It is a rare thing for our family to go to the movie theater. After a recent visit to watch the highly-anticipated Lego Movie, I remembered why we don’t go there too often. For a family of six, the cost of the tickets was a whopping $40.50 … and this was at matinee prices! So, forget the popcorn and other treats. Water should hold them over until the end of the movie.
What are some alternatives to the high-cost movie tickets of our day?
Hop in the Car and Go to the DRIVE-IN
There are not that many of these around. But, if you happen to have one nearby, definitely take advantage of it. We were pleasantly surprised that our drive-in featured new releases. When we go to the drive-in, we spend $18, less than half the cost of going to the movie theater. Some drive-ins also offer family nights on certain days of the week, where the tickets are discounted even more. The other nice thing about drive-ins is that you can bring your own snacks (we brought pizza, and had our dinner right before the movie started), and you can come already dressed in your pajamas (or at least, the kids can). Unless you plan to stay for the 2nd half of a double feature, the movie doesn’t really let out too late.
Watch a Movie for a DOLLAR
A lot of movie theaters run free or dollar movies during the summer months. These are not current releases, but many of the movies shown are from within the last couple of years. Typically, these movies are scheduled an hour or two before their regular sets of current releases. Check your theater’s listings. Many of these theaters also allow you to bring your own snacks. If you get a chance to go this summer, be ready for a lot of noise in the theater. With so many children in there, the adults are definitely outnumbered. The “silence is golden” rule won’t really apply during this time. Nevertheless, you can’t beat a dollar!
Stay at HOME
You can’t get any cheaper than having a movie night at home. If you don’t want to spend the dollar rental at the Redbox kiosk, the library is a great resource for movies (just be aware though that some of the library DVD’s may be scratched up). Some libraries, like ours, have a separate shelf for current movies. These are usually in better condition, but have a shorter borrow period.
My sister’s family makes movie nights really special. They print up their own tickets and set up a snack bar, complete with play money. They put up movie posters on the walls to add to the ambiance. And, she and her husband even dress up as movie theater employees. We’ll have to try this out soon!
In the end, it’s really all about making some sweet memories with your family. Money should not deter you from doing that.