How to save money when going to the movies

Discussion in Movies, Music & Games started by silentrascal • Jul 1, 2014.

  1. silentrascal

    silentrascalNew Member

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    Many people aren't aware, but the majority of the money that a movie theater brings in is in their concession stand sales, and not from the tickets they sell. With the tickets, they primarily get a very small percentage while most of that money goes right to the movie studios. But it's with their ridiculously overpriced popcorn, drinks, candy, and other snacks that their earning power lies. I've often heard of tricks where theaters will pump the smell of fresh popcorn into the ventilation system itself so you smell it while you're sitting in the theater, making people want that popcorn. But as I mentioned, their prices are simply ridiculous, even if you go for the "small" on everything. So what do you do to save yourself some money when you go to the movies? I can think of several things:

    1. Don't snack. Personally, I'm just as good with sitting and watching the movie with no snacks as I am having something to eat.
    2. Split the costs of the snack with others. Rather than sit there shelling out almost $20 just for a medium popcorn, drink, and box of candy - just split it between several of you.
    3. Bring your own snacks that you can safely sneak in. I know, they may discourage that, but it's so easy to do and really will save you a lot of money if you stop off at the $1.00 store before getting to the theater.
    4. Use movie theater rewards to get lower-priced or free snacks. Our local theater is a Cinemark theater, and my phone has an app for them that lets me earn rewards such as free popcorn or lower priced deals on other snacks.
    5. Go on discounted ticket days. Granted, not every theater will do it, but locally Tuesdays here are discounted ticket days. Planning to go then can save you some decent money.

    What do you do to save money at the movies?
     
  2. 003

    003Well-Known Member

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    I really don't snack when I am going to the movies. I find it a distraction. When I go to watch a movie, I just want to concentrate on the movie, so I avoid anything that could distract me like foods. Not only that, it also makes me messily uncomfortable and keep coming back to the washroom. So to avoid this hassle, I avoid the cause.
     
  3. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    Cinema snacks are very expensive and fortunately some of our theaters allow food from other stores nearby so I could just go to any fast food store and get fries instead of buying expensive popcorn which I don't really enjoy that much anyway. Also I do take advantage of rewards and promos such as frequent visitor cards that they offer which I can use for discounts on tickets and snacks if I chose to get a drink or some candy from the cinema snack stand.
     
  4. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015Active Member

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    The local movie theater here also has a rewards card which I have. But I have yet to activate it online yet. They also have the cheap Tuesday movie ticket deals. Sneaking in snacks is something I have done in the past. I even had an uncle sneak in a sub sandwich in the inside pockets of his coat.
     
  5. paultrump1

    paultrump1Member

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    I never eat or drink while watching a movie
     
  6. Corzhens

    CorzhensWell-Known Member

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    Before my husband was given the deputy card of the censor, we had to pay the $5 ticket and that is expensive because tickets for the two of us is equivalent to our weekly food allowance in the office. What we do is to check on our prospective movie, the trailer and the synopsis. Better yet, we wait for friends to watch first and give us a review. We had been saving a lot of money because of that since we had skipped 5 movies last year due to bad review.
     
  7. steph84

    steph84Active Member

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    I go to Regal Cinemas because they have a date night special on Wednesday nights were you get two tickets, two small popcorns and two drinks for $10. It is less than the price of one ticket at AMC. It's such a steal!
     
  8. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    The best way to save money when going to the movies is to not go at all lol. The tickets themselves are way too expensive these days. it is daylight robbery. But if you are prepared to pay the price for the tickets, then taking your own food and drink is the best way to save money. Some cinemas prohibit this, but they are hardly going to check your bag are they?
     
  9. Pabmart

    PabmartMember

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    I don't really go that much to the cinema because of the price, so when I go I make sure there's a discount day, and if I want a snack I sneak it in a little bag or something, and I've never been checked before so I'm not really worried.
     
  10. prose

    proseActive Member

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    My husband and I usually sneak our own snacks in to the theater, such as a small bag of candy and a water bottle. (Shhh! Don't tell! :D) The price of concessions at the theater is ridiculous.

    Another way we have found to save is by the time of day you go to the movie theater. Matinee shows are less expensive then evening tickets. Also, we have found that the smaller theater in town has lower prices on everything compared to the larger cinemas.
     
  11. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

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    I get a senior discount on my ticket which is the same as a kids ticket. I do miss my popcorn at the movies but I refuse to pay that much money that only cost a few pennies to purchase. Some times I will have a candy bar in my over sized purse, but mostly we will eat before we go to the movies so that we should not be hungry.
     
  12. shoptodrop

    shoptodropActive Member

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    You can save money by getting free movie tickets. There are deals and coupons for that quite a bit. You can also bring your own snacks because the ones at the theater are very expensive. But other than that you made good points. I rarely go to the movies. They're very expensive and now I have kids so I don't get much time out.
     
  13. Ke Gordon

    Ke GordonWell-Known Member

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    I have the Regal Cinema card which enables me to earn rewards by going to the movies. I think they changed the points that they gave out items though because the it used to be relatively easy to earn a popcorn or a drink...now I find it takes forever. I don't go to the movies nearly as often as i used to though...I suppose that is part of it!! lol
     
  14. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    I think just bringing your own snacks to the movie house is the best solution to be able to save money. Although in my case, I simply buy a pirated DVD so that I can be able to watch movies at a very cheap price! With reruns at that!
     
  15. rosemoon

    rosemoonActive Member

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    Oh my goodness, yes the concessions at movies theaters are expensive! I usually just avoid eating during the movie because I don't want to spend an outrageous amount of money on some soda and popcorn. Plus I don't like sneaking in snacks because it just makes me feel bad and my conscience won't allow it. Once my friend and I sneaked in to see a second movie though and I actually got an adrenaline rush from it instead of getting nervous like I would have if I had sneaked in with snacks. Smh...
     
  16. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    The last time I went to the movies, I ended up spending £18 between purchasing the ticket, getting a drink, and buying a medium case of popcorn. It is absolute daylight robbery. We have experienced another year, so no doubt the prices have increased even more due to inflation. The best thing you can do is take food in with you and eat it whilst watching the movies.
     
  17. purplepen88

    purplepen88Active Member

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    Going to the movies is so expensive, so look for ways to save. A few years back we received gift certificates for the movies and used those. When those ran out I noticed they sell them at Costco, so I started buying those gift certificates and using them for ourselves. It saves on the cost of admission. Then we bring our own juice boxes, chocolates and even pre popped popcorn. Yes I have a large purse. I have an extremely hard time paying the prices that movie theatres charge for popcorn and drinks. If we don't bring in our own snacks we just won't snack.
     
  18. Dame6089

    Dame6089Active Member

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    Another great way to save money at on movie tickets is to buy in bulk. If you are a couple or family that loves to go to the movies several times a month, buying tickets in bulk from places like AMC is the way to go. You can literally save hundreds of dollars by buying tickets in bulk. For the average person though, this is probably too much of an up front investment to be worth it.
     
  19. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    I know about this little trick, but this is not always possible unfortunately. If you don't have a group of friends or more than one other person to go to, you are going to end up paying full price. I have not been to the movies in a long time now, and the price of tickets was excessive then, so I dread to think of how much it they cost now. If you are going with a bunch of kids, the family ticket is a great option though. My mother still ended up spending £70 with three kids.
     
  20. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    I haven't been to the theater in quite a while, mainly because it's too far away. When I did go, I would always go to a matinee, because they're less expensive, and also there are (or used to be) a lot less people in the theater, so there's a better choice of seats and also less noise and interruptions. I would switch to a larger purse on days I would go and stick a bottle of water in my bag. I do always splurge on the popcorn, because it's the best, but since I didn't go that often, and that was all I purchased, it was worth the splurge.
     
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