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I love movies. What I don’t love is paying for movies. So although there are plenty of ways to watch movies for free at home with streaming services, sometimes you just want to be in the theater, with the popcorn — the whole nine yards. So that begs the question — how can get see movies for free (or at least almost free)?
From the ticket itself to the popcorn to seeing movies in 3-D, costs can add up quickly (especially when you bring along kids). But we’ve got lots of tips to help you cut down on your cost. We’ll tackle gift cards, loyalty programs, theater subscriptions, and more.
1. Pay with discounted Regal, Carmike and AMC gift cards.
Buy discounted gift cards for your theaters and save often 20% or more.
Regal owns Edwards and United Artists Theaters while AMC owns Carmike and Loews.
2. Easily save 50% at many theaters by seeing movies on Tuesdays.
Plenty of theater chains — including AMC, Regal and Cinemark — try to entice people to see movies midweek by offering $5 or $5.50 movies on Tuesdays.
AMC requires you to be part of their free loyalty program to get the cheap tickets, but other chains don’t. Check with yours and skip the weekend rush to easily save 50% on movie tickets!
(But if you’re someone who’d rather watch movies at home, we know all of the free streaming services offering access for your viewing pleasure.)
3. Watch movies for free with Gofobo’s advance screenings.
Movie studios love to generate buzz before movies officially release, and the way they do that is by offering advance screenings.
Gofobo is a great place to find out about these screenings and get passes. Obviously screenings aren’t in every city, but hey, it’s worth looking into it!
4. Join Fandango VIP to screen movies for free and get other goodies.
Fandango’s free loyalty program offers a bunch of perks, but every time you see 4 movies, you get a $6 credit — which can be used for movie tickets, digital rentals or other purchases.
In addition, VIPs get invitations to free movie screenings and exclusive events.
TIP: Fandango VIP works with theaters’ rewards programs. So make sure to sign up for those to keep getting reward points. And make sure you check out with Facebook.
5. Go to Fandango’s special offers page to find deals on movie tickets, themed apparel and more.
Fandango has an entire special offers page where they give free and discounted movie tickets to people who complete certain tasks or buy certain items. For example, in December 2022, moviegoers could get a free ticket worth up to $13.00 to see Avatar: The Way of Water, when they bought 3 Kellogg’s products. It’s worth bookmarking, because these deals rotate throughout the year.
6. Consider signing up for a movie theater subscription, if you’re a frequent moviegoer.
Remember when MoviePass was the only game in town? Now there are plenty of movie theater subscriptions available — including a relaunched MoviePass service.
If you’re someone who wants to pay one monthly fee and then get the equivalent of tons of free movies, you’ll want to know all about how we compare the top 7 movie theater subscription programs. If you see a lot of movies, this can be a solid way to save a ton of money.
7. Join AMC’s free Insider program to earn rewards for watching movies.
The free AMC Stubs Insider program gives you 20 points for every $1 you spend, and after 5,000 points you get a $5 reward.
Members also enjoy a free large popcorn for your birthday and no ticketing fees when you buy at least 4 tickets online. Plus, members get access to those $5 Ticket Tuesdays.
8. Buy gift cards at Costco to save up to 25%.
Costco almost always has deals on movie theater gift cards. In December 2022, you could get the following:
- AMC Black 2 Standard Movie Tickets + $20 gift card for $39.99
- AMC Yellow 2 Standard Movie Tickets + $20 gift card for $36.99 (not usable in CA, NY, or NJ)
- Regal Cinemas 2 Standard Movie Tickets (unrestricted) + $10 gift card for $29.99 (only valid in CA, MD, NY, NJ, PA, VA, or DC)
- Regal Cinemas 2 Standard Movie Tickets (restricted) + $10 gift card for $27.99 (not valid in CA, MD, NY, NJ, PA, VA, or DC)
- Cinemark $50 eGift card for $39.99
Those gift cards are good for tickets and concessions, and can be used on those discount movie days!
9. Join Regal Crown Club and earn points to spend on movies, concessions and more.
At Regal, Crown Club members earn 100 points for every $1 spent, which adds up to free movies and concessions.
Earn an extra 250 points per visit by going to a Regal cinema more than 6 times in a year.
10. Look out for product partnerships to get free movie vouchers.
We’ve seen Target offer a free $7 Atom Tickets movie voucher when you bought select movies on DVD and Blu-ray.
I’ve also seen Fandango credit offered by General Mills cereals, Yoplait and Ziploc. Keep an eye out for movie promotions in the grocery aisle. And last year’s Monopoly promotion at McDonald’s offered plenty of unclaimed Fandango credits.
11. Check local events calendars for free community movies.
Community organizations are known for hosting public movie screenings — be it at a park, in a pool (they’re called “dive-in movies”) or at a local facility.
These are usually free — the only catch is that the movies they show are usually already out on video. So if you can wait that long, more power to ya.
12. If you’re patient, second-run movie theaters can offer big savings.
Sure, it’s hard to avoid social media when everyone’s talking about the plot of the latest Avengers. But if you can handle the wait, second-run movie theaters offer much-cheaper ticket prices — I’m talking $1-$5, depending on your area.
For a family of 5, you’d be saving more than $40 on average per cinema trip by waiting a month or so to see that new movie.
There are lots of places offering cheap movie tickets for kids.
13. Get a job at a movie theater for free flicks.
Employees at AMC, Regal and most corporate theater chains get to see free movies! That’s a benefit very few employers offer!