How to find cheap and discounted movie tickets

NICOLA FIELD
Personal Finance Writer · 30 September 2021
A trip to the movies isn’t always cheap. Here are six ideas that could see you catching the latest blockbuster without busting your budget, leaving you with more to spend on popcorn.

A good movie can make our lives richer but it can leave our finances poorer – especially for families.  With standard tickets costing about $20 per person a family of four may have to fork out $80 to catch a movie – and that’s before hitting the candy bar. A Lux (Hoyts) or Gold Class (Event and Village Cinemas) session with all the creature comforts can add up to a lot more.

Whether you’re a regular moviegoer or only head to the cinema once or twice a year, it’s worth being discerning and making sure you don’t spend more money than you need to. Here are six ways you could potentially pocket generous savings at the box office.

 

Movies
Image source: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com

1. Join a cinema reward program

If you’re a movie lover, a cinema reward program can trim the expense.

Cinebuzz, the loyalty program for Event Cinemas, lets you earn points that can be redeemed for tickets as well as giving members ongoing discounts on specially marked sessions. 

It’s a similar deal with Hoyts Rewards. You can save 10% on movie tickets, earn points to redeem for rewards and get free popcorn refills. The program is also linked to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, letting you earn a minimum of one Qantas point per $2 spent at the movies. For $15 a year you can upgrade to a Hoyts Rewards VIP membership and save 25% on movie tickets, save 10% on food and drinks and earn double Hoyts points. You still get the free popcorn refills and can earn Qantas frequent flyer points.

Village Cinema’s program is vrewards. Members earn 10 points for every dollar spent which can be used for standard or Gold Class tickets or candy bar treats. You can also save on tickets every day and get 20% off exclusive candy bar combos.

2. Cash in your Qantas frequent flyer points

Qantas frequent flyer points can be used to pay for tickets and treats. It costs 4,000 points to pay for approximately $20 worth of tickets or candy bar purchases, and you’ll need to spend at least $20 to pay with your points. Be sure to have your frequent flyer card and PIN handy.

The downside of this option is that you may not get much bang for your frequent flyer buck. You may get better value by using your points for different types of rewards, so it’s worth crunching the numbers.

3. Tap into your telco

If you’re a Telstra customer, the Telstra Plus loyalty program offers points-based rewards plus membership perks including cut-price movie tickets. Up for grabs are child movie tickets for $11.50 and adult tickets from $12.50 at Event Cinemas, Greater Union, Birch Carroll & Coyle, Village Cinemas and Moonlight Cinemas in Australia. Head to the movies after 5pm on Saturdays and public holidays and pay $15.50 per ticket.

If you’re with Optus you can get discounted movie tickets for Hoyts cinemas, starting at $12.50 for an adult ticket or $27 for the Lux option. Booking fees will also apply. There is a limit of 10 standard tickets or four LUX tickets at Optus prices per customer per day. There are only a certain number of Optus tickets allocated per Hoyts movie session and once that has been reached you won’t be able to purchase tickets for that session. You’ll need to use the My Optus app to purchase the discounted tickets.


4. Put memberships to work

Motoring associations can be a great source of savings at the cinema. RACV members can score up to 30% off the standard ticket price at Village, Hoyts or Palace cinemas. You’ll need to pre-purchase tickets online or at an RACV store. A processing fee may apply. Or use your membership to pay just $9 for a Monday movie at Village. Restrictions may apply on Saturday nights and public holidays and school holidays.

NRMA members can save up to 35% at Event Cinemas, BCC, Greater Union & GU Film House when tickets are pre-purchased online.

In Queensland, RACQ offers savings at Event and BCC Cinemas when you buy tickets online. Standard adult tickets are just $12.50 and child’s tickets are $10 each. These can’t be used on Saturdays after 5 pm.

Motorists aren’t alone in offering savings for movie patrons. Plenty of other member-based organisations offer box office bargains. If you’re a union member find out if you’re eligible for any discounts.

The Australian Services Union, Community & Public Sector Union and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) are just some of the unions offering discounted movie tickets to members. 

Members of National Seniors Australia can also score discounts of up to 35% on Emovie tickets.

5. Check what your insurance offers

Don’t overlook companies you hold insurance policies with. They can also offer discounts at the cinema. For example, AAMI customers can save through AAMI’s Lucky Club. Pick up $20 Gold Class tickets (Monday to Wednesday sessions) at Village or Event Cinemas. Booking fees apply.

Health insurance funds can be a good source of discounted cinema tickets. It’s worth checking if your policy comes with any discounts. Here’s a guide to some of the offers available:

  • Medibank Priority members plus a friend can take in Thursday movie screenings at select Palace Cinemas for just $14. For seniors and a friend, it’s $11 a ticket. Buy tickets online or present your Medibank card at the box office. Online purchases will incur an additional booking fee.
  • Bupa members can save up to 25% at Event Cinemas and Hoyts.
  • AIA Vitality members may be able to save up to 50% off Hoyts movie vouchers.
  • HBF offers discounts on Event Cinemas, Village Cinemas and Hoyts movie tickets.

6. Look at sites that sell discounted tickets

There are a few sites that offer discounted movie tickets. One is Choovie which says it uses a unique pricing algorithm to predict which sessions will be the least popular and prices them accordingly. 

Sites such as Groupon, Scoopon and Cudo also offer special deals on movie tickets from time to time so they can be worth keeping an eye on as well.

With all these budget-friendly options available, the days of paying full price for tickets may be gone with the wind. It could make a trip to the movies an affordable experience that leaves you thinking “I’ll be back”.

 

Cover image source: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com


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This content was reviewed by Editorial Campaigns Manager Maria Bekiaris as part of our fact-checking process.


Nicola is a personal finance writer with nearly two decades of industry experience. A former chartered accountant, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Education degree, Nicola has contributed to several popular magazines including the Australian Women’s Weekly, Money and Real Living.

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