I’ve always loved watching a film at the cinema more than on a TV. The problem is that it’s so damn expensive, especially in London. But thanks to Picturehouse I’ve not paid more than £6.50 for a ticket in years, which is why they’re one of my amazing savings.
Amazing savings are my favourite places and brands that save me money. It’s all my own opinion!
Picturehouse are a chain of independent cinemas (well, they’re now owned by giants Cineworld, but still keep the indie ethos). When I lived in South London, I could leave my front door and 10 minutes later be sat in a screen at the Ritzy. Now I’m east, my local Stratford Picturehouse is a little further away but still my top choice over nearby Odeons and Vues.
I’m a big film fan, and what I really love about Picturehouse is that they have both blockbusters and indie flicks. There’s rarely a film I want to see that they don’t show.
But even better than choice is the price.
I’ll generally pay £4.50 weekdays and £6.50 on weekends at Stratford East, that’s £8 less than most other London cinemas.
Ok, so most Picturehouses do charge more, but even they have great ways of cutting what you spend. Here’s how to make sure a trip to the cinema doesn’t cost more than £5.
If you don’t have a Picturehouse near you, don’t forget to read my 6 ways to save at the cinema guide.
1. Get a (student) membership
I’m not really a fan of Cineworld passes or other membership schemes as they don’t feel like good value, or are too restrictive.
But if you have a Picturehouse near you, I’d recommend getting their annual membership.
- Best is the student membership. This costs £15 and gets you two free tickets and at least £2 off future visits. It looks like most cinemas actually charge student members £3 less than full price. You’ll need to buy an NUS Extra card (read how anyone can get one, even if they aren’t a student) for this. Though the NUS card will cost you around £20, you should be able to get more savings from it to justify the price.
- If you don’t want to get the NUS card, full membership still represents good value. It’s recently gone up in price to around £45 (prices vary) but you get four free tickets and £2 off future tickets.
- Joint memberships with someone you share an address with are even better value. You’ll save an extra £5 or so each and get eight free tickets.
You can use your membership to get a discount at any Picturehouse cinema, though the free tickets are sometimes restricted to your member cinema.
It’s best to save the free tickets for the weekends when prices go up!
2. Go on cheap movie days
More cinemas chains are now doing a cheap day where every ticket is cut-price, but Picturehouse have been doing it for as long as I can remember. The day varies depending on each cinema, though largely seem to be Monday or Tuesday. If you go on this day, the student membership price can be as low as £4!
- Freebies and discounts – Every month or so last year, certain screenings came with a free Jamesons & ginger! And if you don’t get one of those you can also save on food and drink at the bar or cafe that most cinemas have.
- Member previews – These happen less than they used to, but you’ll get the chance to see around a dozen free advance screenings. Student members are also invited to Slacker Club previews.
- No booking fee & priority booking
- Points – Only at Stratford London and Fact, Liverpool, you can earn points everytime you spend. It’s probably worth an extra free ticket each year.