A Budget Movie Experience: 10 Ideas for a Night Out
We all love going to the movies, but going and saving money at the same time is even better. With the average ticket price of $8.97, according to the National Association of Theater Owners, the cost of a family movie night, including snacks, can quickly add up. But if you're tired of staying in and watching Netflix, try one or more of these 10 tips for a budget movie experience that won't break the bank.
The early show is the way to go for those who want to save on ticket prices. Matinee prices are often cheaper than the more popular evening showings.
3. Budget Snacks
Weigh your snack options. Oftentimes, sharing larger sizes of popcorn is cheaper than buying everyone their own. Some kids' tickets can be purchased with an additional "snack pack" option that may offer price savings over purchasing snacks separately. Be sure to set snack expectations with your kids beforehand to help avoid meltdowns at the snack counter. Try to come up with a plan that everyone agrees with before you arrive at the theater.
4. Purchase a Movie Pass
If movies are your go-to option for a night out, consider enrolling in a Moviepass membership. The pass allows you to see a 2-D movie every day at participating theaters for one set monthly price.
5. Pay Attention to the Online Fees
While it's more convenient to buy tickets online and avoid long lines at the box office, you'll likely pay extra fees for this service. Rather than pay online, stop by the box office early in the day to purchase tickets.
6. Loyalty Clubs
Most theater chains also offer a loyalty club to their frequent visitors. By sticking to one theater's rewards program, you'll save money through special discounts and coupons offered only to members.
7. Buy Discounted Ticket Packages
Retailers like Costco sell packages of tickets at a discounted price. You may also be able to buy discounted tickets through AAA, your local township, or sites like Groupon.
8. Summer Movie Clubs for Kids
If your kids love the movie experience and don't really care what they see, wait for summer and look for daytime movie clubs which often show older movies at a bargain price. Regal's Summer Movie Express program offers a $1 admission for certain kids' movies at participating theaters.
9. Stick with the Basic Movie Format
Just a quick glance at the ticket price options will tell you that IMAX and 3-D movies cost more than the basic 2-D show. If you're truly seeking a budget movie experience, resist the urge to upgrade.
10. Connect on Social Media
If you follow the theater chains on social media, you may find out about local specials or coupons that you can download to your phone or print at home. Information about free screenings may also be advertised on social media channels and movie-related websites like Fandango.
Compared to other entertainment options, movies are often an affordable choice for a night (or day) out. By scheduling in advance to make sure you're attending the most budget-friendly show, you can watch the top films on the big screen. And if you're a true movie lover, you can also find other low-priced options for watching your favorite films a second time including checking them out of the library or renting through Redbox.