Saving $$$ at the Movies

popcorn-1433326_960_720My wife and I enjoy going to the movies occasionally. We probably go to the theater about once every month. Sometimes twice if there’s two good movies that we really want to see. With that being said, a full date (tickets + concessions) could easily set us back $40-50.

Discounted Tickets

You can buy discounted tickets from Costco and other wholesale stores (like Sam’s Club). For a 4-pack of Regal tickets it cost $36, which comes out to $9/ticket. This is somewhat cheaper than paying at the box office especially if you’re going on a Friday or Saturday evening when prices are higher. It is worth noting that there are some states that these ePremiere tickets can’t be used (see screenshot for details). I like these tickets because you can print them from home and don’t have to go to a Costco to buy them. They usually deliver them within 30 minutes. Then you just print them out and take them to the box office to redeem for whatever movie you want to see. Remember just because you have this eTicket doesn’t mean you have a seat in the theater.

Regal - Costco

Don’t forget there’s also student, military, and senior discounts as well. Obviously you have to fall into one of those categories, but if you do be sure to ask when you’re at the box office.

Discounted Gift Cards

Fandango, Regal, and AMC often have discounts on their gift cards. Look for promotions run by the movie companies yourself. Additionally, you can find deals on gift card reselling websites as well as eBay.

Groupon/Dollar Theaters

There’s a small independent movie theater near us that offers Groupon for 2 movie tickets, 1 bucket of popcorn, and 2 sodas for $19. The theater is kind of old and not the best seating, but hey we get to watch brand new movies with popcorn for significantly cheaper than going to Regal or AMC.

Another option to cut costs is going to the dollar theater. At least, we used to call them the dollar theater. Now they are more like the $2.50-$3.00 theater (stupid inflation). These theaters typically buy the movie reels from the big theaters when they’ve run their course. That means you won’t be able to see the big blockbusters the first month or two that they are out, but you will get to see it and have a “theater” experience.

Loyalty Program

Regal has a free loyalty rewards program called the Regal Crown Club. I repeat it’s free! If you’re going to the movies and not using it, you’re missing out on some decent savings. Not to long ago, the Regal Crown Club came out with an iPhone application which means I don’t have to carry the loyalty card in my wallet. I can just pull up the QR code associated with my account on my phone. They recently revamped their rewards program and I think the new version is significantly easier to understand. Basically for every $1 you spend, you receive 100 credits. Regal Crown Club2Regal Crown ClubTherefore, if I spend $12 on a movie ticket. I’ll receive 1,200 credits. They also added “status levels”: Emerald (6 visits/year), Ruby (10 visits/year), Diamond (20 visits/year). Depending on your status, you get additional bonus points credits for every visit. 250 extra for Emerald, 500 extra for Ruby, and 1,000 extra for Diamond. The beauty of the new loyalty program structure is that you can choose what you want to redeem your credits for. You can redeem them for a movie ticket, which will cost you 15k credits. You can also redeem for popcorn/drink upgrades. There are many more redemption options for movie merchandise on the Regal website. Keep in mind you typically have to pay for shipping and handling if you buy physical merchandise. These costs can’t be covered by credits. Overall, I mainly use my credits to buy popcorn or movie tickets. There are also certain days where Regal Crown Club members get 50% off popcorn or other deals on the over priced concession stand items.