How to Save Money At the Movie Theater


The Hubs and I love going to the movies, but I hate paying full price. In fact, it’s become a running gag in our household: if I walk out of a movie that I really loved, I say “I’d have paid full price for that!” It doesn’t happen often. In fact, once, we got a gift certificate to a specific movie theater we never go to, and the only thing we even remotely wanted to see was Snow White and the Huntsman. I walked out of THAT movie and said “I didn’t even pay for it and I want my money back!”

The ONLY good thing about this movie.

But there year there are a lot of movies I’m going to want to see, so how do we see them without breaking the bank?


  1. Go in the morning. Theaters want to draw you in to the earlier, less crowded showings, so they often provide a discount for earlier showings. Our local Cinemark offers the first showing of every film every day of the week for a mere $6. We take full advantage of this! Today Deadpool is playing at 11:40 am, and since we’re both off from work on Mondays, we’re there! 600_early_bird_300x100
  2. Go on Discount Day. As cheap as it is to go to the first showing of a film at our local theater, it’s even cheaper if we go on Tuesday. Tuesday is Discount Day and every showing of every film (not including 3D or Imax) is only $5.50!
  3. Skip Imax and 3D. 3D viewings at our theater cost an extra $3.50 per ticket! Imax can be even more. (Plus, as a person who wears glasses, I am not a fan of wearing 3D glasses on top of my regular eyewear, so this is an easy pass for me.)
  4. Eat before you view. The Hubs and I only buy snacks at the movie theater on very special occasions. For instance, we went to see the new Star Wars movie on Christmas Day, so we made an event out of it and shared popcorn and got drinks. (This also saves you calories because there isn’t usually anything healthy to eat in a theater.) Today we plan on eating a hearty brunch before our showtime.No-Popcorn
  5. Pay at the box office. Did you know buying movie tickets online can cost you a “service fee”? Cinemark’s website charges you an extra $1.25 per ticket if you buy them online.
  6. Check Groupon or Living Social. Sometimes you can find deals on theater packages in your area to save yourself money on tickets and snacks.

How do you save money on entertainment? Let me know in the comments!


7 thoughts on “How to Save Money At the Movie Theater”

    1. That’s a great one! We don’t have a drive in that close to us, but it’s definitely fun! Thanks! (I bring my own food to the theater, too, I just didn’t want to suggest that because I know it’s frowned upon.)


      1. Just make sure that when you do bring your own snacks, the trash comes out of the building with you. I often bring my own snacks because cross contamination means even the popcorn can be risky. Unless I’m feeling quite good that day, I will normally smuggle in a kind bar or something of the sort to minimize the risks of a sour stomach. But, I recently learned that if they see non-theater food garbage in the can, the clerk that was in charge of that theater for that showing can, and sometimes does, get fired on the spot (Harsh, yes, but true). So when you sneak something in, sneak the trash back out with you.

        That said, it’s been years since I’ve paid for a movie. I get a gift certificate in my christmas stocking every year. It generally takes me the entire year to use the whole thing unless I treat someone, especially since we prefer to go the the matinee whenever possible.

        Liked by 1 person

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