Given up on going to the movie theater to see a movie together as a family? You’re not alone. After tickets and concessions, you’re basically giving up a couple days’ pay just to watch a movie that you can see for free on TV in a couple months. On top of that, you may be dealing with annoying people around you who text and talk the entire movie. That’s why most people are content to just “Netflix and chill” with Netflix's August Arrivals & Departures.
But it can be exciting to get out and see a movie with friends once in a while. If you’re looking to have some fun without breaking the bank, check out these 10 tips to help you get the most out of your next experience at the movie theater.
1. Sign up for a loyalty program.
Many movie theater chains have rewards programs that save you money. If you have a Regal Cinema near you, take advantage of their reward card. Every time you use it to purchase tickets or concessions, you receive points toward free tickets and snack like popcorn. It’s free, too, so what have you got to lose? You can also subscribe to our Regal Cinemas coupons to stay current with movie theater deals.
2. Buy in bulk.
Save big when you buy multiple tickets at warehouse stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club. They’re good for theaters such as Regal and Cinemark. They come in packs of 10 and are generic, so they’re good for any movie. Click here to see the current offerings at Costco.
3. Take advantage of discounts.
If you’re a member of AARP or AAA, you can get up to 40% off for movies playing at Regal Cinemas, AMC, Showcase, and Bowtie theaters across the country. If you’re a student, senior citizen, or member of the military, you may be able to receive a discount as well. Be sure to inquire at the theater and be prepared to show a valid ID.
4. Try a cool app.
Cinemark has an app that rewards you with free drinks and popcorn if you refrain from touching your phone during a movie. Moviepass is similar to Netflix in that it allows you to see as many movies as you want for just $30 a month. IMAX and 3D movies are excluded, but that’s still a great deal if you’re a movie buff who sees a couple new releases every weekend. Runpee is a unique app that alerts you to times in a movie when you should use the restroom. It’ll buzz you during the boring parts of the movie so you can choose to use the facilities.
Another easy way to save is by subscribing to our Cinemark coupons, so you will always have the latest and greatest movie theater deals right in your mobile device.
5. Choose your snacks wisely.
If you don’t bring your own snacks (not that you’re allowed to, but some people do), choose wisely at the snack counter. Candy and popcorn are your best bets. The nachos and hot dogs may look appealing, but they’re likely not fresh, especially if you’re seeing a movie at night. Snacks are very pricey because that’s where the movie theaters make their money, so don’t go too overboard if you’re on a budget. Better yet, eat before you go to the theater so you won’t be so hungry and tempted by the snacks.
6. Let the manager know if you’re not satisfied.
Sometimes a movie just isn’t what you think it is. If you’re 20 minutes into it and find it boring or offensive, walk out and let the manager know you weren’t satisfied with your experience. You may not be able to receive a full refund, but you might be allowed to see another movie currently playing in that theater, receive a ticket for a future visit or receive coupons for free concessions.
7. Skip the 3D films.
Source: Pocket Stop
You’re usually better off seeing the standard version of movies. 3D is pricier and rarely worth the extra cost. Plus, a lot of people get headaches or nausea from viewing 3D images, so unless you want to spend your theater experience feeling sick, skip the 3D.
8. Forget IMAX.
The standard IMAX screen is supposed to be 72 feet wide and 52 feet tall. Most theaters can’t accommodate such a large screen, though, so if you’ve seen an IMAX movie before, you likely saw it on a much smaller screen. Why pay more to see a movie on a smaller screen if you can’t get the true IMAX experience?
9. Look for free screenings.
Check out the site AdvanceScreenings to see if there are any free screenings near you. These are often available before the movie is released nationwide and they’re at no cost to you.
10. Sit where the best sound is.
If you’ve sat in the back of the theater and then had to sit in the very front, you know that not all seats are created equal. If you want to hear the best sound, sit about two-thirds of the way back and in the center. This is where technicians check the audio, so the sound will be very crisp and clean here. If you sit near the sides, the audio will be softer.
While you may not be able to afford a movie night every week – or even once a month – it can be a nice change of pace to enjoy a movie with friends or family somewhere other than your couch. Hopefully these hacks above will help you enjoy watching movies and not make you feel like you’ve been robbed every time you step into a theater.