Movies. We all love to watch them, but paying for them is a whole different matter. Nothing is more frustrating than going to the cinema with your family and spending upwards of $100 for tickets, popcorn, and drinks for everyone. Hardly worth it for just two hours’ entertainment. With ticket prices hovering around outrageous prices as high as $30 in some places (don’t get me started on the food prices), people are looking for more affordable alternatives that will still allow them to indulge in their cinematic viewings. The following tips ought to help you keep the burden of movie entertainment costs lighter and your wallet a bit heavier.
Because Tuesdays are the lowest-traffic days for a majority of businesses, they are willing to do anything to attract customers. As such, a popular option in many businesses, including cinemas, Tuesday deals can greatly help you reduce your costs of going to see a movie in cinemas. At major cinemas, such as Hoyts, Super Tuesday prices for movie tickets are as low as $8-11 in most areas of the country.
If you decide to see a movie before the night-time prime crowds arrive, you can save a few dollars per ticket. The hours are generally between the time the cinema opens and 5pm. Hoyts offers discounts for matinee audiences, with tickets ranging from $10 for the basic movie experience and $13 for 3-D.
Luckily for seniors, the pain of high movie ticket prices is generally numbed by the discounts offered for those 55-65 and older. The top cinema chains, like Event Cinemas and Hoyts, both offer deals for seniors, allowing them to access great discounts on the regular prices for tickets. Hoyts’ program, the Salisbury Seniors Club, costs just $10 per year for membership, and the benefits include $7 tickets for every regular movie.
For parents that are sick and tired of paying full adult prices for their kids at some cinemas, major chains such as Event Cinemas have created discount programs for kids and students: the Kids Movie Club (after five regular movies, your child’s sixth movie is free) and the Student Monday Club, where tickets are $8 for students with valid I.D. Cards. Participating in these offers for young moviegoers can help save them and their parents a lot of money over time.
Many different cinemas offer regular deal programs to their members. For adults going to Event Cinemas, you can get a free ticket after purchasing ten tickets at regular price (Cinebuzz points program). Hoyts offers a rewards program which costs $10 to join, but gives such great discounts and freebies to its members that the cost of membership more than pays for itself over the length of the year.
If you still find the prices at major movie chains a bit ridiculous, there are still more alternatives available. Many cities have local, independent cinemas with just as high-quality viewing screens and picture quality at a fraction of the cost. If there is one of these in your area, then why spend $13-22 when you can pay maybe $6-9 for the same movie, and help out a local business?
Don’t Buy Food at the Movies!
The biggest waste of money in cinemas is undoubtedly the overpriced food selections. Popcorn and drink “deals” can often cost well over $10 a pop, making the food more costly than the ticket itself. If a movie is only two or so hours long, then eat right beforehand or find a way to bring your own food.
Renting a movie after its come out on DVD is a popular option for many movie fans. Oovie DVD boxes offer rentals at just $2.99 per movie. If you’re looking for an older title or a long-term rental membership, there are three great options available: Quickflix, Big Pond, and Web Flicks. These programs offer 20-40 thousand different titles and prices range from $9.95 to $36.95 per month, depending on how many DVDs you are allowed to have at one time (1-3 usually), and whether it’s an unlimited or capped amount each month.
Legal Streaming Options
There are plenty of affordable streaming options available online today for those who prefer to watch from their computers or don’t want the headache of dealing with scratched DVDs. One popular streaming option is Foxtel on PC, which allows existing Foxtel customers to access movies on their computers. Another newer alternative is Android movies, which allows users to stream movies starting at $2USD each.
Quickflix is also set to launch their own streaming service, in order to compete with the up-and-coming Big Pond streaming services.
In short, with cinema prices higher than ever, consumers are looking for ways to save and still enjoy the movies they love. Buying into the hype and going out to see the newest movies in the best cinemas is a thing of the past for those looking to be more frugal on their entertainment budgets. Luckily, there are several fantastic alternatives- from DVD rentals to local cinemas to streaming- that are almost or just as good as the option that costs twice as much.