In less than a month, “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” hauled in more than $300 million from moviegoers. Ecstatic reviews propelled audiences into theaters across the country, eager to enjoy Peter Jackson’s talented team delivering Oscar-caliber performances.
Not to be an Orc about it, but the ca-ching of the Ring could have been held to only $298 million or so if ticket buyers had taken advantage of a multitude of discounts available to them. It only takes a change of hobbit – er, habit – to save money the next time you storm the walls of your local cinema.
GO BEFORE 6:00 PM. Matinees ticket prices are usually a couple of dollars cheaper than for prime time shows. That means a family of four can visit the concession stand with $8 extra dollars in their pockets if they head for the theater after school instead of after dinner.
LET AGE WORK FOR YOU. Children and seniors pay lower rates, as do students with current ID cards. Some drive-ins admit kids under 11 free. Don’t forget seasonal programs like Regal Cinema’s http://www.regalcinemas.com/) Family Film Festival and Dickinson’s http://www.dtmovies.com) Summer Kids Movies pass featuring past G and PG-rated films. Sure, they’re already out on video, but it’s still great to see favorite films on the big screen. And at $1.50 or less per ticket, it’s a cheap way to entertain the tots.
CHECK THOSE COUPON BOOKS. The next time a fundraising student appears on your doorstep selling Entertainment or Gold C books (http://www.entertainment.com), invite them in. Recent Gold C books included coupons for Cinemark (http://www.cinemark.com), AMC Theatres (www.amctheatres.com) and Regal Cinemas. The Entertainment book tends to expand these listings, adding even more movie houses. Also flip through those coupon pages in your phonebook to seek additional discounts.
REWARD CARDS. Just like grocery stores, several nationwide theater chains reward repeat customers. Membership is free; ask for card applications at the box office.
AMC MovieWatchers accumulate 2 points for every ticket purchased (limit 4 points per visit). As they hit 10-point thresholds, customers receive coupons for free drinks, popcorn or tickets. MovieWatchers also get free popcorn on Wednesdays, and can order advance tickets with no service fee.
Many Dickinson Theaters feature the DT Movies Bonus Club Card. One point is awarded for each ticket purchased; moviegoers get free popcorn at 5 points and a free ticket at 10 points.
Saving this much money may put you in the mood to return to the movies again. Have fun, and may the Frodo be with you.
Comments? Contact Cheryl by writing Cheryl@homebodies.org. Also stop by www.homebodies.org, where you can interact with other parents on a variety of lively message boards. Christmas is coming! Do you know someone who might benefit from one of Cheryl’s at-home parenting books? Visit this link for more info: http://www.gospelcom.net/homebodies/bookstore/orderSAHH.php
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