I love taking my wife to see movies from time to time (this is Andrew, by the way). If you follow Shantelle’s instagram it’s a huge surprise, right? But it’s one of the most amazing things you can do, period. To start with there’s the anticipation of going to see a new movie, something you’ve never seen before but you’ve been checking out the previews for weeks (or months). And while the feature presentation is exciting enough by itself that’s only part of the fun. It used to cost an arm and a leg to see a first-run movie, but things are a-changing, people.
Personally, I’m a HUGE fan of the trailers before the film we paid to see even starts. When I go to the movies with my wife we are both transformed into movie critics for 15-20 glorious minutes. Every preview is an opportunity to decide if an upcoming film will receive the coveted “see it in theatres” ranking. There are a few other ratings we use as well, as any good critic should, so allow me to break those down for you:
1. “UGH, why?” – this rating is usually reserved for movies that probably should never have been made and/or many of the fundamental elements in the movie/their very existence is fundamentally troubling (see “Aloha”).
2. “No, no, definitely not” – this category is home to the vast majority of movies. It’s basically a catch all for movies where it’s painfully obvious from the preview that we won’t enjoy it (see “Run all Night”).
3. “Just plain dumb/Why?/Please I thought the end of times wasn’t nigh” – A category basically filled with Entourage-esque movies (see “Entourage”).
4. “Redbox!” – These movies are intriguing, but not worth the price of admission due to a high likelihood of the movie sucking. At times our suspicions are confirmed – the movie sucked, but in some pleasant cases cases we’re happily surprised to find they’re actually really good (see “The Duff”).
5. “Fine, we’ll pay” – Pretty obvious, we might not have otherwise paid to see it but the previews were catchy enough that we’ll be forking over too much money to see this (and it at times this pays off, see “Furious 7”).
6. Lastly, and the highest rating, “Add that to the planner RIGHT. NOW!” – You can tell from these previews that you simply must go see the movie in theaters or your life will be incomplete*! This final category of movies is also a source of consternation when the release date keeps getting pushed back until later and later in the year (see “Pan” and also my wife’s tears).
Critiquing movies is not only one of my favorite parts of going out to the theater, it’s imperative. Nowadays going to see a movie at the theater isn’t cheap so it’s important not to waste your movie dollars on a bad film. Adult ticket prices are usually $10 and up and even a matinee will cost you $8 a ticket. I won’t even talk about how expensive concessions have gotten because it’s almost painful to part with the price of a bag of popcorn. All of this is to preface a rather large budget date night secret with you/an amazing tip for when you want to see a movie.
Every Tuesday night our local Regal cinemas has a discount day where tickets are only $6 all day long on first-run movies (we aren’t talking dollar theatres here). If you’re also a Regal Crown Club member (which we are because it’s FREE), the tickets are only $5 a pop. Anytime we’re not sure about a new movie, we will wait and go see it on a Tuesday night. The tickets are cheap enough that even if we don’t like the movie (I’m looking at you “Far from the Madding Crowd”) we didn’t spend too much going to see it. The other benefit is that the whole reason they have the discount: very few people see movies on Tuesday nights. Even with super cheap tickets the theater is never crowded.
We have since discovered that more than just Regal offers this discount. AMC theatres has a discount day and I am sure that there are other deals out there as well, all you have to do is look. It seems like the discounts vary between theatres so I’d double check with your local big screen house to find out when they are!
In addition to the regularly discounted movie nights, the movie clubs through places like AMC and Regal have great deals. We earn free popcorn, drinks, and tickets on the regular which finally makes a movie date a budget dream.
Now, go forth and date at the movies on a budget (finally)! And since we’re talking about it, what was the best movie you’ve seen in theatres lately? Personally, I really loved InsideOut!
May your popcorn bucket always be full,
*May or may not be completely true.