Movie theatre

6 ways to see movies on the cheap

If you’re a cinephile like me, you love a night out at the movies. But at $11-13 a pop for a regular adult ticket at most theatres, it can make for an expensive outing.

Here are six ways you can see movies on the cheap.

1. Cheap Tuesday

Virtually all movie theatres in Metro Vancouver and Victoria offer a discount on Tuesday nights. You get roughly 40% off, with regular tickets ranging from $6-8 at most theatres.

If you like Tuesday prices but not the crowds, consider one of the following options:

  • Splurge for reserved seating: Spend a few more dollars on a Cineplex UltraAVX ticket in order to reserve your seat ahead of time—it’s still cheaper than a regular ticket on other nights!
  • Visit Fifth Avenue: The newly-renovated Fifth Avenue Cinemas in Vancouver offers reserved seating for all tickets, even on cheap Tuesday. It’s also an adult-only theatre, making it perfect for date night.

2. Rewards points


Some rewards programs, like Vancity’s My Visa Rewards Plus, offer movie tickets and gift cards, allowing you to redeem your points to fund your trip to the movies. Check to see what your rewards and loyalty programs offer.

Since Cineplex is the main theatre chain in town, you might want to consider signing up for their SCENE rewards program. You earn 100 points for each movie you see and need 1,000 points to get a regular movie for free. At a minimum you’ll earn a free movie after seeing 10 movies, but you can also accumulate points even faster by setting up a SCENEtourage, getting the Timeplay app or buying tickets online.

I also recently discovered an app called Carrot Rewards, which can help you earn more points. The app is a government initiative to influence British Columbians to make healthier choices. You take simple quizzes about healthy living and earn points for it. I earned TWO FREE MOVIES in the first two weeks of having the app, and it was very quick and easy to use.

3. Ticket deals


There are a few ticket deals floating around out there:

  • Group buys: A few of the offices I’ve worked at over the years have had someone that organizes a group buy for Cineplex movie tickets, reducing the price to about $8.50 each. Ask around to see if any friends or friends-of-friends do this.
  • Deals for members: Both Costco and BCAA offer movie packages to their members (for Cineplex and Landmark theatres, respectively) that include admission and refreshments.

4. Small and/or independent theatres

While the movie theatre scene in Metro Vancouver and Victoria is dominated by larger chains, there are still a few small and/or independent theatres that generally charge slightly lower ticket prices in the $9-10 range (for example, Rio and Dunbar in Vancouver, the smaller Hollywood 3 chain, and Star Cinema in Sidney).

5. Second-run theatres

If you’re not too fussy about seeing the newest releases, second-run theatres are a great option. Unfortunately there aren’t a whole lot of them around—three that I know of: Surrey, Pitt Meadows and Chilliwack. General admission is $4-6 and even cheaper on Tuesdays ($2 in Chilliwack!)

6. Outdoor movies


Okay, so it’s not exactly the same as going to the movie theatre, but outdoor movies are great way to enjoy the summer weather and see a movie for free! Check out the listings on the Outdoor Movies BC Facebook page.


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