Saving Money on Going to the Movies

November 10, 2011

A Couple Enjoying Popcorn and a Movie in the TheaterWhen seeing a movie at the theater, I usually end up buying a large popcorn for an additional 75 cents more to get a free refill, but I never really refill it. So, you not only paid big bucks for a movie, but you just lost an additional 75 cents. My solution, now right before leaving the theater, I get my free refill, take it home and keep it covered. Then I make snack bags for the kids to carry or I take one to work for snacking on.


By mcastel from Orange, CA

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March 30, 2010

Due to a recent a raise in the price of 3D movies you now are paying nearly $15 to see a movie in 3D in most areas. That's $5 more than seeing the non-3D version of the same movies. A family of four can save $20 by opting for the non-3D alternative.


September 7, 2011

Call your theater or check online. There are two theaters in our town and one in a town about 40 miles away that all have a super deal on movies between 4:00 and 5:30. The tickets are only $5 for any movie playing during that time.


June 11, 2012

If your movie has a do-it-yourself butter dispenser, you probably hate all the butter soaking the top of the popcorn, while the rest remains dry. Poke one of the theater's straws into the bag, then hold it under the butter spigot.


May 4, 2011

Going to a movie can cost up to $20 for tickets for two and $15 to $25 for the popcorn and drinks. One good option is to buy the DVD for $15 or less and you can watch it over and over.


November 11, 2011

When I take my 3 grand babies to the movies, I line the cup holders with napkins and fill them with popcorn. They work like individual small bowls for the kids.


We don't have to keep passing the bucket back and forth between us.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
May 15, 2009

You can save money on new(er) movies by seeing them on pay-per-view on your cable. I saw a new one on the IFC pay-for-view that I just saw reviewed in the paper, as you can get it on cable at the same time as its independent release.


September 8, 2011

Obviously, going to a matinee will save money, but those rarely work with our schedule. We happen to have an AAA membership.


They sell discount movie tickets for nearly every theater in our area.


June 19, 2008

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.


September 26, 2018

When we go to the movies, we always upgrade the popcorn to the one with the free refill. On those times we don't use the refill, I empty the bag and save it for next time or give it to my kids to save them money on their movie date.


On the next visit, the concession stand marks the bag and refills it for you. A free bag of popcorn!


April 25, 2005

Being young and wanting to go out to the movies with your friends is really expensive. But one advantage that I have and a lot of other teens out there have, is that my dad is still active duty military.


January 25, 2005

If you have a Costco membership, use it to buy discounted movie tickets. They are a great deal if you are planning to see a full priced movie.


January 25, 2005

Research the movie you want to see first. Asked other people who have seen it . Don't depend on the gotcha film clips on TV. That may be the only part worth seeing.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

May 12, 2005

Money saving tips for going to the movies. Post your ideas.


January 25, 20050 found this helpful

Right now, Nabisco/Niclelodean fruit snacks are running a special. If you send them 3 proofs of purchase they will send up to 3 free child's movie passes for many theaters.


I have sent for several for us and my daughter and my son as they both have children. The passes are good for up to 6.00.

January 25, 20050 found this helpful

Research the movie you want to see first. Asked other people who have seen it .
Don't depend on the gotcha film clips on TV.
That may be the only part worth seeing.

In my area we have one old theater that runs recent films and still only charges 3 dollars after the film has left the other movie houses.

Another thing most movies come to video in less then 6 months. Even forking out 20 bucks.It is alot cheaper then paying movie prices and you own it and make your own popcorn.


Last if you really must see this flick.
Go before the price changes. Share your drink and popcorn.And take a pack of chewing gum along. You will save mucho dollars.

By Linda. (Guest Post)
January 25, 20050 found this helpful

I always take my own snacks to the movies. Sometimes I even pop a bag of popcorn just before I go and take it with me. I just take a large purse/tote bag and am not conspicuos about it, and take out my treats when it gets dark. We have no $1 movies but I always go to the early bird special (before 5).

January 26, 20050 found this helpful

Where I live they still have a couple of old movie theaters and a drive-in. The old theatres are not as technically advanced- with rocking chairs and awesome surround sound like the new ones- but the admission is a lot lower and it is not as crowded. The drive in is the best! They charge less, you can bring in your own food and you don't have to worry about your hair & makeup!


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
March 11, 20050 found this helpful

Go to movies during matinee hours to save on admission prices, or wait a few weeks until you can rent a video to save even more.

By cynthia conley

Editor's Note: In our area, the matinee prices continue to get closer to the normal prices. I think there is only a dollor difference between regular and matinee prices right now. Still worth the savings but not like it used to be.

The cheapest way to see a movie in a theatre is to find a discount theatre. They usually play movies that are about a month past their prime and charge between 1 and 4 dollars.

March 11, 20050 found this helpful

We take our own snacks too -- paying $3 for a candybar is outrageous. But I always feel guilty about doing it. Why? I haven't taken my own popcorn yet.

By C Tewksbury (Guest Post)
March 11, 20050 found this helpful

Our movie offers 2 admissions for the price of one all day Tuesday for seniors. Worth asking about any senior discounts. I also stop at the Dollar store on the way for a few goodies.


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March 14, 20050 found this helpful

Don't purchase food at the theatre, eat before you go.

By joni514

By marian. (Guest Post)
March 14, 20050 found this helpful

I try to see movies at matinees and "cheap" theatres. A good part of the cost of movies seems to be food. I`m not THAT old but I do remember when food was eaten at home, restaurants or friends/relatives homes. These days it`s sometimes almost impossible to hear what`s happening on the screen with rattling of popcorn containers, candy wrappers and the "slurping" of drinks. Let`s not use the theatre as a restaurant. It will save money on movies and everyone will be able to hear and enjoy the movie they paid to see. Thanks

By Ladywilde (Guest Post)
March 18, 20050 found this helpful

Recently, my sister and I went to a movie and mid way through the screen went kind of askew. Well, my sister brought it to a managers attention after the film and he apologized for the inconvience and gave us 2 free tickets to any show.. Sometimes it pays to speak up....!

By Robin (Guest Post)
March 26, 20050 found this helpful

At the Harkins Theater chain in Arizona, you can go to the movies for free on your birthday. You have to show ID and you cannot see a new release. Also AMC Theaters have a movie watcher program where you show your card and accumulate points each time you go to the movies. Each time you use your card you get a coupon, sometimes they are for cents off refreshments, but as you accumulate more points you get coupons for free refreshments and free movies.

By Jack (Guest Post)
April 13, 20050 found this helpful

No more free movie on your birthday At Harkins in AZ...I went last night with that in mind and was summarily told that "We don't do that anymore". Very disappointing.

By Liz (Guest Post)
April 25, 20050 found this helpful

Being young and wanting to go out to the movies with your friends is really expensive. But one advantage that I have and alot of other teens out there have, is that my dad is still active duty military. I get 10% discounts at acouple of the threatres! Also I like to save money at the movies by buying kids meals. I never seem to finish the adult meals during the movie anyways.

May 11, 20050 found this helpful

2 movies companies in our area have a special summer movie camp with movies as cheap as $1.00

Also, a great cheap movie theatre in Kansas City


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
May 12, 20050 found this helpful

Check out local radio, tv and newspaper websites for sneak previews of new movies. Win tickets and save money and see movies before everyone else.

By Richard cup Gardner

By Charlotteann (Guest Post)
July 18, 20080 found this helpful

Good morning!
It is so annoying when you pay to sit in a theater to watch a show and someone is behind you kicking or hitting your chair! I feel that when you pay to watch a show. you are renting the chair you are in and people should keep their big feet off of it. Really, how rude are some people anyway? I have actually turned around and quietly told them to not kick my chair and they still do!

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to handle this situation? I would appreciate it very much!
Thank you

September 2, 20110 found this helpful

We generally don't make it a point to see movies at the theatres because there is always something more important (nececessities) that the money could be directed towards, but when we do go we first make a stop at the local dollar store for candy. We are inconspicuous about it and nobody is any the wiser. One time I saw two young men entering the theatre with a couple of foot long submarines tucked under their arms but they were stopped and told to relinquish their subs or go away.

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