12 Tips and Tricks for Saving Money at the Movies
If you love going to the movies as much as I do but find the dreaded the expensive admission prices and concession costs keep you at home. Remember when saving at the movie meant sneaking in your own snacks and drinks? Whether you're a sneaker or not, there are tons of ways to save on a good flick.
1 – Avoid Premium Movie Formats:
Ask yourself if you really need to see the movie in 3D, IMAX or with premium sound because those tickets will cost you extra. While and extra $2.50-$3.00 doesn't sound like much, if you are buying multiple tickets it adds up in a hurry!
2 – Use your Utah Happenings Entertainment Membership:
Not only is the Entertainment book filled with discounts for local restaurants, things to do and shopping, you can also use your digital membership to save on movie tickets. If you haven't seen the new Entertainment.com app., you're in for a sweet surprise, no big book to haul around and coupons to remember to clip, just pop out the app. and start saving.
Membership to the app. is $0.99 for the first month and then $1.99 a month after that, or buy a book for $35 and get the digital membership for free.
3 – Movie Discounts from the Store:
Costco or Sam’s Club members can save money when purchasing in-store or online. For example, Sam's Club sells a Cinemark Gift Card – 2 Tickets (Locations in Utah Only) for $14.98 ($7.50 per ticket), at this price you'll essentially save about $3.00 per ticket.
Raise.com, eBay and Amazon all sell discounted gift cards for hundreds of merchants, including various movie theaters as well as Fandango and MoviesTickets.com. Be quick, when they're available, they go fast. We list available discounted gift cards on Coupons4Utah as we see them.
10 – Take advantage Merchant Offers:
*America First Credit Union: Members, can present their card at any Megaplex on Monday and get Matinee prices all evening long. More info here.
*Red Robin: Restaurants: Select locations near a Megaplex have a dinner and movie package. The package includes a Red Robin Gift Card, two Megaplex movie tickets and a free appetizer. After considering everything, it's about a $9.00 savings. More info here.
*AT&T: Each week, eligible AT&T customers can buy one movie ticket for any Tuesday showing of a standard 2D movie at various select theaters and receive a second movie ticket of equal or lesser value for the same movie FREE! More info here
4 – Head to the Discount or Dollar Movie Theater:
Instead of seeing movies when they are first released, wait for a while and grab your seat at a Dollar Movie Theater, like Cinemark 9 in Sandy (tickets around $2) or Water Garden Theater in Pleasant Grove where you get deeply discounted movie tickets. If you have a discounted theater in your area please leave a comment for others. Thanks!
5 – Sign-up for the Rewards Programs and Email Alerts:
*Megaplex: Members earn MegaRewards points that generate vouchers for free concession items, amount off concessions purchases or movie tickets for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases including movie tickets, concessions, and selected food items at Megaplex owned and operated food court locations.
Make sure to register your card online. Members receive 10 bonus points for fully registering their cards for the first time online. Check out this post for more ways to save at Megaplex. And, make sure to sign up for their email alerts, Megaplex will reward you with a free popcorn for doing so.
*Cinemark: Download the Cinemark Cinemode app and join the Connections Club. Scan your Connections ID on the app at the theatre box office and concession stand. Then collect points and save up for exclusive offers and rewards. The points can then be redeemed for rewards like digital downloads, savings on concessions, trips/contests, premieres and more! Cinemark also offers email subscribers a FREE Weekly Concession coupons
*AMC: Become a member of AMC Stubs Rewards program and you’ll get a $10 AMC Stubs Reward for every $100 you spend, online ticket fees waived, free upgrades on popcorn and fountain drinks, and more. Keep in mind that the Stub program costs $12 a year ($1.00 a month). I've heard you'll easily get that back in concessions.
*Regal Cinemas also offers Value Days where you can enjoy discounted movie ticket prices on new release movies with a valid Regal Crown Club membership (excludes holidays and opening days for new movies)! The discount and day(s) will vary by region but start as low as $4.59.
6 – Hit the Theater on Discount Days:
Several Utah theaters offer discounts for going on a select day, consider watching a show on that particular day. For example, on Tuesday, you can head to Megaplex movies for $5.00. Cinemark also has special discount days on Tuesday. AMC Stubb members can also catch a flick for $5.00 on Tuesday.
You can also get discounted pricing at most theaters before 5:00 pm. And, look for discounts for seniors and military members.
7 – Check the Daily Deal Sites:
Both Groupon and LivingSocial occasionally have offers for discounted vouchers. The discount varies depending on the time of year. Here's a couple I spotted going on as I write this:
Brewvies Cinema Pub: Movie and Popcorn for Two or Four as low as $10.
Ultimate Date Night: Two Movie Tickets and $100 Restaurant.com eGift Card $39.99
8 – Fandango Promotions:
Fandango often offers discounts whenever you pay with VISA Checkout and use an applicable promo code. We've seen discounts for as much as Buy 1 Get 1 Free promotion. Keep in mind that Fandango tacks on a convenience fee, but even with the fee you can still save a few dollars when purchasing tickets during a promotion.
9 – Look for Free Movie Ticket Offers at the Grocery Store:
Be on watch at the grocery store for FREE movie ticket promotions. These promotions are on various products all over your local grocery store. We see them often on Cereal, Eggo Waffles, Candy and Chips, but many products will have them so keep your eyes peeled.
11 – Go to FREE Screenings:
Pre-screening movies are often set up for press, when the press seats are full, the rest are open to the public. No purchase is required to get these passes, but keep in mind they are claimed quickly and are on a first come, first serve basis and they always overbook, so be sure to arrive at least 45 minutes early, earlier for more popular movies. Companies that do free screenings are:
12 – Use Your Rewards:
Ibotta (my personal favorite), Shopkick, Kellogg's Family Rewards, and Disney Movie Rewards, are just a handful of the programs that allow you to cash out your rewards points for free movie tickets. Check the rewards program you use most often, and you likely find opportunities to earn free movie tickets.