Updated September 26, 2019 | Originally published July 25, 2016
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.
Vancity member perk
Vancity members get 2 for 1 tickets at regular Vancity Theatre screenings this year (except during VIFF and the holiday season).
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.
- Take the family: Cineplex offers $2.99 family favourite movies every Saturday at 11 am at select theatres.
2. Rewards points
Some rewards programs, like Vancity Rewards, 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 125 points for each regular movie you see and need 1,250 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 food and drink at the theatre. Plus SCENE members get 10% off already discounted Tuesday tickets.
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.