These Are the Cheapest Ways to See a Movie in the Theater This Summer

Get out of the summer heat and off the steaming streets and step into the movie theater. Sure, there’s always Netflix or Hulu — but why pay to keep your air conditioning on when you could see the newest attractions on the silver screen for as low as $1 this season?

We rounded up a comprehensive list of cheap movie tickets at your favorite theaters this summer. The good news? None of them require a subscription program in addition to ticket costs.

movie theater seats

Empty seats at a movie theater | Thinkstock


Sure, it’s considered the early bird special of movie-viewing. But come summer time when school’s out (and we hear the living’s easy) what better way to cool off and step into a theater for nearly 30% lower the cost?

Matinee prices end from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at most theaters. Some theaters like Cinemark offer special “Early Bird Matinees” that discount the price if you head to the movie and watch the first matinee showing before 1 p.m.


MoviePass took the world by storm as of late, passing 3 million paying subscribers and estimating they’ll hit the 5 million mark by 2019. The service requires subscribers pay a flat $9.95 a month in exchange for unlimited movie viewing at participating theaters.

Thought that was too good to be true? It gets better. For a limited time, MoviePass is offering a $7.95 per month subscription in exchange for three movies a month and a free, all-access three month trial with their partner, iHeartRadio.

AMC movie theater | Mario Tama/Getty Images

$5 AMC Tuesdays

One common misconception the public makes about the AMC Stubs program is that it’s a subscription-only one. AMC Stubs members actually have two options when joining. Sign up for the basic Stubs program with no monthly fee or the Stubs Premiere program for $15 a year.

Still, viewers can capitalize on one of the best deals AMC offers without paying monthly or annual costs. Basic Stubs program members get $5 movies every Tuesday at participating locations just by entering their member number or registered email address.

$1 Regal Cinemas movies

It sounds too good to be true, yes. But it turns out Regal Cinemas is just trying to offer a summer cool-down option for you and your family. The theaters are offering $1 admission to G- and PG-rated films every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. from June 26 to August 8.

The promotion, titled “Summer Movie Express” aims to host sensory-friendly screenings for kids and their families and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Will Rogers Institute. They’ll show Incredibles 2Hotel Transylvania 3, and Christopher Robin for nearly one-fifteenth of the movies usual cost, among other G- and PG-rated movies.

Student or senior discounts

If you have the ability, don’t forget to take advantage of student and senior discounts. Most movie theaters offer movies for $2 to $3 less for undergraduate and graduate students with school identification.

Certain Cinemark theaters even offer a Senior Day dedicated to cutting the cost for customers 60 years of age and older. Participating theaters announce a day where seniors get an additional discount to any movie at the showtime of their choosing.

Costco exterior

Costco | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Buy discounted gift cards at Costco

If you belong to a wholesale store like Costco or Sam’s Club, you may not be using your membership to the best of your ability. By paying to use wholesale grocers, you have access to discounted movie tickets in bulk at participating locations.

Costco offers 10 tickets to Regal Cinemas or AMC Theaters for $89.99, saving you around $10 total. They also offer 4 tickets to either theater for the $35.99, saving club members somewhere between $1 to $5 per ticket.

Regardless of which option you choose, don’t let cost keep you from seeing some of the summer’s biggest hits.

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