Don’t pay over the odds to see a movie. You can pay less than full price for cinema tickets every single day of the week!
If I can I always try to see films at the cinema. The big screen, surround sound and darkened room make all the difference (though I’m not so fond of people chatting or checking their phones). Still, this is an expensive hobby so I do everything I can to get my tickets for less.
And I do pretty well at it too. It’s very rare for me to pay more than £5 or £6 – and that’s in central London where prices are usually well over a tenner.
These aren’t the only ways to save (I’ve listed all the tricks and deals in my huge cinema savings deals page) but these tricks show whatever day you want to see a movie, there’s a way to pay less – and even nothing at all.
Midweek cinema deals
The cheapest days to go are always Monday to Thursday. Most cinemas have lower prices on these days, and cheaper still before 5pm. However, there are ways to save even more so your ticket should cost less than £5.
Monday – Vue Super Mondays
If you have a Vue cinema near you then Monday is the day to go. You need to register for a code which you add at checkout. Discounts vary from cinema to cinema, but as a basic guide your ticket is likely to cost £3.99 outside of London and £4.99 in London.
Tuesday & Wednesday – 2 for 1 with Meerkat Movies
This is a fantastic saving at most cinemas. You need to buy an insurance policy via Compare the Meerkat (you can do this for around £1.50), but you’ll then get access to Meerkat Movies for 12 months.
This gives a code so you can buy one ticket and get one free. The promotion is valid on Tuesday and Wednesday, though you can only take advantage of the offer once a week.
Monday to Thursday – Extra 25% off at Odeon
Student discounts are a great way to save at the cinema, but Odeon give an extra 25% off already discounted student tickets if you have an NUS card. This is only valid Monday to Thursday, but it could easily bring your ticket cost down to £5 or less.
Of course, you can also use your student card to pay less at other cinemas and at the weekend.
Weekend only cinema deals
Saturday & Sunday – Odeon 2 for 1
Cinemas charge a fair bit more from Friday to Sunday, and there are less deals which will save you money at the weekend. However, there’s a way to get two tickets for the price of one at Odeon on both Saturday and Sunday.
To get this deal you need to be an online subscriber to the Times newspaper. This can be quite pricey, but there is an offer to get three months for £3. As long as you cancel before the trial ends, you won’t be charged more.
All week cinema deals
These are all good deals, but I’d use these for more expensive weekend showings when you get the best value for the discount.
Six free tickets for Vue / Cineworld via Lloyds
If you open up a Lloyds Club current account you’ll be given six free cinema tickets every year. You can choose between Vue or Cineworld, though you can’t mix and match.
There is a fee of £3 a month for this account, but it’s not charged if you pay in £1,500 a month. This might seem a lot, but it doesn’t need to stay in your account. You can transfer the money in when you get paid, then straight back out again.
If you do have some savings, you can earn 2% interest too.
Up to 40% off with Kids Pass or Taste Card
These memberships give discounts at most big cinema chains and many independent ones too. Both are valid at Cineworld, Showcase, Picturehouse, Odeon and Vue tickets.
In Central London in particular these are great ways to save at the weekend – you can get a ticket for the fantastic Picturehouse Central for under £9!
These don’t always work out cheaper, so check the prices at your local cinema before buying tickets via these schemes, but you can get cheap trials of both to give them a go.
Half price Picturehouse membership
If you’ve signed up for the Times subscription deal as mentioned above, then you can also get 50% off a Picturehouse membership. This is fantastic value. You get four free tickets, which cover the price you’ll have paid for the membership, and you then also get money off other showings and free preview screenings.
I’ve actually got two! One for the posh Picturehouse Central and one for the bargain basement cinema in Stratford.
If you do this, definitely save your free tickets for Fridays and Saturdays.
Add to the saving with discounted gift cards
With all of the deals above (except the free tickets) you can actually save more. The trick is to pay with a gift card. This is treated like cash so there are no exclusions which stop you using it with other deals.
Now there’s no point buying a gift card at full price to do this, but often you can get them reduced on the website / app Zeek. I’ve currently got around £50 to spend at Odeon and another £40 for Everyman with an average saving of 10%.
If you’ve not used Zeek before you can save more too. Use the code CLEVERCASH to take £5 off, though there’s a minimum spend of £45.