Movies on the Cheap


image credit: Good Search

Walt Disney has said it will lose $190 million on movie, “The Lone Ranger” this quarter.

While you won’t personally experience that sort of loss by going to a dud movie, you can still avoid feeling ripped off from paying top dollar at the movies when there’s a way around it.

Here are some ways to search for discounts at the movie theater:

Can’t find the movie you like at the library? Tired of renting movies, or watching NetFlix on your computer? If you have kids, or want a retro-experience, try a drive-in theater. Search on-line for a drive-in near you.

If you’d rather drive home without that popcorn smell, check out your local movie houses. You can catch a matinee, or weekend show. If you’re a senior, student, or military and show I.D., you can often get a discount. An AAA card will sometimes get you in for less, too. with the movie theater. If your company participates in an employee discount program, you may be able to get discount tickets through the Human Resources department. Living near Costco has perks beyond the availability of getting pallets of Cheetos. Movie tickets are often at least 20% less expensive at Costco than they are at the movie ticket window.

If you go to the same movie theater on a regular basis, ask if they have a loyalty program, or if they sell tickets in bulk at a discount? Do the math for loyalty programs: You earn one credit for every dollar you spend, and when you reach 150 credits, you get a free small popcorn. To keep this real easy, say you buy two tickets at $10 each. That’s $20 toward 150 credits ($150). This means you’ll need to buy fifteen movie tickets before getting your free small popcorn (the cost of half a movie ticket.) If you are a movie buff, and go to the same theater, then think of the popcorn as a token thank you—nothing else.

Occasionally, there will be a free advanced screening in town. Check on-line, your local media. You’ll pay, and pay more for any service charge for ordering on-line, or special movies like 3-D, or IMAX shows.

Some deal sites on-line like Groupon, and LivingSocial occasionally have movie bargains. My issue with sites like these is that people often spend more than they would originally in order to save money, and often, they get a bargain, then don’t use what they bought.

Go have fun, but spend your money consciously. That goes for you, too, Disney.

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