Finding discounted movie tickets

Cheap Movie Thrills

by Joanne Coley

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Lights, Camera, Action!

We all love the big screen. There's nothing like a good scare, a good laugh, a tear jerker or a chilling mystery. What we don't love are the big ticket prices.

Although a night at the movies remains one of the most affordable forms of entertainment, there are ways to slash ticket prices. The National Association of Theater Owners reports in their recent survey that "average ticket price for movies increased 48.6% over the past 10 years." But there may be nine overlooked discounts to slash movie ticket prices and stretch your entertainment dollars.

Time Related: Most theaters have daily matinees the first few hours after opening when tickets are discounted.

Age Related: Students and seniors presenting ID can get discounted rates on most show times.

Movie Club Cards: Major movie chains offer free movie club cards. Members accumulate reward points toward discounted and free movie tickets as well as concession stand snacks each time the card is presented.

Entertainment Cards: Movie goers can purchase gift cards in dollar amounts between $10 to $100 for movie tickets and concession stand snacks. Consider purchasing cards for yourself when cash is tight and you want to enjoy a flick.

Ticket Packages: Corporate bulk tickets can be purchased at major movie chains. Often bought by businesses and sold to employees at a discount, most are also offered to consumers in bulk.

Concession Stands: Snacking while watching a flick can be expensive. If possible, skip the concession stand. But, if you must snack, buy a package deal and share with your date or buy the kid-size snack pack if you are alone. The largest sizes usually come with a huge popcorn, huge drink and candy. The kids pack consists of a child-size popcorn, drink and candy. Both packages are cheaper, but the kids pack may help you exercise portion control.

Free Kids Summer Movies: Who says nothing is free? When school's out for the summer, parents are driven crazy trying to find inexpensive activities for their kids. Many of the major movie chains offer several weeks of previously-released kid's flicks usually during a weekday morning.

Drive-Ins: Few children of today have experienced the nostalgia of the drive-in movies with a carload full of movie watchers gazing at the giant outdoor screen. While many are gone, there seems to be a resurgence. Most drive-ins charge by the carload. The kids get cozy in the back seat while wearing their pajamas where they usually fall asleep after the second feature.

Videos: As a final option, wait for the video. Hit the video store or use mail-to-your-door. Next, make homemade popcorn, curl up on your couch and watch the movie from the comfort of your home.

Joanne Coley is a Writer, Public Relations and Marketing Consultant serving the Philadelphia and surrounding communities. She loves a good flick but doesn't always love the prices.

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