Free & Cheap Movie Tickets Guide
With the average cost of going to a movie (including babysitting for the kids and concessions at the theater) these days soaring, here are some ways you can cut back on your costs.
Free – Nationally-Distributed Sneak Previews*
Search by movie or location. Sign up for notification alerts for local Advance Screenings.
Fox Searchlight Screenings
Search for local Advance Screenings in your geographic area by Fox Searchlight Picutres.
Sign up to attend Advance Screenings near where you work or live. Click on “How It Works” in the navigation to get the lowdown.
Find out about Advance Screenings in major metropolitan areas across the U.S.
Lions Gate Screenings
Search for local Advance Screenings in your geographic area by Lions Gate Entertainment.
See It First
Sign up to attend Advance Screenings near where you work or live.
Search for local Advance Screenings in your geographic area by Sony Pictures.
Search for local Advance Screenings in your geographic area by STX Entertainment.
Search for local Advance Screenings in your geographic area by Universal Pictures.
Warner Bros. Screenings
Search for local Advance Screenings in your geographic area by Warner Bros. Pictures.
*Most, if not all Advanced Screenings, do not guarantee your seat. They often give out more passes than there are seats and will turn people away. If the movie is highly anticipated, go early and get in line (2 hours in advance) and if not so highly anticipated you’ll have a little more flexibility (30 minutes perhaps). You are giving up your personal time in order to see a flick early and for free.
Cheap – Released
If you’d rather not wait in a line to see an advance screening or you missed the screening and now the movie is widely released, there are still some ways to save. Let’s review.
$9.95/month in most cities and good at most theater brands, gets you access to one non-3D, non-IMAX movie per day. 91% of theaters accept MoviePass.
Discount / Value Days
Cinemark Theaters and Regal Entertainment Group have days of the week that are less expensive than others. Online review sites report ticket prices on these days to be in the $5-7 range, especially if a first-run. Enter your zip code to find the theater and day closest to you. Check your local theater brand for discounts for Seniors, Active Military, Students, Families, and more.
Many theaters still offer discounts for showings that occur in the daytime. Cinemark Theaters offers Early Bird discounts to movies that start prior to 1pm, for instance.
Entertainment Coupon Book
Though you’ll have to pay the price of the book, which varies widely throughout a year (or is a flat price, at summertime debut, like $16.99 at Costco in Central Maryland), you’ll get discounts off ticket prices or, in the case of the Baltimore book I have in hand, you can get up to 4 tickets to R/C Theaters for $6 ea. And, there are several repeat coupons like this in the printed book too. Not to mention all the other restaurant, retail, entertainment, and travel coupons throughout the book and online.
Warehouse Club Discounted Gift Cards
Check your local warehouse club for gift cards you can purchase. My local Costco, for instance, sells a pack of 2 single Cinemark Theaters tickets for $16.99 ($8.50 ea.) and then $17.99 ($9 ea.) for 2 single Regal Entertainment Group tickets. Cinemark is usually $27 ($13.50 ea.) for an adult non-matinee price, for instance, a 37% discount by purchasing through the local warehouse club instead.
Regal Entertainment Group has $2 off candy on Mondays and $2 off popcorn on Tuesdays for Regal Crown Club Members (free membership).
If you’re making movie night into a date night, be sure to check restaurants nearby (often in walking distance from the theater). Sometimes showing your same-day ticket stub will net you a discount at the restaurant.
Am I missing another great way to save at the box office? Let me know in the comments below!