cheaper to do that and eat snacks at home instead of going to the theater. Plus, you can invite as many people over as you like. For the Extreme Cheapskates, (you might offend some people) you could even consider charging a cover. 

Trust me when your agenda is saving ..... it's really fine to be 'Quirky'!

8. Go Solo

Its really good to have alone time, especially if its a cry baby movie. Leave the significant other at home and go enjoy a movie by yourself. It will be half the cost, plus you won’t have to share your popcorn and soda pop. 

9. Be Patient

Again, the best way to save money by going to the movies is not going. Before you head out the cineplex, ask yourself “Is this movie really worth the cost of admission?”. If it’s not, just wait ’til it comes on DVD or hits Netflix. It’s not like the olden days where it takes a year for a movie to hit DVD (or VHS back then). Movies hit the rental market immediately (see above tip) or come out only a few months later. If you chose to wait to see a movie, you won’t have to wait long anymore.

It's worth the wait!

10. Go Big

To really save money, it’s best to avoid the concession stand altogether, but if you find yourself just dying for popcorn and if you get asked if you want to make it a medium or large take advantage. You are already paying a crazy price anyway, what's a bit more bucks for the next size up? And if you are with someone, be a hero and get large and share. Sometimes when you buy the largest size, the bucket becomes bottomless, so refill often and if you don’t finish your snack, don’t be afraid to take it home with you. I love munching on leftover corn sitting back on the coach home.

11. Sign Up for the Theater Newsletters

Along with signing up for a theaters loyalty program, sign up for newsletters, emails, and promos with your local theaters. Also, follow them on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. You’ll probably have to wade through a lot of junk email, but you might be rewarded with coupons, giveaways, special discounts, or freebies.

Out of 10, my score for this type of luck is 4! 

12. Share

For some people, like me, getting popcorn and coke is all part of the experience. If I’m not destroying a bag of popcorn during the coming attractions, it’s not a movie. I’m not opposed to sharing though. Rather than buying individual snacks for the entire family, get the jumbo size, and split it among everybody. If you go with a friend, do the same, but split the cost.

13. Get a Movie App

After signing up for my Regal Crown Club card, I immediately got the play store version of the app. Once a month they send me digital coupons for soft drinks, candy, and popcorn. Plus, if I forgot my card, they can scan my phone. The app also lets me track my bonus points, which is important because it lets is more informative for individuals who prefer not considering Date Night because some are due for free popcorn and will want it all for themselves ......๐Ÿ˜

14.  Sign Up for Reward Programs

Most theater chains offer some sort of reward/loyalty program that gives members the chance to earn free or discounted movies and concessions. It’s often free to sign up. It might take a while to reap the rewards, but it’s worth getting and carrying the card.

15. Find Alternative Places to Buy Your Tickets

A great way to save some cash on admission tickets is to buy your tickets someplace other than the theaters. and offer discounted tickets, as do some grocery stores. You may also be surprised at the little perks your company offers. Revisit your benefits package because the organization you work for offers discounted movie tickets. The perk is buried deep within the benefits package, but do some digging and you might be surprised. Buying tickets from second (or third) parties can be annoying and possibly time-consuming but it might be worth it to save some money.

16. Independent Theaters

Independent theaters aren’t always cheaper, but sometimes they have deals (and better concessions!) that mainstream theaters don’t, plus it’s always good to support your local economy. An independent theater I go to charges a little more for admission but along with that price comes all you can eat and drink popcorn and coke.

17. Avoid Reservation Sites 

It can be helped, avoid buying your tickets online in advance (this is different from buying your tickets from a third-party). A lot of these sites add “convenience fees” on top of the admission price, and you’ll end up paying more. Combat the need for this by simply getting to the theater early and being first in line.

18. Hold It

In all honesty, movies are a bit of an inconvenience. You lose the ability to control your surroundings (which is a perk too, I suppose), you can’t pause the movie or rewind it if you need to take a bathroom break or get a refill on snacks. After paying such a ridiculous amount to see the movie, why would you want to spend all your time in the bathroom? The best thing to do is to hold all movements until you are about to explode, but then again, after chugging the amount of coke a pee break might be impossible to avoid, so the next best thing is to go at the most optimal time. Apps such as “RunPee” tells you the most convenient time to take a bathroom break during a particular movie, so you don’t miss any of the action.

19. Ask for Movie Theater Gift Cards

The one thing I always ask for when my birthday or especially when relatives try to be over-friendly around are movie gift certificates. Let someone else treat you to a movie. 

20. Group Coupons

Sign up for sites such as LivingSocial or Groupon. Sometimes they offer pretty smoking deals on ticket prices.

21. Pay with Plastic 

If you are financially able to handle a credit card, get one that earns you points towards free movie tickets.

22. Marathons 

Many theaters periodically host marathons of related movies (think Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars, or Oscar-nominated films). While admission is more expensive than an individual ticket, it is often less than what you’d pay to see each movie separately.

23. Film Festivals

Seek out local film festivals. Similar to buying tickets in bulk, most film fests offer package deals. These deals are more expensive upfront but if you plan on seeing more than one movie they will save you money in the long run. Oftentimes, tickets to see films shown at film fests aren’t as expensive either and it’s a great way to see non-mainstream movies you might never have heard of.

24. Become a Patron of a Film Society

Becoming a member of local film societies is a great way to save money at local and independent theaters. Members are often entitled to discounted tickets plus a whole lot of other perks such as free concessions, advance booking opportunities, and first shot at advanced screenings.

26. Combine Dinner and a Movie 

If you are heading out on a Date Night, consider killing two birds with one stone. A growing trend among theaters is serving food and having waiters serve you throughout the movie. I know it sounds like a bad idea buying food at the theaters but the theaters I’ve been to that do this actually have moderately priced food. Rather than going out for a meal and then buying popcorn at the theater, forgo the restaurant and opt for a burger and fries and not popcorn and soda. The savings won’t be extreme, but the experience can be a nice treat.

27. Hit Up a Midnight Show

I’m not talking about seeing a midnight showing of a mainstream movie before Opening Day, I’m talking about going to a local independent theater and catching the second run of an old classic. Prices are usually cheaper and midnight movies are often coupled with a party or cool theme.

28. Corporate Meetings 

Encourage your company to move that next big corporate event or meeting to the big screen. Theaters provide free concessions and usually a private screening of a new release to corporations that rent out their theaters for business meetings. Unfortunately, if you talk your company into doing this you won’t be able to play hooky from the meeting because chances are they will probably show the movie after all the boring stuff. 

29. Don’t Go VIP

Some new trendy theaters are starting to offer a class system. For an up-charge, you can sit in the “VIP” section. Other than some plush seating and a few more inches of leg and arm room, the VIP section isn’t worth the price. Theaters that offer VIP sections are typically really nice anyway and the difference between the two sections is minimal. If you are trying to impress a new suitor, then perhaps splurge for the VIP. Other than that, skip this option.

30. Summer Programs 

If you have kids, check to see if your local theater has summer programs that show children’s and family-friendly movies during the day for discounted prices. 
Regardless of how you slice it, heading to the movies can be pretty pricey.
But by being smart and finding ways to save a few bucks here and there, you won’t have to skip the latest blockbuster because of a tight personal budget.
Do you know of any ways to save money at the movie theater that isn’t mentioned? If so, I’d love to hear what you’ve got…

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