How To Save Money At The Movie Theater

 How to Save Money At The Movie Theater

Are you ready for a huge number?  4,086.  That is the amount that the average American family spends each year on entertainment.  The average American family spends $1,367 of that at the movies.  That’s a LOT of money!  Luckily, I’ve got lots of tips for you to save big on your next family movie night!  Here are tons of ways to save money at the movie theater!

Let’s Save On Tickets

Like everything else it seems, prices are on the rise for movie tickets.  Here are some ways that you can save on your tickets!

How To Save Money At The Movie Theater

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Buy your tickets in bulk. 

This is my favorite thing to do each year!  Close to our home is a Regal Theater so that is where I get my tickets.  Each year I purchase a set of 50 tickets.


- This is the easiest way to save money on tickets!  A ticket to a 3D movie on a Friday night can cost $14.  When I purchase my tickets in bulk it costs me $9.50.  A regular ticket will cost $10.50 - with buying the tickets in bulk they cost only $8.  That is a savings of $2.50 - $4.50 each!

- The tickets don’t expire and you can use them for any movie!

- 50 tickets is good for 25 date nights!  25 dates that are prepaid.    If you don’t think that you can use all of those tickets (don’t forget to keep a few on hand for last minute gifts and for when the PTO calls for those silent auction donations!) go in with a friend!  Going in with a friend means you each get 25 tickets - which is one movie night a month with an extra ticket left over!


- Where we live children tickets are $7.25 for a Friday night movie.  At $8 each for the prepaid tickets, it’s actually more expensive.  Now, if you are going to a 3D movie, a child’s ticket is $10.75 so you would save $2.75.

- Sometimes it’s hard to come up with an upfront cost.  50 Premiere tickets will cost $400.  (You can get a VIP tickets for $7 each, but these tickets will not be good on new releases - you will need to wait 12 days after the movie has come out.)


Have you joined the Ibotta App yet?  Sign up here to download it onto your smart phone!  Not only will you be able to save on groceries but also at the movie theater, restaurants and many other places!  Just take a photo of your receipt (or movie ticket stubs) and the cash will be deposited into your account!  It’s free to download!  (Sign up here!)

You can even cash out your savings from places like the grocery store and restaurants as a movie theater gift card.

How to save money at the movie theater 5

Use Your Memberships!

Movie theaters are giving discounts.  You just have to know where to look!

AAA Make sure you check out the AAA website for your local theater to see if they are currently offering discounts.

Students If you have a student ID it could get you a discount!

Seniors Check your local theater to see if they offer a senior discount or Senior Day.

Warehouse Club Store Members Did you know that you can check your local Costco or Sam’s Club to see if they are selling tickets?  You can currently get 10 tickets for $84 at Costco.  That is $8.40 each (a savings of $2.10 per ticket).

Groupon and Living Social are also great places to check to see if there are any deals on tickets!

Change When You See

If you are able to change when you are able to go to the movie theater on a Monday-Thursday in the afternoon you can save big!  Tickets cost about $8.50 each!  That’s about 20% savings!

Change What You See

Those 3D movies can really bump up the cost!  By going to see a regular 2D movie as opposed to a 3D movie can save you up to $3.50 each!  If you have kids 3D movies are really cool, but those glasses are hard to keep on throughout the whole movie!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased 3D tickets and my son wears them through the previews and as soon as the movie starts he takes them off and says “Here Mom!”  No more 3D movies for us for a while!


Get Free Tickets

Yes, I said free tickets!  Join Recyclebank!  Recyclebank is an easy way to earn points for learning about going green.  You can then turn your points in for gift cards and my favorite, movie tickets!  Earning points is really easy and can be done in a few minutes a week.

Let’s Save On Concessions!

Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Now that we have gotten your tickets at a discount, lets use one of those discounted gift cards to get some concessions!

How to save on gift cards

Where can you get discounted gift cards?  Check your local theater!  Especially at the holidays, your local theater may offer a bonus gift card or free concessions with a purchase.  (Another thing to check for is if they have an discounted snack days.  These are typically during the week and may include things like $2 candy or $1 drinks.)  (Find out how to save on gift cards here!)

 Currently our local theater is offering a free $10 gift card with the purchase of a $25 gift card.  That’s almost a bonus 50%!

Discount gift card sites are another place where you can purchase gift cards.  Card Cash has movie theater gift cards currently at 11% off their face value.


Use Coupons

Do you have an entertainment book?  Be sure to check for coupons before you head out! (Get one here!)

Eat First

And speaking of before out head out, eat before the movies!  I’m not saying skip out on the popcorn by any means!! But instead of a large popcorn going in full will make that small size completely satisfying.

Sign Up for Loyalty Programs

Sign up for the theater’s loyalty program!  You can earn rewards such as free tickets or free concessions.

Now Your On You Are on Your Way To Savings


Make sure to follow your local theaters on social media to learn about special programs!  Kid’s Summer Programs (many theaters will offer $1 movies in the summer!), programs for kids with Autism and other sensory disorders or discounted tickets for older movies.

And remember that friend you shared those bulk tickets with?  Make sure to set up babysitting with them.  Offer that when they are using their tickets you will babysit their children and when you are on your date you can drop off your kids to them.  Trading on babysitting is a great way to save!

How to Save Money At The Movie Theater

The movies are a great family activity and date night.  With these tips you can easily save 30% (or even more if you trade off babysitting with a friend!)



  1. Lawna says

    I haven’t been to the movies in years. I guess I need to use some of these tips and go very soon. It will give me an excuse to get a baby sitter and spend some one on one time with my hub.

  2. says

    I didn’t know that you could buy tickets in bulk… I thought you had to buy them individually each time you want to go to the movies! Thanks for the enlightenment - I’ll definitely be saving some money!

  3. says

    We have bought in bulk before we you are right, sometimes the price is higher because they base their prices on high city prices. Sometimes smaller towns it isn’t cheaper. We have also purchased via Groupon/Living Social. These have worked out great.
    Deborah recently posted…Perfect Toast -Minus the $10My Profile

  4. Pam says

    These are all great tips. My husband and I love to go to movies on Saturday and Sunday mornings and save half price or more. However, I have to have the popcorn. Even in the morning.

  5. says

    At our theater, the cheapest tickets of the day are for the movies that start between 4-5:30. So we almost always go then. We also buy a reusable popcorn bucket at the start of each year that allows us to refill it on each visit for $3.50.
    Shell recently posted…Mom-Guilt MadnessMy Profile

  6. says

    My mom works for our county government and they have bulk tickets for sale there for $6.50. So if we know we’re going to a movie, we have mom buy tickets for us at work.
    Christina S recently posted…Why We RelayMy Profile


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