Toronto on a Budget: Movie Theatre Edition

Going to the movies is a fun experience, but it can also be expensive. From high ticket costs to concession stands draining your bank account (all $6.07 in there), it can be hard not to leave the movies spending way more than you wanted. However, there are some tips and tricks to make your movie experience as affordable as possible.

For Movies Currently in the Box Office

For regular movies, you’ll probably want to avoid going to Cineplex most of the time. Their tickets are around $15, while theatres like Imagine Cinemas cost around $10. (Bonus: a few Imagine Cinemas locations have reclining seats in all their theatres). If you live in Mississauga (or are willing to drive a little farther), you might also want to check out Cine Starz, which offers tickets for $6, along with dirt cheap concession prices ($4 for popcorn, anyone?).

If you’re dead set on going to Cineplex for regular screenings, you should consider registering for a Scene credit card with Scotiabank. The card will let you earn Scene points on all your purchases, which can then be redeemed towards free popcorn/movies. That way, you can get a great experience at a much nicer price tag. At the very least, you should register for the Scene program. That way, when you go to Cineplex (or a partnered store/restaurant), you can earn points towards future movies. Also, check if your job offers Perkopolis, since you can get Cineplex tickets for under $10 through the Perkopolis website.

It’s also a good idea to go to the movies on Tuesdays, since that’s when most theatres offer discounts on their tickets. You can usually get around $4 off your ticket (if you decide to go to Cineplex, Scene members get a bonus 10% off the already discounted Tuesday tickets).

For a More Affordable Theatre Experience

There’s something that feels special about experiencing a movie in a theatre, instead of just watching it at home. If you want to watch a movie on the big screen, but don’t necessarily care about it being the latest blockbuster hit, this is where Cineplex begins to shine. Their Classic Films and Flashback Film series both offer popular hits for $7. Still too expensive? The Family Favorites series shows family-friendly movies for just $3.

Finally, although it doesn’t technically count as a movie theatre, the Toronto Public Library does lots of free movie screenings. Unfortunately, they can be hard to find through the website, as the library lists each individual movie screening with all the other arts and culture events (the list is here if you’re interested). If you do want to check out a free library movie, I’d recommend filtering by theatres near you, and then checking which of the listings are actually movies manually. If a location near you does offer screenings, I’ve noticed that most libraries offer films at the same time every week, so you might want to check with the library for future screenings. Also, the Reference library does documentary screenings on Tuesdays at 2:00.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned above, and while all prices/discounts/schedules mentioned are accurate to the best of my knowledge, I am not responsible for any inaccuracies, discrepancies, or changes.

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