31 Ways to Save in 2011: Saving money on movie tickets!


Going to the movies is a fun family outing, but the cost of tickets is definitely a deterrent! In my area, the price of an adult movie ticket is $9.25. On the weekends it is $9.75! If we were to go to the movies on a weekend, the cost for our family of four would be $32.50!

A trip to the movie theater is a special treat for my kids. Here are a few tips we’ve figured out along the way to help us save money on movie tickets:

*Go early!  Most theaters offer matinee showings at discounted rates.  In my area, these tickets are $2 less than the tickets for evening shows.  Many theaters also offer an “Early Bird” special for the first showings of the day.  At my theaters, these tickets are only $5!

*Use coupons – The Entertainment Book often contains coupons for discounted movie tickets and the coupons are usually valid for the purchase of multiple tickets (typically 4-6).

*Sign up for rewards programs – Many theaters have free rewards programs where you can get discounted movie tickets, deals on concessions, and sometimes you can even earn free tickets.

Here are a few theaters that offer rewards programs:

AMC MovieWatcher Rewards:  earn points that can be used toward tickets, concessions, and more!
Carmike Rewards:  earn free movie tickets and conessions!
Cinemark:  Get free weekly concessions coupons along with other discounts and values for your preferred location via e-mail
Regal Cinema Crown Club:  earn free movies, popcorn, softdrinks, and more!

*Look for free movie ticket promotions!  Each year, various companies will offer free movie ticket promotions where you can earn free movie tickets by purchasing certain products.  In the past, I have earned from movie tickets by purchasing Sunny Delight, General Mills cereals, and Hershey’s candy.

*Skip the concessions – I took my kids to see Toy Story 3 this summer using free tickets.  They wanted popcorn and a drink and I figured I would treat them to that since the movie was free.  Concession stands are tricky and don’t often post prices.  I was sure surprised when the total for a combo with a drink and a popcorn came to almost $20!!  So much for “free” movie tickets!

If the cost of tickets, even with discounts, still isn’t in your budget, you can always just wait for the movie to come out on DVD and save even more money!  Redbox and Blockbuster Express frequently have free rental codes!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. Another way I save money at the movies is to buy reduced price movie theater gift cards on plastic jungle, eBay, or any of the other gift card sites. The savings is usually small (5-10%) but I use it along with my rewards card and the occasional coupon to stack the savings. Going to the movies is my fiancee's absolute favorite thing to do, so I am always looking for new ways to save – thanks for the tips.