Taking a family of 4 to the movies on a Friday night can cost a fortune! We have easily spent $45 before we even make it to the concession stand. Add in popcorn, candy and drinks and it is almost $80. When we hit kid #5, we thought we were done with movies except for the occasional date night that set us back $50, but you can still have a movie night on a budget.
Okay, with only two theaters we don’t get a ton of local deals but they are there. I will start with the basic deals and then I can show you how to save even more.
1486 Interstate Loop Bismarck
I always take my guests here when they visit from out of town, the restored Art Deco style theater is amazing.
Tuesdays $5 days. All seats all day for $5, there are exclusions so check those out before you go.
Thursdays Throw Back Thursdays Seats are regular price but candy, jr. popcorn, small drink or icees are $2 all day. If you can’t get a cheap seat, you can always make this a date night and feel like a big spender at the snack bar. Let your date grab their seat and you can leave the line with an armload of snacks for $10.
AMC Classic 8
2700 N State St Bismarck
There have been changes with the AMC rebranding so you will want to check specials here frequently and we will try to get them updated as this turns into more of a national chain with national promotions.
Daily Tickets are $3.99 plus tax every day before 4pm.
Military They give a military discount so bring your ID!
Tuesday $5 for seats, some exclusions may apply on certain movies
Right now Movie Pass is the best deal going for movies. The best way to describe it is Netflix for movies. You pay a flat monthly fee (currently $9.99) and get to go see as many movies as you want. Movie Pass is losing money so they are constantly messing with the program. Last month they limited the number of movies but this month it is back to unlimited. I would go now but make sure you actually use it. We just use it for the teenagers in our house since they seem to go a lot more. The site can be buggy and the customer service isn’t that great.
Fandango is an online ticketing service that works at the AMC theater. They run frequent promotions on tickets and there is a points program so you should sign up for emails and follow their promotions.
Groupon also sometimes offers a deal on Fandango tickets meaning you can get discounts on AMC. You occasionally can find theaters that have specials on movie tickets thru Groupon.
You can sometimes find discounted AMC tickets here as part of a national promotion with AMC.
Triple A offers discount on it’s tickets to members. The only local participating theatre is the AMC
Other ways to see movies
Free movie screenings
Did you know studios host free screenings of new movies shortly before their release to generate buzz, show the film to local reviewers, get audience feedback, and generally promote their newest releases? If you love movies and don’t mind a little work, you can get into many of these screenings for free!
The top place to find free screenings is Gofobo. Sign up for a free account to get notified about free screenings in your area. AdvanceScreenings.com offers a similar service. There are some regional services as well, like 1iota.
Campus Circle offers screenings, targeted to college students specifically. You may also find free movie screening deals on social media or specific studio websites, notably Lionsgate local screenings for its own features and seeitfirst for Disney movie screenings.
The trick to making the free screeners work is showing up very early to wait in line. The hosts want a full theater, and often give out more passes than there are seats assuming there will be some no shows. Lines start to form well before show time, and admission and seating are all first-come-first-served.
By now pretty much everyone who doesn’t live under a rock has at least heard of Netflix. The company has attracted over 50 million subscribers in the United States, and over 100 million subscribers around the world. Why? Because it is a hugely valuable service for the cost.
Streaming service hodgepodge
While Netflix is the far and away leader of streaming services, there are many others worth noting. Here are some popular options that give you unlimited streaming at a reasonably monthly cost:
Amazon Prime Video — Amazon’s response to Netflix is Prime Video, which offers less user-friendly interfaces but generally high quality original shows, movies, and a long list of free movies to stream for anyone with an Amazon Prime account. Prime costs $99 per year (or about $8.25 per month), and includes many additional services in addition to Prime Video streaming.
Hulu — A joint venture of Disney, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and Time Warner, Netflix is more like a traditional TV streaming service for the internet. The subscription service has plenty of movies available, thought you may be interrupted for ads during your viewing experience. Hulu plans start at $7.99 per month for “limited ads”, or you can pay $4 more per month for a a mostly ad free experience. Pay $39.99 per month for Hulu plus live streaming TV on up to two simultaneous screens.
Google Play Movies — When you can’t find a movie you want between Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming services, Google Play Movies is a great fallback. Think of it like the old-fashioned video store, but online. Rent new releases and a massive library of older movies for a limited window, or pay more to buy it and get access forever. Rentals start around $0.99 to $4.99, and purchases range up to around $19.99.
HBO Go — While Netflix started out as primarily a video store competitor, it has morphed into the biggest competitor of HBO. While most of us know HBO from cable TV packages, you can get a stand-alone HBO subscription through HBO Go, which allows streaming HBO’s big catalogue of movies and shows. Without TV, HBO costs $14.99 per month.
While Hollywood may be glamorous, you don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy the movies. Maybe you’ll find you don’t need cable at all once you get your movie fix elsewhere!