10 ways Canadians can save money at the movies

This summer has some major blockbusters coming out including: The Dark Knight RisesPrometheus,The Expendables 2The Amazing Spider-Man and Men in Black III.

Before making your picks as to what you are planning to watch, you should consider how to spend your movie budget.

In anticipation, I wanted to share 10 ways Canadians can save money at the movies:

1. Buy Cineplex Night Out Movie Package at Costco.ca

If you have a partner or girlfriend, this is a great value. The Cineplex Night Out Movie Package retails for $24.99 but includes 2 General Admissions, 1 Regular Popcorn and 2 Regular Soft Drinks.

Costco movie discount

The tickets usually go for $11.99 each so you are getting the soda and popcorn at a huge discount compared to the regular cost.

There are a number of reasons we like to purchase these packages:

  • Cineplex Entertainment owns leases or has a joint-venture interest in 129 theatres with 1,342 screens located from British Columbia to Quebec. This means the tickets are easy to redeem.
  • Ticket may be applied towards the purchase of admissions to IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, UltraAVX™ or RealD 3D film presentations or VIP admissions with payment of an applicable surcharge per admission.
  • The redemption is really simple. An electronic voucher will be e-mailed to you normally within the hour. Please make sure that you double-check your e-mail address when you place your order. You must keep your printed voucher and your receipt as your proofs of purchase until you exchange them.

2. Look in your Entertainment book for movie coupons.

My family is a big fan of the Entertainment book. It is a must purchase every year and when we travel (Hawaii, Vancouver, Mainland United States) it saves us hundreds of dollars.

In this year’s Entertainment book, there was a coupon for $27.50 for an evening at Cineplex (includes 2 admissions, 2 regular soft drinks and a regular popcorn). They also have two coupons for 2 admissions for $16 (savings of 33% on the regular price of $23.98 for 2 people). Their is also two coupons for a child’s admission package for $11.99 (admission, drink and popcorn).

3. Use Discount Gift Cards

 

Have you heard of CardSwap.ca?

CardSwap offers Canadians a fast, easy and secure way to buy gift cards at discount prices.

They have Cineplex and AMC gift cards available. If you do not see any available, try looking on your local craigslist or UsedEverywhere website where often sellers sell their gift cards for up to 25% off. You can verify the gift card balance simply by calling a toll-free number on the back of the card or checking online.

4. Try an alternate theatre.

Many cities have theatres that show movies a few weeks after its release date. If you can wait to see the latest Avengers movie, you can save sometimes between $3 to $6.

 

In Victoria, we have a theatre called the Roxy, that charges just $4 on Tuesdays to see 2 movies. Currently, they have
21 Jump Street and American Reunion (released just last month).

5. Join a loyalty program.

One of Canada’s top loyalty programs (in terms of members) is Scene.ca.

Scene.ca card

My wife and I each own this card and it lets us watch free movies. Simply, redeem 1,000 of your SCENE points for 1 adult movie ticket.

Here is how you can earn points:

  • 250 bonus points just for joining Scene.ca
  • 5 bonus points for every $1 spent on DVDs, Blu-Rays and digital movie downloads at the Cineplex Store.
  • 100 points when you purchase your movie ticket at Cineplex Entertainment theatres, or at cineplex.com
  • 20 bonus points when you purchase tickets at cineplex.com, m.cineplex.com or in the Cineplex App
  • 75 – 150 points on concession combos.
  • 50 points when you purchase a child movie ticket at Cineplex Entertainment theatres.

As a bonus to being a member you always get 10% off movie snacks.

6. Attend free screenings.

Did you know that most major releases in Canada have a free screening for the media and often they have seats available for the public so the word of mouth can spread about the movie.

The cities that usually have free screenings includes: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal (and sometimes Halifax and Victoria).

Most city newspapers also have contests giving away two free passes to movie screenings. You can enter online, and it usually involves just giving your full name and e-mail address.

A great place to find screenings is the facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CanadaScreenings where they share free advanced screenings in Canada from Warner, Paramount, Sony, Columbia, Universal, Fox, Disney, Miramax. We also post these in our Twitter account and our Facebook page.

7. Early bird gets the deal!

I have never watched a matinee (I love the outdoors) but some local theatres have nice specials for movie viewers during the day.

One local theatre charges $7.75 admission for regular price but for matinees they charge $4.75 (savings of 38%)!

8. Go back to school.

I am lucky to live in Victoria, BC (home to one of the top universities in Canada and one of Canada’s most literate cities) we have a theatre connected to the university. The movie theatre is ran as the non-profit University of Victoria Students’ Society, conceived as an Inexpensive alternative for students, the university community and the public at large.

The 300-seat theatre is equipped with both 35mm film and digital projection with Dolby stereo sound.

It plays more foreign movies that you won’t find at your more mainstream theatre like Children of Paradise (Les enfants du paradis). The prices for non-members is reasonable and you get the movie theatre experience at a nice savings.

9. Double-dip your movie purchases.

Many people still enjoy purchasing a movie to enjoy at home. With the recent release of  the blockbuster, Avengers, we found a free offer where if you buy a Marvel movie you can enter a code to receive a free ticket.

 

It seems a win-win (movie and a bonus movie to watch at home).

10. Check the back of your cereal for a free movie!

Free movie ticket with cereal

Gen­eral Mills had a great promotion this year giv­ing away great free movie offers for par­tic­i­pat­ing Cine­plex the­atres.

They had numerous buy one get one free discount movie coupons inside specially marked boxes of cereals.

  • February: Free General Admission or Free Child Admission
  • March: Buy One Get One Free General Admission or Buy One Get One Free Child Admission
  • April: Buy One Get One Free General Admission or Buy One Get One Free Child Admission
  • May: Buy One Get One Free General Admission or Buy One Get One Free Child Admission

How do you save money going to the movies? Any money saving tip you have?

Profile imageAuthor: Steven Zussino on November 8th, 2012. Steven Zussino is the co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada. He loves to help Canadians save money on groceries. He also runs the blog, CanadianPersonalFinance.com.

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