By Destiny Lopez
How did we ever survive without $15 movie tickets, outrageous markups at concession stands and headache-inducing 3D screenings? Movie tickets, especially in big cities, are at an all time high. Even matinees are sometimes as high as $14 a ticket (Yes, we’re looking at you ArcLight). It’s hard enough to go to the movies if you are on a date, or, dare I say, are taking a family of three or more.
In order to save money, many moviegoers are looking for alternatives to major theater chains. Lucky for us, summer is upon us and theater alternatives are plentiful.
Whether you support your local historical movie theater or catch a flick in the great outdoors, here are 10 ways to avoid paying top dollar at the movie theater.
1. Sign up for advance screenings.
Why pay to go to the movies when there are so many opportunities to attend advance screenings?
Advance screenings are offered by movie studios to moviegoers and members of the press. Movies are screened weeks, sometimes months in advance for marketing and review purposes.
All you have to do do in order to attend is know when and where to sign up. Good places to start are Gofobo (you must register your email), Campus Circle (you can enter to win tickets or RSVP) and Wild About Movies (you must “Like” their Facebook page to receive an email notification which tells you if the movie you want to see is playing in your area.) Tickets are available in limited quantities with screening in various cities. So, RSVP as early as possible.
2. For locals only
Los Angeles has “LA Weekly.” New York has “The Village Voice.” Whatever your free local publication may be, check it regularly. It’s a gold mine for screening contests and special screenings. Local magazines, like Los Angeles Magazine, and radio stations also giveaway and allow locals to sign up for free screenings. You might even land premiere tickets.
3. Apply to be a seat filler.
Aspiring actors, actresses, screenwriters and crew — this one is for you.
For movie premieres, festival screenings and award shows, studios don’t like to see empty seats. And that’s where the public comes in.
If you are located in a movie premiere city like Los Angeles or New York City, applying to be a seat filler may not only benefit the budget, but is also a great networking opportunity. Get those business cards ready, as you will have the opportunity to fill seats at premieres and award shows.
4. New filmmakers love Eventbrite.
Don’t underestimate the power of Eventbrite. It’s not just for networking and job conventions.
Eventbrite is a great online source to check for free or low cost indie or low-budget movie screenings. Many up and coming filmmakers and documentarians promote their opening night screenings on Eventbrite and Brown Paper Tickets.
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