5 top tips on how to save at the cinema
Whether you’re looking for date night activity, have children to entertain or simply a film buff, the cinema can be the perfect place to go. But with prices averaging £8.50 a ticket, this much-loved pastime is in danger of becoming more of a luxury.
In order to make sure your next trip to see your favourite blockbuster doesn’t break the bank, we’ve put together the following top tips on how you can save money.
Go during off-peak times
With evenings and weekends the most popular time for cinema goers, it’s no surprise major chains offer discounted ticket prices during off-peak hours.
Odeon and Cineworld offer Super Saver tickets weekdays before 5pm, whilst Vue has Super Day discounts on Mondays and Tuesday.
Become a loyal customer
If you’re a regular cinema-goer then a loyalty card is a must when saving those extra pennies. As with most loyalty cards, you can collect points every time you spend on tickets or food and drink. These points can then be redeemed on free cinema tickets as well as popcorn and other treats, depending on how much you accumulate.
There are also multi-visit loyalty schemes. Odeon has Odeon Limitless, offering customers the opportunity to visit their cinemas as many times as they like for a monthly fee of £17.99 (£19.99 for central London cinemas), whilst Cineworld’s Unlimited Card gives access to as many movies and previews as you like from £17.40 a month.
Save money on food
The smell of popcorn and sight of brightly-coloured sweets is always a temptation when visiting the cinema. After forking out on tickets, do you really want to get the cash out again to buy expensive food?
It’s a common misconception that bringing your own snacks is forbidden but there’s actually no rule against it. Of course, major chains would rather you spend money on their own selection of cinema snacks but, as long as it’s not hot or alcoholic, you should be fine.
If your cinema trip is spontaneous and you’re in need of food, then look out for combo deals when you buy popcorn and a drink. Most cinemas also offer child and family value deals.
Look out for discounts
Before booking your tickets, take a look on the cinema website to see if there any discounts that work for you.
It’s common knowledge that students can save up to 25% off with a NUS Extra card but there are many other group offers out there. For example, the Armed Forces can claim discounted ticket prices at certain cinemas, whilst Compare the Market rewards customers who have purchased insurance with Meerkat Movies, allowing 2-for-1 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Odeon.
Odeon also offer Silver Cinema for customers over 55, with tickets available from just £3 (which includes tea, coffee and biscuits!) whilst Vue and Cineworld have similar discounts. Vue also runs Mini Mornings for families from as little as £2.49 a ticket during weekends and school holidays.
If you’re someone who likes to see the best films first, then this is for you. Screen Unseen from Odeon gives you the chance to watch the latest awesome releases before anyone else for just £5. There is a twist – you won’t know what the film will be until the curtain comes up – unless you work out the hints and clues on social media! Films that have been shown recently include Inside Out, The Revenant and Arrival.
A number of local independent cinemas can offer better value for money and viewing experience too, with many free to screen any film they like, old or new. Why not see if there any independent cinemas near you and support your local community at the same time?
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