Four ways to save big on movie tickets

posted by Michael Zoldessy on June 11, 2007 at 10:37 am

This piece provides some interesting tips on how to cut dollars away from your moviegoing expenses.

If you enjoy going to the movies, you don’t have to spend a fortune on tickets.

While most people purchase their tickets for full price at the ticket window, there are numerous ways that you can see your favorite summer movies for less. Always read the fine print on discount movie tickets. While many are good at any time, some may have restrictions for newly released movies.

Anyone have any other pointers?

For the full report, go to TheStreet.com.

Comments (12)

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on June 11, 2007 at 9:15 pm

I think this subject was mentioned in a poll about movie ticket prices a year or so ago. Of the national chains, AMC and Regal, Regal probably has the better of the two member club card systems. You get points for dollars, plus extra points (5) on Thursdays, plus either an additional 5 or 10 points for certain films during opening week. Even with the 12 point cap on transactional accruals per day, you can still get an extra points (2) for concession purchases. Free movies are awarded after every 120 points.

AMC caps points according to tickets purchased up to a maximum of 4 points, or two purchased tickets. It takes about 8 ticket purchases (or 30 points) for a free ticket. As far as I know, they don’t give you more points for concessions, but the newsletter has a coupon for free popcorn Mondays-Wednesdays. Cents off purchases such as combos don’t really save you much. The nice thing about the Moviewatcher card is that if you buy tickets online at theaters that use Moviefone/Moviewatcher, they will waive the $1.00 fee, which is great for those trips to those venues that show that blockbuster movie opening weekend. Just make sure you click on the AMC-Moviewatcher link and not go there directly.

The discounted ticket prices from AAA and Entertainment aren’t bad choices, but some do have pass restrictions. If you factor in the $2 or so off each ticket from the discounted places vs the club card programs, it all runs about the same. You save enough for a ‘free’ ticket after 5 tickets used.

If you have friends and family that you go to the movies with regularly and let’s say the other party pays, then this pooling of sorts will help you get your ‘free’ ticket(s) or other free offers that much quicker.

efriedmann
efriedmann on June 12, 2007 at 8:48 am

During the winter, when I choose to go to the movies, I almost always go during the day, when ticket prices are cheaper (this has no validity in New York City).

When I was younger and lived in the city, I would often spend the day at a multiplex and see three or four movies in day. I saw everything and saved a ton of money!

Do I condone this? Well, I’m not exactly a saint, so I don’t condemn it. If you can get away with it, more power to you!

ArchStanton007
ArchStanton007 on June 12, 2007 at 10:41 am

To the above: Not true about no cheap tickets in NYC.

AMC Loews has a dirt cheap early bird matinee of $6.00 and that is even better then the $7.50 price in the nearby suburbs at all of the other chains.

You can’t beat paying $6.00 to visit top shelf theaters like Kips Bay, Lincoln Center, West 34th Street including the real bonus of no boxoffice lines, no inner city thugs, brat, out of control yuppie kids, etc. and you get your choice of seats.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on June 12, 2007 at 6:00 pm

Love movies – hate going! Are you saying, you’d pay for one admission and stay all day in the theater??? You robber!! I suppose that is the most creative way of ‘saving’ on ticket admission prices.

As a teen, the now closed AMC Academy 6 had $1 movie Wednesdays, which were usually movies about six months or older from their original release. If you went to that and time it right, you could see several movies that day as long as you kept low and either followed the crowd moving into the theaters, or wait in the restroom until there is movement. The most movies I was able to see for $1 was 4 because I was starving and didn’t want to pay for overpriced popcorn and soda.

jimpiscitelli
jimpiscitelli on June 12, 2007 at 8:31 pm

The best thing is, go to the bargin matinee showing of the movie which is usually shows before 6pm in most theaters. My nearby Cinemark is $6.50 for shows before 6pm.

efriedmann
efriedmann on June 13, 2007 at 9:00 am

Tommy, that $6.00 deal must have started after I moved out of NYC. I was unaware of it.

JMF – Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying! Never really lost any sleep over it, either. Life’s too short for pointless guilt.

Now that I’m older, my life and weekend schedule don’t allow me that kind of time any more. But every now and again, I’ve managed to sneak in a double feature. The last time was December 2005 – I saw MUNICH on my day off and then walked into another theater to watch SYRIANA. Talk about your deep, politically-dark double feature!

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on June 13, 2007 at 9:30 am

Make sure you don’t complain when your favorite theatre closes since you don’t feel any guilt about stealing services from them by theatre hopping.

efriedmann
efriedmann on June 13, 2007 at 9:48 am

I won’t complain because all of my favorite theaters are closed now anyway. I having nothing left to lose anymore. It’s all gone. I just have the memories of what used to be.

Besides, the only theaters I could ever get away with theater hopping are the multiplexes, which I consider the enemy of classic movie theaters. How they can even be called movie theaters today is beyond me! More like amusement theme parks, in my opinion.

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on June 13, 2007 at 11:09 am

The best way to express your displeasure for the venues you dislike is to stay away, not steal from them.

efriedmann
efriedmann on June 13, 2007 at 12:26 pm

You’re absolutely right! I made that decision at the beginning of this year. I haven’t been to a huge multiplex since last Christmas and I’m a happier movie-goer for it.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 3, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Sneaking in almost always works at saving money.Not too cool though.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Eric,I am with you.I see 007 when he is out other than that all my heroes,Heston,Wayne, Lancaster,and even Clint are history.

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