10 Intelligent Ways to Save Money at the Movies

It is no secret. Movie going has become one of the more expensive outings. Depending on which part of the world you live in and who you go to the movies with, you can end up spending anywhere between $20 to $100 every time you go out for the movies. But why has movie-going become so expensive? The answer is quite simple actually. Movies are as much commerce as they are art. Ultimately, everyone involved with a movie – from the writers to producers to distributors to theater owners .. the list is pretty long – has to earn money. So, who’s going to pay for it? Obviously, the end customers i.e. the movie goers. Then, you also have to factor in the fact that movie-watching is a much more comfortable experience than it was a decade back. The seats are more comfortable, the theaters are air-conditioned, there are a lot of eating options. Who is paying for all this comfort? Again, the movie goers. Now, if you are okay spending so much money at the movies, then probably you don’t need this article. But I know most of you are not. Therefore, read on our tips to save money at the movies.

1. Catch up Morning or Late Night Shows

Yes, typically, the evening shows are the busiest. During weekends, even afternoon shows are very busy. The theater owners in order to attract movie goers usually lower the ticket prices for morning and sometimes even late night shows. Now, not all theaters might be practicing this. So, you have to be careful with which theater you select.


2. Don’t Eat Popcorn or Drink Sodas

No, not because they are unhealthy. People don’t realize this but movie theaters make more money selling popcorns than they make selling movie tickets. There’s a reason why popcorns and sodas are so exorbitantly priced. Theater owners know that people will freak out if they raise prices of movie tickets by even $1, but they won’t care if they charge $10 for a bag of popcorn. Most of the intelligent movie goers are already aware of this scam and therefore they don’t buy anything at the theater food counter.


3. Don’t Buy Tickets Online

Always prefer buying tickets directly at the box office instead of ordering it online. Websites like Fandango are at the end of day service providers. They are providing you the convenience of buying ticket online. So, obviously, they will charge you money for the service and the convenience they provide. I understand that sometimes because you want to catch up a movie so bad that you don’t want to take any chances. But you know that a particular movie has been in theaters for a while and you can easily get tickets at the box-office, don’t commit the mistake of buying tickets online.


4. Wait for the DVD

Yes, I know. Being a cinephile myself, I know how hard this can be. But I am not saying that you shouldn’t watch a movie in a theater if you have eagerly anticipating it or if it stars you favorite actor. What I am saying is that you should definitely avoid going to the theater for a movie that you are half interested in. If don’t mind waiting for another 2-3 months, then don’t cave in to the demands of your friends. Watching movies on streaming devices or DVDs is at least 5 times cheaper than going to the theaters.


5. Use Credit Card Offers

Most of the people are unaware of the offers running on their credit cards. It is always a good idea to check once in a while whether your credit card is offering a free movie ticket or some discounts on your movie ticket. If you are a big movie-buff, I would even advice you to get a credit card that has tie ups with multiplexes or movie studios. These credit cards always have an offer or two running for you to cash on.


6. Visit Daily Deal Sites

Websites like Groupon and LivingSocial regularly offer deals on movie tickets. Mostly, these offers will be for a certain percentage off or for a flat rate price for two tickets. It’s worth checking before heading out to the theater to see if any good deals are currently available.


7. Be Loyal to One Movie Theater Group

Most of the movie theaters will offer you rewards for being loyal. Typically, you have to sign up for their rewards program and then you start accumulating points every time you spend money buying tickets or food at that theater. Once you have enough points, you can use those to buy tickets. So, the next time you visit you r favorite theater don’t forget to ask them about their loyalty program.


8. Avoid 3D

If you already didn’t know, 3Ds are also a big part of the studio’s strategy to make you shell more money.  Unless, it is a movie like ‘Avatar’ or ‘Life of Pi’, is there a point watching a movie in 3D? Do you really want to see ‘Transformers’ in 3D for 100% extra cost? Most of the movies are converted into 3D in post-production, meaning they were never conceived as a 3D movie. They are released in 3D because studios know that there are enough movie-going people who will fall into their trap and pay a premium price to watch the film in 3D.


9. Choose Independent Theaters Over Multiplexes

Since multiplexes are much more expensive to maintain, they pass on some of those costs on to their customers. Therefore, typically, the cost of ticket for the same movie at a multiplex will be higher than at an independent theater. If you are not picky too about the surroundings or the cushy seats, prefer going to an independent theater over a multiplex.


10. Go to the Movies Alone

This idea might sound stupid to many of you, but trust me this is not some kind of antisocial advice. People assume that going to the movies is of communal outing. But if you are a true cinephile, you would know that movie-watching actually is a very personal experience — just like experiencing any other form of art. When you watch a movie in a group, more often than not, you are worried about what others are thinking, whether they are liking or disliking the film. In the end, you try to adjust your opinion to your group’s thinking. In short, it becomes too painstaking to enjoy the movie in the way you would ideally like to. If you develop the habit of going to the movies alone, not only you would have a better and more fulfilling experience with the movies, but also you would end up saving a lot of money. How? You would watch only those movies in the theater that you really want to — and not what your friends or family members want to.

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