A Students Guide To Saving Money on Movies

If  you are anything like me, you like to spend your free time watching movies, and you’d prefer to do it at a movie theatre. As well, you are trying to save a bit of money (movie tickets can really add up). Since I’ve stared university, I’ve gathered some tips and tricks on seeing movies for a cheaper ticket price, and have even seen a good portion of the movies I’ve seen in theatres for free!

Rewards Programs 

If you are Canadian, you are probably aware of the scene rewards program that you can use to collect points and redeem for free movies! 10 movies = 1 free movie, but there are a ton of other ways to earn points (games before the movie starts, buying food, promotions, etc.) If your local theatre has a rewards program, definitely sign up for that asap. Also, for scene, they have a special debit/credit card that you can use to earn points whenever you buy stuff at any other store as well! (this has gained me so many points because of the cost of school supplies like textbooks and notebooks!)

Advanced Screenings

One of my favourite movie going experiences is getting to see advanced screenings of upcoming movies! There are a bunch of ways to find out about these, and they are always free! (At least in my experience they are). If you are a university student at a school with a film/cinema program, find their page on facebook to see if they post about events! At my school, the facebook page for our film studies student union posts about a bunch of upcoming advanced screenings that they hold, and all you have to do to snag a free ticket is so comment on the post! As well, I use the website gofobo to get notifications for all the advanced screenings in my city. I believe this website works for both the US and Canada. Also, check your local theatres. TIFF is a theatre I always rely on for good events, and I’ve gotten to see some amazing films at pre-screenings, even a showing of The Zookeepers Wife in January with Jessica Chastain in attendance!

School Benefits 

Another one for university students. Check around to see if your school offers a way to watch free movies. For me, we have the criterion on demand site (which I believe most Canadian universities also offer) that works with a student connection. Criterion on demand gives me access to thousands of free movies, and many of them classics or recent well loved movies! I discovered this recently and I love using this along with netflix, so whenever I want to watch a movie that isn’t on netflix, I can usually count on it being on criterion on demand!

Take a Film Class! 

This is probably pretty obvious, and most people that read this will likely already be in film classes, but if watching movies is something you like to do, you can pretty much count on a film class to watch at least a movie a week. I took 2 classes my first semester that I watched films for, so I had 2 classes a week dedicated to watching films! Check around to see what classes you can find. It might not be exclusively a film class, but I took a class about diversity and it focused on film, so I was able to watch a ton of (diverse) movies in that class, even though it wasn’t listed under the film studies program!

Make Connections

You will most likely already be making connections if you are interested in the film industry, even if you haven’t realized it. A lot of advanced/pre-screenings get out through word of mouth and I’ve attended a few based on friends of friends hearing about them! Always keep an ear out for events!

Local Theatres

Although I have never been to it, there is a theatre I’ve seen that screens current movies for way cheaper than what the theatre chain will cost! It also offers a 50% off student discount, so it is way cheaper than what I would pay for at a large theatre chain. As well, TIFF offers student priced tickets for $11, and a membership price thats 50% off regular price, that gets you into members only events and gives you even more discount on regular movie tickets! A lot of local theatres will offer the charm a big chain can’t give you, as well as a discounted ticket price, so check around your city to see what you can find!


The more obvious ones: 

Streaming services (Netflix, Hulu etc.), Amazon (Amazon prime student discount), Itunes rentals… I’m sure most people are familiar will all these and more.

I hope I was able to help!

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