Movie tickets are super expensive, but you can save about 25 percent or more if you purchase your tickets at Costco or Sam’s Club. In addition, AARP and AAA members can get up to 40 percent off regular box-office prices for AMC, Regal, Bowtie, and Showcase Cinemas. Look into what kind of deals you can get before you pay full price.
Cinemark has a mobile app called Cinemode. If you download the app, it has a feature that dims your screen, silences your phone and gives you rewards like free popcorn and soda upgrades if you don’t touch your phone while in a movie at a Cinemark theater. Sign me up!
Do you like sitting all the way in back? Are you more of a middle aisle kind of person? Not all seats are created equal. Audio technicians usually check the sound about two-thirds of the way back and in the center, making that the best place to sit.
The industry standard for sound is 85 decibels, however many movie theaters will turn up the sound for effect. When they turn it up, some scenes can reach up to 130 decibels, which is how loud a jet is when it takes off. Unfortunately there are no regulations forcing theaters to comply with industry standards so you may want to consider wearing ear plugs for your safety.
Do not be afraid to walk out of a movie you don’t like it. If you are 20 to 30 minutes into a movie and you know that it is not your cup of tea, leave. If you go up to a manager or customer service agent they will almost always allow you to swap tickets with another movie or give you a voucher to use at a later time.
You can sneak in your own snacks to save money if you dare. If you are not the sneaky type, stick with popcorn and boxed candy. Hot dogs and nachos are way less likely to be fresh. And if you are wondering why everything is so wildly expensive, it’s because movie theatres don’t make a lot of money on the actual ticket sales, so they rely on concession sales for most of their profit.
Runpee is an app that tells you when you should run out of a movie to use the bathroom. The app has a list of every film currently in theaters and pinpoints what scenes in a movie are safe to get up and leave so you won’t miss a major plot twist or great comedic moment or action sequence. It will buzz you to let you know that it’s time to run to the bathroom.
Don’t just pour butter onto your popcorn, grab a straw! Placing a simple straw between the butter machine’s nozzle and your popcorn will distribute the butter inside your bucket more evenly. Try it and see for yourself.
New movies often have free screenings for press, media and fans before they are set for release. While these advanced screenings are usually closed to the public, there are some websites that help you get access to them. Check out sites like Gofobo, See It First, and Get Screening to see if there are any free screenings near you.
When you are paying IMAX prices, make sure you are getting the full experience. An IMAX screen should be about 72 feet wide by 52 feet tall. Some theaters however, cannot accommodate those sizes, which means some IMAX screens are smaller than others. IMAX’s theater locator can help you find the right theater. Once you find the theater you want, try to get a seat anywhere in the center of the top five rows. This will get you the best view.
They ask you every time you buy a movie ticket if you want to join a loyalty program. Do it already! AMC Stubs, which costs $12 a year to join, will give those who sign on $10 for every $100 they spend on tickets and concessions. Regal Crown Club is a free program that gives members credits towards discounts on concessions and free tickets. If you go to the movies often, just go for it!
If you want to skip the trailers, show up 13 minutes late. 13 minutes is a safe amount to get situated during the ads and trailers before the movie. Just make sure you have assigned seating so you still get a good seat!
If you have a child with special needs, some theaters offer special screenings for children with autism and other special needs. They leave the lights on and do not require the child to be quiet or even stay in their seats. AMC Theatres currently offers these screenings, but other independent theaters and larger chains are offering similar programs as well.
Sites like Cardpool or Raise buy unwanted gift cards and then sell them for cheaper than full price tickets. If you browse the sites, you could potentially grab some gift cards for your favorite theater chain and get a good deal for less than the actual worth of the card.