Consumer Watch: how to save money at the movies

CNN
Monday, January 20, 2014 - 5:22pm

Planning some trips to the theater between now and the Academy Awards? All of that movie going can empty the wallet.

It’s Oscar season with nine nominees vying for this year's best picture statuette.

To see all of them in the theatre, would cost an American more than $75 on average, and more in bigger cities like New York and L.A.

And that's just the price of admission, without popcorn, candy or soda.

Movie lovers hoping to watch Hollywood’s best before the red carpet rolls out, can do a few things to keep costs down.

First, choose an early matinee. Many theatres even offer morning show times at a discount.

Consider the loyalty programs offered by the major theatre chains, especially for a pre-Oscar cinema blitz. Money spent on tickets and concessions now can translate to points, coupons and savings later.

Some chains also offer bulk tickets at a discount through their websites, even bundled with snacks and drinks.

Finally, before paying for a premium ticket, think about whether 3D or I-Max really adds anything to the movie watching experience.

For a film like Gravity, a best picture contender which also received nominations for director, cinematography and visual effects; it's probably worth it.

For others, maybe not so much.

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