Going to the cinema is a popular pastime, whether as a family, a couple, with a group of friends or even on your own. But the price of a trip to the cinema can be increasingly expensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get cheap cinema tickets, meaning that with a little bit of planning ahead, there’s no reason why you should need to pay full price again!
Here’s the best ways to get cheap cinema tickets in the UK.
Meerkat movies 2 for 1 on Tuesdays & Wednesdays
This is probably one of the most widely known UK offers for saving money on cinema tickets. When you buy a qualifying product from Compare the market, you automatically get access to Meerkat Movies and Meerkat Meals for a whole 12 months.
Obviously, this makes it an incentive to get your insurance products through Compare the Market, but what if they aren’t the best deal, or you don’t have any products up for renewal any time soon?
Fortunately, there is a clever Meerkat Movies hack to get a whole year’s access for just over £1. You can read about how to do it in detail in this post.
While Meerkat Movies is a great offer, it is only available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It also has to be 2 tickets for the same showing of the same film, so you can’t go solo and watch an extra film for free.
Fortunately, there are other ways to save money on cinema tickets that are not restricted by days and times.
The Cinema Society
The Cinema Society offers its members 40% off tickets at all major cinema chains including Odeon, Cineworld, Vue and Showcase.
The catch is, membership is not open to the general public and is offered through employee membership schemes such as Blue Light Card and Discounts for Teachers. So if you are already a member of either of these schemes, you have automatic access that you can find within your membership offers.
The best way to find out if you’re already eligible for Cinema Society membership is to check with your employer.
However, the good news is that currently anyone can get Cinema Society Membership for free through the Lidl Plus App. The Lidl plus app is free to download, you don’t need to make a purchase and the cinema offer can be found in the offers tab.
Kids Pass is a discount app that offers similar discounts on cinema tickets to the cinema society. It is not limited to kid’s films or having children with you and works in exactly the same way as the Cinema Society – you simply buy a discounted voucher via Kids Pass and then redeem it against the film you want to watch.
The catch is, KidsPass is £7.99 a month, and although it offers a range of other discounts on days out and restaurants that may make it worthwhile for you, I wouldn’t recommend getting it just for discounted cinema tickets when you can get the equivalent savings via the LidlPlus app for free.
However, I do have an exclusive KidsPass special offer below:
In addition to this, you can gain 3 months free access to KidsPass through M&S Sparks card when you spend £35. Again, it would be silly to do this just for the sake of a discounted cinema ticket, but if you’re going to be making a purchase anyway, it is worth bearing in mind.
Here’s the full details of the KidsPass Sparks Days Out offer.
There are also similar paid membership schemes that offer cinema discounts, such as Tastecard and Family Pass. Again, be mindful of how much these memberships cost versus the savings you are likely to make in order to decide if they are worth it for you.
Monthly Cinema Memberships
With both of these monthly memberships, it would only take 2 cinema trips per month to save against the full price of a ticket, although to make it worthwhile I would suggest you need to go at least once a week.
You can also currently get cashback on Odeon Limitless via Topcashback.
Latest TopCashBack New Member Offers:
There’s no doubt the savings will add up with consistent use, but just like a gym membership, if you end up not going for a while but still paying £14.99 a month then it is not going to work out better value than simply paying as you go.
You also need to be wary of limiting yourself to just one chain of cinema and whether that will suit your cinema going habits.
All in all, if you always frequent the same cinema and go several times a month, it’s a no brainer.
Other ways to save money at the cinema
Take advantage of discounts on children’s films
I have not included this in the main section of the article, as this is restricted to one or two certain films, usually in the mornings at the weekends or in the school holidays, and usually on a kids or family film that has already been out for several months.
However, as a cheap activity for the school holidays, it is great value for money. Both Cineworld’s Movies for Juniors and Odeon Kids offer tickets for just £2.50 per person – adult or child – for these screenings.
I recently took my daughter to watch Matilda The Musical using Cineworld’s Movies for Juniors offer, which worked out at just £5.00 for the two of us.
Buy tickets online
Even when buying full price tickets with none of the other discounts in this article applied, Odeon’s app states that buying online will always be cheaper than their walk-in prices.
Go to an off peak showing
Ticket prices tend to be cheaper Monday to Thursdays, so if you are able to, consider going on an off peak day. Especially when you can also take advantage of Meerkat Movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays!
Bring your own food and drink – if allowed
Despite the old cliche of hiding a bag of sweets in your coat to smuggle into the cinema, many chains have now relaxed their policy of taking in your own food and drink. Obviously check with your local branch before doing this.
However, even if you are not allowed to bring in your own snacks, I would definitely forego paying way over the odds for plastic looking nachos and giant fizzy drinks – the costs can be more than the ticket prices!
It might sound a bit miserable but it all depends on the situation – if it’s a special treat then you may fancy indulging, but if you visit the cinema regularly and end up spending £15 on empty snacks each time, consider saving your money and going out for food before or afterwards. You could probably get a much more substantial pub meal for a similar price, or a quick snack for far less than the cinema cost.
How will you get cheap cinema tickets?
Which offers are you planning on using to get cheap cinema tickets? Do you know of any other offers we’re missing in this post? Leave a comment and share with the community.
About the Author
Melissa is a working parent who left behind a senior management salary for a better work/life balance. Following her own money saving and money making strategies she was able to clear debt and live a life she loves. Blogging, selling digital products on Etsy and selling preloved items on eBay are her favourite side hustles. Read her story here.