RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Many of this year's big budget movies are set to debut this season - the new Harry Potter film in November, Tron and the Chronicles of Narnia in December, but the cost of the total experience is enough to keep some at home. $34 is what a family of four spends just to get in the door and that's before the outrageously priced snacks.
The easiest way to save is to see a matinee, it'll save you 2 or 3 bucks, but a movie before 3 p.m. doesn't fit most people's schedules. So for the rest of us, start with a website like weeklycinema.com. After joining the club, you can buy 4 tickets a month for $19.99. For a family of four that instantly knocks 14 bucks off your admission. You'll get a free ticket when you sign up or refer your friends. Tickets are valid for 90 days and you can cancel anytime.
Costco and Sam's Club sell 4 packs of tickets for $29.99. Normally, it would cost $40 for four adults to get in, $10 in savings right there.
Regal Cinemas has a loyalty card that earns you free popcorn, drinks, even tickets. You can sign up for free at the theater or online, every dollar spent earns a point. When you hit fifty points, you'll start receiving your freebies.
If you work for a large company, check to see if there's a corporate arrangement with a theater. Some employers buy bulk tickets that they offer to employees at a discount.
Most theaters can kick you out if you are caught sneaking in food. So if you don't like that risk, many snack bars offer free refills on large sizes. You can buy a large popcorn and soda for a family to share and go back as many times as you like.
And if you're off to check out Stony Point's new CineBistro, make sure to text the word "CineBistro" to 82672, you'll get an order of the Bay Crab Dip absolutely free.
Keep in mind there are special discounts for seniors and students, usually you just need a picture ID.