How to bag a bargain cinema ticket

Caroline Cassidy
Detail of popcorn in a bucket and two tickets over a white background. Tickets on focus and shallow DOF
Detail of popcorn in a bucket and two tickets over a white background. Tickets on focus and shallow DOF

With smart TVs and online streaming, we're now able to watch movies at the click of a button at home, but there's nothing quite like the experience you get at the cinema. While what used to be an affordable night out can end up costing a fair bit these days, you can still get your hands on the cheap seats with these discounts and offers.

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Orange Wednesdays
If you're an Orange or EE mobile or broadband customer, you can get two tickets for the price of one every Wednesday. All you need do is text FILM to 241 on your Orange or EE phone (texts cost 35p) and you'll receive a code. Show the code at your local movie theatre and you'll get a free ticket. What's more, you can get the same two for one deal at PizzaExpress using the cinema code, and that's whether you eat in or take away.

Kids tickets
Keep the kids entertained for a couple of hours with a cheap cinema ticket during school holidays or at weekends. Cineworld charge just £1.35 (if you book online with a myCineworld account) or £1.50 on the door for both adults and children on weekend and school holiday mornings. They aren't always the very latest movies, and 3D films cost a little more at £2.70 or £3, but you'll still be making a sizeable saving.

Similarly, at Vue Cinemas, children aged between two and 12 get in for £1.75, again on selected weekend and school holiday mornings, with 3D films costing £3. Odeon cinemas have the same deal, but most tickets cost £2.50, though there are exceptions depending on your location. In all cases, it's best to book online or arrive early to be sure of getting a seat.

Free ticket promotions
It is always worth keeping your eyes peeled for free ticket promotions, whether through movie magazines or newspapers. For now though, chocoholics can take advantage of the Sweet Sundays promotion run by Mars. By indulging yourself with four share bags or Galaxy Counters, Revels, M&Ms, Maltesers, Minstrels, Twix, Mars Mix, Galaxy Bites or Magic Stars, you can get yourself a free cinema ticket for a Sunday viewing at your local Cineworld, Showcase, Apollo or Movie House theatres. Simply sign up online, enter the codes from the bottom of your packs, and you'll receive a code that entitles you to one free ticket.

Be aware that the promotional packs are often mixed in with non-promotional ones, so make sure you check before you buy, and it's worth keeping an eye out for those that on offer in the big supermarkets.

Take 2 for an all-in ticket
Save yourself a bundle at Cineworld by using their Take 2 offer on a Thursday. While you don't get to pick the film, the offer does mean you and a friend can enjoy one of the latest movies AND get two small drinks and popcorn to share, all for just £11. Join the free members club at mycineworld to book online, or pay slightly more at £12.10 if you buy at the box office. As you might expect, tickets sell out fast, so it's best to book in advance.
Odeon discount
With the big cinema chains competing up and down the country, it's not unusual to find offers and discounts available. Until 16 October, Odeon are handing out 40 percent off cinema tickets with a voucher that you can use as many times as you like until that date. Simply enter your email address on the website and either print the voucher or show it on your smartphone to bag the bargain seats.

Are you a regular cinema goer? What are your tips for getting a cheaper deal? Leave your comments below...

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