Going to the Movies on the Cheap

As if it wasn’t obvious I LOVE LOVE LOVE going to the movies. I mostly gave that up while my kids were growing up as we were quite poor and the movies are certainly an extravagance. Now the kids have moved away and we are doing better financially so I can go to the movies whenever I wish/have time.

I still can’t get over when we were poor so I am always looking for ways to make the movies cheaper. Many areas offer FREE showings pretty consistently. A good place to look is often local libraries, independent theaters, and hipper bars/breweries. The Hendersonville Film Society shows theirs at a local retirement community.

Carolina Cinemas

I know some people sneak food into the movies but I believe there’s a sort of social contract entered into when going to the movies. Yes, they charge an outrageous price for concessions but theaters make essentially no money on tickets. My beloved Carolina Cinemas puts on FREE movies every Tuesday (Film Society) and Thursday (horror) and some people still sneak in their own food and drink. This does not encourage the theater to continue to offer this and, quite frankly, is rather ungrateful of the patrons but enough of my soapbox.

FREE movie ticket offers abound. Currently, Wal-Mart has movies that have FREE tickets on them for Insurgent, Fifty Shades of Gray, and Spongebob Squarepants. Target has ones for Fifty Shades of Gray, Spongebob, Taken 3, and The Longest Ride. Vudu has an offer where you buy one of a particular set of movies from them in order to get a ticket to Insurgent. Upcoming offers include Jurassic World, Furious 7, Home, and Pitch Perfect 2.


Dealflicks continues to add new theaters and offers a decent discount price, though not usually close to the percentages they advertise. Strangely my aforementioned Carolina Cinemas has stopped accepting Dealflicks and the other various movie money promotions.


Moviepass is for those hardcore moviegoers. They charge a monthly fee ($30-35) and you can go see a movie every day for FREE but only one you have not already seen. They currently have over 3,700 theaters signed up.

Moviepass is the opposite of how I usually go to the movies. While they allow you to go to a single movie daily, I like to group all the movies into one marathon showing and go all day. This allows me to buy just one drink for several movies. I always get the refillable large. I am not much of a popcorn eater though I always get it for my wife and daughter as they are saltaholics (I am more of a diabeetus consumer).

MoviePass Unlimited Movies – Well Kinda Sorta

My wife and I were enjoying a rare date night to ourselves at Epic cinema (normally I see movies by myself or we have our granddaughter with us). On a table by the ticket taker, Epic had flyers for MoviePass.



This is clearly for the truly dedicated moviegoer. $34.99 a month spent solely on movie tickets is more than my budget can stand. On the other hand, I get a lot of my movie tickets for FREE, either through Blu-Ray purchases, rewards programs, or blood donations.

The idea is very intriguing/tempting. By cutting elsewhere I could afford the $34.99 a month BUT while I can skip candy and popcorn, I always need a drink at the theater. My need for a drink is part of why I like to see multiple movies in a day – that way I don’t have to buy multiple sodas. MoviePass posted a FAQ on the back of the card:

MoviePass FAQ


The web address given is woefully inadequate. The FAQ on the back of the card is actually more helpful than the web address, which is mainly a shopping cart to take your money. One item not on the card is that you may see each movie only one time. The card states that 3D and XL movies are not included (actually it states inculded but let’s not fault them for a typo) which is not a surprise.

My area is listed as Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville/Anderson. Their find theater button allows you to enter your zip code to find movie theaters but the 5/10/25 miles away button is not active. It just sits there mocking me. The site states that 95% of theaters accept this. My guess is that the only requirements to the theaters are that they accept Discover (the pass appears to be a reloadable Discover card) and have online listings.

You have to use the moviepass app from a smartphone to tell them what showing you are attending and where. You have to be at the theater to use the app. They have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr presence but they all seem to be used to promote movies in general, not the moviepass brand.

I also need to note that while the flyer stated our area was $34.99 a month, the website lists $30 as the price. The flyer also doesn’t mention that there is a one-year commitment. I have to applaud this service and I hope that it pans out well and that they do something to flesh out their rather spartan website.