Movies are fun to watch, yet the overall cost of attending the theater can be pricey, especially when you take the whole family. There are practical ways you can save money on movie tickets and cut back on how much you spend on movies in general. If you’re a huge movie buff, take the following into consideration to reduce how much you spend on your trips to the theater.

Avoid prime time, catch a discounted movie

Your family can save a considerable amount of money by avoiding the theaters during opening weekend. Weekend night ticket prices can be anywhere from three to five dollars or more per ticket for newly released films.

Money is also cheaper when you buy your ticket at the box office instead of online. Many places charge a one dollar convenience fee for buying your tickets online, that is a dollar for every ticket you purchase. So that $12 extra you spent by watching a movie on Friday night instantly turns into $16 dollars. If you see an average of two movies a month during prime time, and purchase your tickets online, that equates to $32 a month or $384 a year of unnecessary spending.

Do you really need to watch every movie in 3D and IMAX? This is another option you can avoid of before purchasing your movie tickets. Certain movies are greatly enhanced in 3D and IMAX, but others are not worth the extra money you spend on your ticket. To figure out if you should watch a movie in 3D, read movie reviews before you watch a particular film to see if it’s worth the extra cost. As far as IMAX is concerned, save the option to watch a movie in IMAX for films you are seriously excited about, not just something you heard was a decent watch from friends.

Eat before the movie

Avoid spending extra money at the theater concession stand by eating before you watch your next movie. Many people wind up spending extra dough on unnecessary junk.

Find promotions and discounts

Various promotions and discounts are offered both online and at your movie theater directly. Certain theaters have a particular day of the week where movie tickets are much cheaper, so be on the lookout for this type of promotion.

Have you ever been to a prescreening event? Certain theaters host prescreening events of upcoming movies to gauge the audience’s reaction to feature films. Signing up for these events is usually free, but there is one catch — after the movie ends you must fill out a brief survey to give your opinion on the movie. Filmmakers hold these events to gain an understanding of how to improve their movie-making efforts so that they can please audiences better in the future.

Do you know all of the perks offered to you through all of your credit cards or club memberships? If you have a credit card that offers deals and discounts for visiting select theaters, make an effort to visit that theater. Memberships from organizations such as AAA also provide members discounts as well.

Sign up for a rewards program from any theaters you frequently visit. Use your rewards membership each time you visit the theater and you’ll accumulate points to receive discounts and free movie tickets. Signing up usually takes just a few moments of your time.

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