The public library can be a wonderful place to find free films. In fact, according to the Online Computer Library Center, public library rentals are beating out the likes of Redbox and Netflix! Each day, more than 2.1 million movies are checked out by public library cardholders. Also, now that most brick-and-mortar movie rental stores are being replaced with kiosks and online/digital options, the library is starting to look like the last great physical repository of movies in the country! From newer smash hits to vintage classics, entire television series to public domain silent films, you may want to register for a free library card (if you don't already have one) or use the free mobile app discussed here to discover all the great movies and shows you can check out—absolutely free!

How to get free movies from the library

As long as you have a library card, all movies, music, shows, and (of course) books will be free to check out!

1. Visit your local library or online catalogue to search for films, shows, audiobooks and more.

2. Visit your local library for free with Hoopla Digital

Hoopla is a free digital service with mobile apps that has partnerships with local libraries to offer digital content free of charge using your library card. You can check out audio books, movies, CDs, shows and more.

  • Use this map to find out if your local library has a Hoopla partnership
  • Get it for iTunes (free)
  • Get it for Android (free)

Library 411

Here are some local library facts to help you decide if this is the best option for watching your favorite films and shows.

  • All public libraries share five elements: they’re tax-funded, board-run, voluntary to use, free to use and are open to all.
  • The addition of audiobooks, DVDs, CDs and other digital media is part of the public library system's mission to "bridge the digital divide."
  • Libraries that belong to the same system can transfer materials between branches to any cardholder who requests those materials.

How to use your library 

There are several ways you can use your local library to rent movies and more for free. Here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow to get started.

1. Visit your local library (be aware you may have both a city and county library system) and apply for a free library card.

2. Ask if your library offers an online catalogue for advance and digital checkout—if so, you can return home, browse and reserve films from any branch at your leisure.

3. You can also reserve films at the library desk or by calling the librarian.