Saving Money on Family Entertainment- Movie Theatres

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One date that my husband & I always enjoy is going to see a movie. But how in the world can you afford to take your whole family to the movies on a tight budget? I have been shocked at some of the prices of theatres nowadays- a lot of them are $10 a PERSON! HOLY COW! If you have a family of 4 or 5 it would just kill me to drop $50 to see a family movie! Even having just me & my husband and then having to a babysitter is a lot of money, and we pick 1 or 2 movies a year to go out and see. There are several ways to save money when seeing a movie.

1. Rent it at Redbox or Blockbuster Express for $1/nite. This is definitely the route my family goes most of the time. Plus side- it’s MUCH cheaper and closer to home. Downside, you do have to wait till the movie comes out on video.

2. Go earlier in the day for the matinee price. If you go during matinee times you can save as much as $4 per person! If you have a family of 5 that’s an extra $20!!

3. DON’T BUY SNACKS at the theatre!! Seriously- just a popcorn and drink can drop you over $10! It’s outrageous!! (Do you know many groceries I can buy for that!!)

4. Look for “CHEAP SEAT” Theatres.  Some cities have cheap theatres where the movies may be just a month or 2 older than the other theatres. We have one near us that’s only $3.50 each! They may only show 3-4 movies instead of 10, and they are a little older, but the movies are playing before they can be rented. We even have one near us where you go to the theatre and sit around plushy couches & dinner tables and can order food (which is of course very expensive)!

5. By far the coolest and my favorite way to see a movie- a DRIVE IN MOVIE THEATRE! Not everyone has these near them, but if you do I highly encourage you to go & check it out!! Most of the time this will give you the “biggest bang for your buck” in going out to see new movies. Most of the drive ins I’ve been to you pay by carload- so you can load up with some friends and split the cost. Or maybe they let the kids get in free so you only pay for adults. Each theatre has their own rules.

If you’re ever visiting (or live!) in Northern Michigan you definitely have to check out the “Cherry Bowl Drive-in Theatre“! It’s owned by the parents of my best friend from college- and they are FABULOUS there! It is a long hike for us from Florida, but we try to make it up there at least every other year.
And no- they don’t know I’m posting this- our family just LOVES the Cherry Bowl & highly recommend it for a fun family-friendly visit!! Kids 12 & under get in for free, and there is a old-fashioned diner, cafe, store, playground, mini-golf, and more to keep your family entertained before the movie starts. AND to get an even bigger bang for your buck- you get to see TWO new movies there for the price of only the adult admission! And they even have the old speakers that you can put in your car!
Here’s a few pictures of our visit to the Cherry Bowl last year!





If you want to find out more about the Cherry Bowl you can visit their website and their Facebook page!

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