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Movies on the cheap COVER STORY




With the awards season well under way and big blockbusters including Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: Episode IX on the horizon, here’s how to enjoy the latest releases at discount prices


I t has never been easier to pick up a cheap deal at the cinema. Most cinemas will have their lowest prices at off-peak times. This means you can normally save by going early in the afternoon rather than in the evening, or mid-week rather than the weekend. Some cinemas will also have one day with even lower prices – at Vue this is across the whole chain on its ‘Super Monday’ offer.

It is worth comparing the prices at different cinemas, even within the same chain. You might find one is considerably cheaper simply because it is in a less fashionable area.

Many cinemas try to boost ticket receipts by adding reclining seats and premium rows, which come at a cost yet don’t add much to the overall cinema experience. Avoid these if you want to save money. 3D screenings will also cost you more, but see if there is a discount for bringing along the special specs you picked up on a previous visit.

It is also worth smuggling in your own snacks if you want to avoid the eye-watering mark-up applied to popcorn.

If you are willing to hunt for special offers, it is possible to get cut-price tickets even at the weekend. Groupon and LivingSocial regularly run promotions where tickets are heavily discounted.

You can get cutprice tickets even at the weekend

Schemes, such as Tastecard and Kids Pass, promise up to 40% off at cinemas alongside savings elsewhere. These discounts are off a set ticket price, no matter where you live, so you might find your local cinema is cheaper already. You can usually find free trials to give these services a go.

Other loyalty schemes also have cinema incentives – including insurers, mobile phone networks and banks. And there are ways to get these offers without moving your custom (see box on page 10).

Fancy going for free? Well, check in your newspaper or sign up for services such as ShowFilmFirst for free preview screenings across the country.

Cinema-goers can also save with annual memberships, offering free tickets or even unlimited entry. Yet the value for money will depend on how often you go, as our investigation reveals.


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