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6 ways to get cheap movie tickets

Seeing a film at the cinemas can be expensive. (Image: Getty)

Going to the cinema is still a favourite activity for Australians, despite the emergence of streaming and big-screen televisions.

Last year $1.245 billion was collected at box offices across the nation, which was up 3.1 per cent from 2017.

But for the average Australian full-price tickets are a burden, as the country is one of the most expensive in the world to see a film at the cinema.

A standard session ticket for an adult can cost as much as $26. And that's not on any fancy screen or in recliner seats. Add on those niceties, and the cost could push up to $40 or $50.

However, similar to groceries, a savvy movie-goer rarely pays full price. Yahoo Finance has dug up six different ways you can buy a cheap seat to see a film:

1. Cheap days

This saver is an old favourite that's been around for many decades.

Most cinemas designate a day of the week – usually Monday or Tuesday – to sell discounted tickets to fill seats on otherwise quiet times.

For example, Dendy Newtown in Sydney offers $13.50 tickets on Tuesdays for both adults and concession. It's even cheaper for seniors, at $12.50.

2. Choovie

A more modern version of the cheap Tuesday concept is dynamic pricing through an app.

Australian smartphone app Choovie allows participating cinemas to sell discounted seats to fill specific sessions. While the app currently has limited cinemas signed up to the service, the range is growing.

For example, $12 tickets for Hollywood blockbuster 21 Bridges were found in Choovie at Grand Cinemas Currambinein Perth. Purchasing through the cinema's own website costs $22.

“We use airline style pricing to make less popular sessions cheaper,” Choovie chief executive Sonya Stephen told Yahoo Finance.

“It's a genuine win-win – movie fans see more movies and cinemas fill empty seats. With more than 65 per cent of independent cinemas on the platform, Choovie is Australia's largest cinema network.”

(Image: screenshot of Choovie app)

3. Third party loyalty programs

Loyalty programs of other businesses often offer discounted cinema tickets. 

Motoring groups NRMA and RACQ, and telcos Optus and Telstra, are examples of businesses that provide such a benefit to its customers.

These involve buying an electronic voucher that provides a code that can be redeemed at checkout on the cinema's website.

NRMA's deal with Event Cinemas sees $13.50 tickets for any session outside of Saturday nights, or $16.50 for any time of the week. Gold Class seats are also available for $32.

(Image: screeshot of NRMA website)

4. Cinema loyalty programs

The cinemas themselves have membership programs that sometimes give out generous discounts.

Palace Cinemas, for example, will sell $16.50 tickets to members of its Movie Club. Student and over 60 members have access to $12.50 tickets.

The annual membership cost is $18.50 for an adult and $13.50 for concession. But new and renewing patrons receive an introductory ticket for free, which pretty much cancels out the membership fee.

Membership also provides movie-goers access to one-off promotional discounts. Event Cinemas' Cinebuzz program were offering $12 seats for Charlie's Angels, as an example.

5. Specific cinemas

Some cinemas are just cheaper than others.

Reading Cinemas in Sydney and Melbourne are well-known for this. The Auburn branch, for example, has $11 tickets for most standard sessions, regardless of the time of week.

6. Drive-in cinemas

Drive-in cinemas are not common these days, but there is one left in Sydney and a handful operating in Melbourne.

Event Cinemas' Skyline Drive-in at Blacktown in western Sydney costs just $12.50 person and shows recent-release blockbusters.

You'll need a car though.

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