I bought this large purse at a garage sale that works perfect for storing your snacks and drinks in. We never go to the new release shows, because they soon will be out at Dollar Theaters. My kids and I go to the Dollar Tree and I let them pick out 1 snack.
I pack them each a Gatorade also. And me water. This works great also when you are dieting and can't eat the stuff the movies provide. I packed myself 4 Slim Jims with 2 cheese sticks. I also packed us some Veggie Chips, you can buy at Sam's Club and separate them into small snack size servings. My kids understand when we have to live on a budget. We save a lot of money and trim our waistlines too. We just make sure we take home our trash in my purse, so we don't leave it on the floor.
If you have a discount theater in your area be sure that you check its schedule. They usually carry all the big movies, just a couple weeks after the regular theaters carry them. If you get into the habit of watching movies when they play there then you can see all the movies that everyone talks about, but for a lot less money. It is a great way to catch up on movies that you'd like to see on the big screen, but missed the first time around.
Some movie chains like Regal also offer free movies for families on a weekday during the Summer. Regal calls it the Free Family Film Festival. At a theatre near my house they are showing a free movie each Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. Upcoming movies include Shrek the Third, Bee Movie, TMNT, Water Horse, Wallace and Gromit, Veggie Tales, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Fantastic 4, Surf's Up, and more.
I do a similar thing with my kids. We each take a water bottle and I let the kids go to Coles or Woolies before we go to the movies to pick out a packet of lollies each. We take them home and divide them into zip lock bags and head for the movies. The kids each choose different lollies, but they have to choose something everyone likes. This saves about $35 at the candy stand.
In Perth we do not get dollar movies but on Tuesdays all movies are at senior prices and some movies theaters offer family deals. I take a back pack with everything in it - then I don't need to take my handbag. Just before the movie starts, I hand out the lollies, so that everything is not eaten before the movie starts.
We are not allowed to bring food or drink to our movie theater. It is posted right on the door. How do you get by with it?
Movie theaters don't allow outside snacks because the consessions area is where they make their money. Surprisingly, given the high cost of tickets, the theaters don't make much money on admissions. Still, folks have been using the oversize purse/deep pockets to bring in food for years. Rarely do you find a theater that searches bags. Sometimes you must do what you have to in these tough times. Or you can just not snack for that hour and a half to two hours. When we go to the movies, we bring nothing, skip the high priced popcorn and candy and go home after the movie and have ice cream.
If you go to the free movie, plan to arrive very early and bring water for the wait. The line at our Regal is crazy ridiculous and waiting in the sun gets very hot.
I realize this sounds kind of pessimistic, just want to throw out the facts as I know them.
We still have drive in theaters close to where I live so we will often go there instead of the theater because we can easily transport in our own snacks (we do so at the theater as well) and you get two movies for the price of one as well as the fact that the admissions are significantly cheaper than going to the regular theater.
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