Smart Money Mom

How To Get Movie Tickets When On a Budget

Love going to the movies but hate paying full price for a movie ticket? There are quite a few ways to find discount movie tickets to help you save at the box office.

Go to a Matinee

You might be surprised at how much you can save by attending a matinee or even a pre-matinee (shows before noon). In looking at a local AMC Theater ticket pricing for an adult ticket, shows before noon were $7, then jumped to $10.75 (between noon-6pm) and movies after 6pm were $12.50. That is a discount of $5.50 to see a movie before noon versus after 6pm!

Movie Theater Rewards Programs

By joining a movie theater rewards program, similar to a grocery store or drugstore rewards programs, you can earn rewards every time you spend money. AMC Stubs gives you $10 for every $100 spent plus tons of other benefits (cost of $12/year). You can also earn rewards through the Regal Crown Club (free to join).

Online Ticket Seller Promos (i.e. Fandango)

Online ticket sellers, like Fandango, are almost always offering up some type of discount or offer. For example, Fandango currently has an ongoing promotion through August 2nd where every Friday you can get BOGO Free Movie Tickets when you purchase them online with your Visa Signature Card. (If you are not sure if your Visa Card is a Visa Signature Card, go HERE to enter your number and it will tell you.) Tickets must be purchased on Friday for a Friday showing and limit of one free movie ticket per card, per 30 days. Check out all of the Fandango current offers before heading out to your next movie. If you use another online ticket purchasing site, be sure to check their “offers” page as well.

Buy in Bulk

If you are a frequent movie goer, you may want to consider buying in bulk. For example, at you can buy 50 Silver Experience Tickets (restrictions apply) for just $6.50 each, or 50 Gold Experience Tickets (no restrictions) for just $8.00 each.

Discount Tickets at Work

Many employers offer perks such as discount movie tickets. Check with someone at your work or have your friends and family check at their workplace. Many people don’t even realize their workplace offers these types of perks. You can usually save quite a bit by purchasing discounted tickets this way.

Senior or Student Discounts

If you fit either the senior or student profile, be sure to check at your local theater as many of them have student and senior discounts. Save on tickets by showing your student id or regular id (for senior discount).

Membership Discounts

Don’t forget to check those membership perks. You pay a membership fee for a reason and in many cases it comes with lots of great perks. Check places like AAA or Costco for discount tickets. In searching for AAA for my local area, I can save up to 40% off tickets to Regal Cinemas or 15% off at

Summer Movie Specials

During the summer, many movie theaters offer discounted family movies in the morning. Check out the previous post I did on the Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express $1 Movies this summer. If you don’t live near a Regal Cinema, check your local theater for a similar summer program.

One thing to keep in mind with buying discounted movie tickets, most will have restrictions about which movies they can be used for. You usually will not get to see a movie the first weekend it is out with a discounted ticket, however some promos include those. Just be sure to read all the fine print carefully.

So if you love going out to movies, be sure to check into all the options available to find discount movie tickets before you head out to the theaters for your next movie!

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17 thoughts on “How To Get Movie Tickets When On a Budget”

  1. Do not forget to check out they give free passes for movie screenings. They will Randomly send you an e-mail with screening passes usually the day of or you can go to their site and check to see if they have any available that are open to the public. The seats are not guaranteed since its open to the public but if you are willing to get there early and wait you can get a good seat. I have signed up with them for years and I LOVE it. My husband and I have enjoyed many screenings.

  2. If you live in San Diego, there’s 2 drive-in theaters that have pretty good deals for new movies. There’s the Santee Drive-In in East County where you watch 2 new movies for $8 adults and $4 children 5-12. Or in South County there’s the South Bay Drive-In that’s 2 new movies for $7 adults or $1 kids 5-9. Both theaters allow you to bring in your own food, so there’s the additional savings on concessions.

  3. My usual place is AAA. You have to purchase in groups of 4 or more. I think the ticket prices are $7.00 and $8.00 depending upon the type of ticket. (First release vs out 1 Or 2 weeks already) Another great place to score tickets are at a State College. You do not have to be a student. It is a service they provide to the community. That is what I remember when attending there years ago and yet again visiting CSUF just last month.

  4. Sometimes schools sell them as promotions. Another place is the Chamber of Commerce. I know our city sells them. My hairdresser actually has them at her salon for $8.

  5. Sign up for movie screenings, watch free movies and sometimes I get free passes to watch another movie. Sometimes they even pay cash!

  6. If you live near Chino or Moreno Valley, Harkins is an amazing theater (and my new favorite). Matinee is until 6pm and is $8 also if you have a student id you can snag $8 tickets. Plus there loyalty shirts and cups are worth every penny if you go to the movies a lot. $25 for the shirt and each time you buy tickets and show it you get a voucher for a free med popcorn or upgrade to a large for $1. The cups I believe are $5 and each time you bring it they will fill it for $1.

    • Best deal in the South Bay is the Regal Promenade Stadium 13 in Rolling Hills Estates. All movies, all day, every Tuesday, $5.

  7. I like to go to 4 star cinemas in Garden Grove, they offer Tuesday and Thursday Family Discount Days $4.00, but they don’t have a lot of movies to choose from. just 4 or 5.

  8. Von’s often has 4x gas credits for gift card purchases. They carry Fandango, Regal, UltraStar, and AMC I think. Also use apps like Viggle and Shopkick to earn gift cards.

  9. If you live close to Beumont, Fox theater has the movies for $4 and $6. If you sign up for the emails, you will get a free pass on your birthday and a BOGO on your anniversary. Also you can print coupons for free refills on soda, popcorn, or slushies. The food is cheap too compare to the other theaters.

  10. In West Covina Edward Theatres, it’s $6 all day every Tuesday & Sunday! When you let them scan your Regal Rewards card when buying, there’s a coupon for either a $2 small popcorn (can be upgraded to medium for $1 more) or a free small popcorn. Not sure if this is for all Edwards.

  11. The Van Buren Drive In in Riverside is great! You get two movies for $7. Their carne asada burritos are fresh made right there and are only $3.00! They are yummy! They also have drinks and popcorn at cheaper than theater prices. You can bring your own popcorn, drinks, candy, dinner, whatever. Sit in your car or bring some lawn chairs to camp outside of it. If going on the weekend get there early.


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