Wednesday, July 15, 2009
WFMW:Summer Movies on the Cheap
Watching movies is one of my favorite summer past times. I love to stay up late at night watching movies that I've DVR'd or rented on "school nights" in the summer. I love walking out of a movie theater in the summer; all chilly from the air conditioning with squinty eyes and then feeling the warmth of the hot summer air on my face.
However, it's not always the most economical endeavor to take 3 children to the movie these days so I've found a few ways this summer to give the kids the movie experience without breaking the bank.
Last summer, someone turned me on to the "Free Movie" or "Kid Matinee Movies" that many of the big chain movie theaters offer every summer. Every Wednesday and Thursday at one of the theaters in town you can go to a "special" showing of a Kid's Movie for $3.00 a person including a small popcorn. At another theater in town, they offer Free Movies at 10 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday.
The movies are normally appropriate for toddlers to early teens and are films that are either on DVD already or just about to be released to DVD. So far this summer, we've watched Tale of Desperaux and Horton Hears a Who. You can find out about these movies by going to the website for the theater and it will list out the entire schedule for the summer.
Second, we've found the Buck Theater; which in reality is $2.00 a person before 3 p.m and $2.50 after 3 p.m. This is still a huge discount over the regular matinee price. Last week, we saw the Hannah Montana movie for a total of $8.00. It was a fun movie (G rated) and a perfect way to spend a cloudy afternoon. I actually like it much better than the Disney series on TV.
Here are a few websites to check out for Summer Kid's Movie programs http://www.amctheatres.com/ ; http://www.ravemotionpictures.com/; http://www.marcustheatres.com/
Finally, we've started rented movies from On Demand. When people in the past told me they were renting a pay per view movie. I assumed they were $10 a pop and thought that going to the video store would be more economical. Not true. There are on our On Demand Guide numerous older movies for 99 cents. That's how we watched a long list of Disney Classic Movies this winter. New Releases run $4 to $5.00 each which is still much cheaper than taking the whole clan to the theater plus the snacks are cheaper. We watched Hotel for Dogs earlier this summer and loved it!!
My youngest will only eat popcorn at the movies so we'll usually buy a small popcorn. However, for the older kids, I'll admit we have been known to smuggle in our candy. We've hit up the Dollar Store or Walgreen's candy aisle and gotten boxes of candy for $1.00. While I deep down know this is probably not right, neither is charging $4.50 for 32 ounces of soda or $6.50 for a big box of popcorn. I noticed last week that a family at the Free Movie had purchased one of the largest drinks which promised a free refill and filled up their own little sippie cups for all the kids and then got a refill for the mom and dad to share. Not a bad idea.
Last but not least, before we rent a movie or go to a movie, I always check out this website first to see their review of the movie. http://www.pluggedinonline.com/. Not only do I love how they breakdown the movie with violent, language, and spiritual content, but they are always spot on when they recommend a movie. I've been known to allow my oldest child to go to a movie that I might otherwise have rejected by first talking through with him some of what he might see and should expect. Likewise, the opposite is also true and I've vetoed movies that where either the right rating (G or some PG) because of the review I've read here. Great site. Check it out.
Cheap movies in the summertime work for me. For more WFMW ideas check out http://www.wearethatfamily.com/