9 Tips for Saving Money at the Movie Theater

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According to the National Association of Theater Owners, movie ticket prices rose by 5.5 percent to an all-time high of $8.16 in 2013. With rising ticket prices and the insane costs of concessions, how do you enjoy the movie theater experience without emptying your pocket? Well, here are a few tips.

1.Second-run theaters: Second-run theaters were popular in the 1980’s, one of the most prolific eras in Hollywood. As movies were being Cinemarkrapidly churned out of the film industry, first-run theaters couldn’t keep up. Consequently, second-run theaters were created to show movies right after they leave the first-run theaters. Since second-run theaters do not play movies as soon as they come out, the ticket prices are significantly reduced, often to as low as $1. If you want to see a movie in the classic theater environment at a cheaper price, and you don’t mind watching slightly outdated movies, second-run theaters are the way to go. Cinemark movie theaters are well-known as high-quality second-run theaters. Cinemark Movies 8 and Cinemark Movies 8 Washington Market are both located in Indianapolis and are options for those who are interested in second-run theaters.

Drive-In-Intermission2.Drive-in movies: Drive-in theaters consist of large, outdoor movie screens and a parking area for cars, which allows people to watch the movies from the privacy of their cars. That’s right. This means no more putting up with the loud, obnoxious people at movie theaters. It also means you can bring your own food and avoid the skyrocketing prices of movie theater concessions, but they usually house concessions stands as well if you prefer that. On top of that, ticket prices are also notably less. Drive-in theaters are cheap and come along with a sweet sense of nostalgia. And I’m telling you, nothing beats sitting on the roof of your car with friends, food and a great movie. Although drive-in movies have become rarities, many continue to operate, such as the Skyline Drive-In Theaters, including ones in Shelbyville and Logansport, IN.

3.Go to matinees: Movie tickets cost a whole lot less in the afternoon, and matinees are a great way to spend a lazy afternoon in a theater, watching movies. Seeing movies during the workweek, especially on Mondays, can also save you a lot of money.

4.Buy tickets at the box office: Buying tickets online may be convenient, but they come along with an added service cost that you can easily avoid by buying tickets at the actual theater.

5.Avoid outrageous concessions prices: The best way to avoid spending too much at concessions is to eat before you go see the movie. I know it may seem simple, but just going to the theater with a full belly can keep you from surrendering to the temptations of the delicious theater food. If you insist on buying food from the theater, buy in bulk. When I go to the theater with friends, I buy the largest size they have and share it. If you want, you can bring paper bags and divvy up the grub. The same works for drinks and paper cups. Who cares if people think you’re crazy? Chances are most of them will look at you in awe of the smart, incredibly thrifty movie consumer you are.

6.Group Deals: Most people already go to movie theaters in groups, so why not take advantage of Groupon and other organizations that offer group deals?

7.Summer Movie Programs: Many theaters, including Regal, offer summer movie programs that show movies for only $1 during certain regal-summer-movie-express-286x300days throughout the summer. Most of the movies that are shown are targeted at younger audiences, but they also play movies that the whole family can enjoy. Plus, proceeds usually go to charitable causes.

8.Join Loyalty Programs: Research the loyalty programs that you’re favorite movie theater offers. Becoming “loyal” can save you money on tickets, online ticketing services and even concessions. AMC and Regal offer great loyalty programs that may be a good option for frequent movie-watchers.

9.Be Wary about 3D: Sometimes 3D can be great, but producers often use 3D as a gimmick to get people into the theaters without offering much actual substance. Some movies just aren’t made for 3D, and sometimes movies are poorly converted from 2D to 3D. Therefore, make sure the 3D movie is really worth it before you spend all of the extra money for 3D movie tickets.

Good luck my savvy movie consumers!

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