How to Save Money at the Movie Theater

Royal TouchBy Cameron Huddleston

My family has a Friday night tradition: dinner and a movie. No, we don't go to a restaurant then the theater. We make the kids dinner and let them eat it while watching a DVD or movie that we download from a video-streaming service. If we were to actually go out, the cost of movie tickets alone for four of us would be enough to buy two DVDs (which we could watch again and again).

Watching a movie at the theater can be a real budget buster. But it's fun to occasionally treat yourself or your family to the theater experience. And there are ways to keep costs under control. Consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch offers several tips for saving money at the movies (and I threw in a few of my own):




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Andy Shick

Biggest one: Watch 2 movies in a day. Only need to pay for 1 popcorn/soda because of free refills.

May 28 2012 at 7:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ccs1974

OH...they forgot one important trick...carry a large size bag with your own popcorn, treats and drinks!

May 28 2012 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
virginia

we go to the first movie of the day.it is $5.50.we eat before we go or when we get out.i refuse to pay $7 for a medium popcorn and $6 for a med. soda.

May 28 2012 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
happyjoyjoy333

I haven't gone to a movie theatre in about 8 years. It just got too expensive, and the "entertainment value" of watching a movie in a theatre went down to zero if you factor in that, throughout the whole movie, someone will be sidewalking in front of you, coughing at your head behind you, have kids misbehaving and squirming and kicking your seat, or some woman trying to cover up her BO with a gallon of perfume, etc.
Add to that if you get to the movie just as the lights go down and the previews are starting, that you don't know WHAT you may be sitting in on your seat, or what may be on your armrests, because you can't see. (Think...there are empty seats when you get there that all the people did NOT take when the lights were on...lol)

I think movie theatres are dinosaurs.

May 28 2012 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to happyjoyjoy333's comment
alfredschrader

I invented a new kind of movie theatre that has couches instead of seats. There is a trash receptacle on either side of the couch. The sides of the couch have A/C vents so you can adjust the temp to suit you....Al-

May 28 2012 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
colloc

I haven't been to a theater in 6 years. For the price of a ticket and popcorn I can buy the DVD (I don't mind waiting a couple of months) and watch it several times. I usually rent it first to see if I want to own it. I can pause it for bathroom breaks, start it one evening and finish another and even eat my dinner while I watch. Best of all I don't have some who won't get off his cell or a woman who talks all the way through the film behind me and no people walking back and forth in front of me all the time. Best of all I don't have to sit through 45 minutes of commercials and trailers before the movie starts, I can control the sound and I can set the temperature where I want it. Theaters? Never again. My big screen and sound system do just fine.

May 28 2012 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dickn2000b

Great article about saving money at the theater. It starts out with tips for watching movies at home. Yeah that helps. Then it lists a bunch of things some of which are poorly edited and misspelled. Yeah...great article.

May 28 2012 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
I LOVE YOU MOM!

Back in the 50's, my best friend and I were 5 yrs old and her sister and my brother were two. Judy and her baby sister would walk to my house about 12 blocks away with 15 cents, my mother would give me 15 cents and walk us one block to the street car. We would ride the street car for 5 cents for Judy & I while the two 2 yr olds rode free. It was 5 cents each to get into the Sat matinee, again the two yr olds were free. After a few weeks my mother let us walk to the bus alone, so Judy and I figured out if we walked the mile or 2 to the movies we'd save 20 cents and could buy four 5 cent ice cream cones to eat while we walked home. We did this for several years. Imagine letting two five yr olds and two 2 yr olds walk miles alone in San Francisco (or anywhere ) today!

May 28 2012 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to I LOVE YOU MOM!'s comment
virginia

yep did the same thing in philly when i was a kid in the 60's 70's. 15 blocks to the movies.walked to save money to buy junk.lol

May 28 2012 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melissa Jones Callis

Go to the movies on Tuesday before 5:30. The tickets will be discounted, and you can get $1.00 popcorn and $1.00 colas.

May 28 2012 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Melissa Jones Callis's comment
virginia

depends where u live.

May 28 2012 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Billingsley

Me and my friends knew how to save money at drive-inn movies. to of us would sit in the front seat ie one boy and one girl and three or fore would get in the trunk which we would let out later but always make sure to take the bulb out of that little light in the trunk.

May 28 2012 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to John Billingsley's comment
msm0207

John, how old are you? Your trunk had a light in it? LOL. I always considered this cheating. We, as adults, did bring our own tupperware full of popcorn and cokes in an ice chest, however. I quit going to movies when they quit being enjoyable for me. I about had a stroke when my daughter and her adult kids dragged me to a movie for a chick nite. The cost of the tickets, popcorn, sodas, were unbelievable. The fact that all the candy stuff has been huge sizes for years is a turn off too. Then there is the fact that members of the audience chat as though they were watching TV at home.

May 28 2012 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia,,,,,

I wish they would bring back Block buster video rent stores.. they had so much more to pick from then the red box or netflix type rentals.....I don't want to watch a movie on a tiny screen on my computer..

May 28 2012 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Patricia,,,,,'s comment