How to save at the movies
Here’s one surefire way to avoid the heat this summer: Find a place that’s sure to be cool.
Movie theaters top our list of cool spots to turn to in July and August. But an evening at the flicks has become increasingly expensive.
That’s why we’ve pulled together a some tricks to keep cost down. Here are a few tips for saving at the movie theater:
Buy tickets online
Movie sites like Fandango allow you to buy tickets ahead of time, so you can avoid the line and the hassle. They frequently offer deals and specials, plus they provide great information and news on movies. You can even get Cash Back when you go through a ShopAtHome.com link.
Light on those snacks
Often, the real sticker shock comes after purchasing popcorn and soda. Now, we certainly aren’t going to tell you to be a rule-breaker and smuggle in small water bottles and fun-sized chocolate bars (though we will point out that they’re easy to tuck into a purse). It’s a good idea to visit the theater on a full stomach. Make sure to have a filling meal or snack before the movie and then promise the kids a stop for an ice-cream cone after dinner, which surely will be less expensive than a large popcorn, candy and a drink. Finally, some theaters don’t even frown on bringing snacks in.
Wait a bit
When it comes to a movie you’ll be taking the entire family to, consider waiting for the movie to come out in a second-run or “dollar theater.” You’ll save many dollars. Sure, you may be seeing a movie you could pick up at Redbox in another month, but seeing it on the big screen, in air-conditioned goodness, makes it worth the trip.
The great outdoors
They’re getting fewer and farther between, but if there’s a drive-in theater in your neck of the woods, you’re in luck. At their height, about a quarter of all screens were drive-in theaters, and now it’s under 2 percent. But even if you have to drive a bit to get there, the perks are obvious: You can fit in plenty of people in the car, often for one price, and you can pack your own snacks. And it’s kind of fun to be able to stand up and tune into the film.
If you can swing it, you can save up to 50% by going to the morning or matinee showings. This is also a great way to avoid the crowds. It’s the same experience, just a bit earlier in the day!