How to Save Money at the Movies

Popcorn

Everyone loves a family trip to the movies, but it’s always a shock when you realise just how much it costs. Ticket prices are bad enough, but throw in the inevitable snacks and soft drinks for each family member, and it adds up to a small fortune! Now everyone can enjoy movie outings more often with these great tips on how to save money at the movies!

Look out for special offers

With so many special offers on cinema tickets, you could easily watch movies all year round and never pay full price for tickets again. It’s just a matter of making a small effort to look out for special offers before you go.

Brisbane Kids Magazine

The first place to check is the latest issue of the Brisbane Kids Magazine. The magazine is filled with awesome coupons, and often features really good offers on movie tickets at local cinemas. It also has a great section detailing all the best new family movies that are sure to be a hit each season! You can find the latest issue at issuu.com/brisbanekids.

Groupon and Living Social

Online marketplaces such as Groupon and Living Social often offer deals on movie tickets and often discounts on refreshments at the same. Just search for ‘movie tickets’ to see what is available and find the best deals.

Entertainment Book

If you have the Entertainment Book, you can get special offers on cinema tickets. You can check out all the movie ticket offers here.

Social Media

Many cinemas also advertise special offers, early bird deals and other discounts via their social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter. Always make sure you check their pages for specials before you go, or follow them to be in the loop whenever any new offers are listed.

Cinema box office

Buy at the Box Office

We all love the convenience of shopping online, but unless there are online specials, it’s not always the cheapest option. There are often hidden fees with buying online, such as a booking fee or processing fee. If you go to the cinema regularly, these extra costs can soon add up. Avoid the fees by buying at the box office instead.

Check Your Memberships

Certain memberships also offer discounted movie tickets. For example, RACQ members receive special RACQ membership prices at Event and Birch Carroll and Coyle cinemas, with up to 45% off ticket prices. Make sure you check with your insurance provider if it’s not RACQ too!

Many phone companies also have movie offers to members. For example, check out Optus and Telstra offers here.

For any companies you have signed up with, be sure to check if they have relevant offers before you buy tickets!

Find the best day and time

Picking when to go to the cinema can actually have a huge effect on the price of your tickets. For example, many cinemas offer things like ‘Cheap Tuesdays’ or ‘Monday Discount Days’. Plus matinee session times are often a fair bit cheaper than evening showings. Be sure to visit your local movie theatre’s website before you go to work out when is the cheapest time to go.

Teenagers at the movies

Choose the Cinema Carefully

We all like the convenience of big chain cinemas in local shopping centres, but they are often the most expensive options for seeing movies. It is definitely worth shopping around to find other options near you. Smaller, local cinemas are often a LOT cheaper, and are no longer the dingy dives we remember from years ago.

There are even some chain cinemas that are definitely cheaper options. For example, Cineplex cinemas pride themselves on their affordable pricing. United Cinemas’ Eldorado cinema in Indooroopilly also has competitive prices. Blue Room Cinebar also offers recliner seats and meal and drink service, with a fraction of the usual superior class cinema ticket prices.

Join Cinema Reward Schemes and Memberships

It is also worth checking out the reward schemes on offer at local cinemas. Signing up for these or cinema memberships can often give you some great savings and perks. Here are some of the reward schemes and loyalty programs on offer in Brisbane.

United Cinemas Moviebuys — a loyalty program where you earn points and every sixth movie is free. The cost is $10 per year, but you get a free movie ticket on activation.

HOYTS Rewards — HOYTS Bronze scheme is free to join and you get a discount movie of the week and candy bar promotions

Event Cinemas Cinebuzz Rewards — a reward scheme that is free to join. See six movies and get one free, earn points and get a discount movie each week.

Blue Room Cinebar — a loyalty program that you can sign up to here.

Movies

Save on the Sweet Treats

It’s surprising just how easy it is to spend more of refreshments than you do on the actual movie tickets. Here are our top tips on how to save money on sweet treats:

  • Eat before you go so no one is super hungry and craving everything they see.
  • Take kids’ water bottles with you so that they can stay refreshed without having to buy soft drinks.
  • Chat to the kids before you go about what they’re allowed to get so there are no dramas about begging for extras when you get there.
  • Stick to popcorn. It’s a great cinema tradition and will keep kids occupied. If you avoid the lollies from the start they won’t come to expect them every time.

popcorn

Avoid the gimmicks

There are lots of cool and fun cinema options nowadays, such as 3D and IMAX films, screens with recliner chairs or other luxuries. While these are great novelties, they usually come with a hefty price tag. Stick to normal showings to save money and you’ll be able to go to the cinema more often!

See FREE Movies!

What better way to save money at the movies than to go to a FREE movie screening? You’d be surprised how many of them there are all around Brisbane!

Brisbane City Council often has free movie screenings, either in a park or in your local library. You can find a list of all upcoming free films at brisbane.qld.gov.au.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary also hosts free weekly movies for families on a Friday night. Dogs are welcome (on a lead) and you can even grab a bite to eat from the awesome food stalls at the Lone Pine Farmers Market. The movies and market are outside of the sanctuary, so tickets are not required. Visit koala.net to find out what is on and when.

Manly Harbour Village also offers free movies in the park. See manlyharbourvillage.com for all upcoming events.

Be sure to visit our Movies We Love page for all the latest family movies that kids will love! 

About the Author
Johnson
Paula Johnson
For over fifteen years Paula has worked as an editor and writer of educational books and support materials, working in England, Hong Kong and Brisbane. Now with two Brisbane Kids of her own, she enjoys spending time with her children, discovering new places together, making things and getting grubby … and sharing it all with our readers! She loves the fun and creativity of writing for Brisbane Kids and how it allows her to combine her two greatest passions — writing and mummying!

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