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How to get free and cheap cinema tickets

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out this week. Here's how you can see it, or any other film, without spending a fortune!

Cheap weekdays

Some Cineworld cinemas have Bargain Tuesdays which offers cheaper tickets (discounts vary) all day.

Empire Cinemas also offer cheap tickets on a Tuesday from £4.50 each as part of its Sav£rday Tuesday deal. The offer excludes Bank Holidays, Impact, Luxury and VIP seating, opera, 3D and special presentations. The chain’s Leicester Square venue is also exempt from the offer. 

It also offers discounts on some films that are coming to the end of their run on Last Chance To See Thursdays.

Odeon offers Supersaver tickets Monday to Thursday before 5pm.

Vue has Super Tuesdays at most of its cinemas, which offers up to a third off all day on a Tuesday. You need to sign up to get the discount.

Discount tickets and membership schemes

Cineworld offers an Unlimited card which gets you access to as many movies as you like from £16.90 a month. This is a great deal if you watch several films each month and have a local Cineworld.

The Odeon Premiere Club allows you to earn 10 points for every £1 you spend in the cinema. These points can then be spent on tickets, food or drink. There are also regular points offers and special members' discounts. The club does cost to join, with membership options starting from £1.99, but you get some free points to start you off when you sign up. Head to the Odeon website for more details.

Membership of Picturehouse cinemas will give you four free tickets, up to £2 off tickets for a year, 10% off food and drink at the cinema, priority booking and a host of other discounts at restaurants and cafes such as Strada and GBK. The Picturehouse website has full details. A single membership costs between £15 and £55. Joint membership (two people at one address) costs between £90 and £95. What’s more, you’ll get three months free if you renew by direct debit.

Showcase has the Insider Club, which offers £6.25 tickets on Sundays after 7pm, and all day Mondays and Tuesdays. You'll also get money off food and drink and the chance to win tickets to free preview screenings.

Vue regularly has offers for new releases. Go to its latest offers page for more information. At the moment it has limited edition Star Wars 3D glasses for a fiver.

O2 Priority

O2 often has cinema deals through its Priority scheme. Keep checking the website and phone app for new updates and discounts.

Nectar card

You can redeem your Nectar points at Vue cinemas. 500 points will knock £2.50 off your ticket.

Tesco Clubcard

Tesco Clubcard vouchers can be exchanged for admission tokens at three cinema chains: Cineworld, Odeon and Movie House.

Sun+

If you're a Sun+ member, you can access Sun Perks and collect codes to get a range of cinema offers.

Times+

Times+ members get two-for-one Odeon cinema tickets every Saturday and Sunday, half price Picturehouse membership and access to regular free preview screenings.

Telegraph subscribers

If you subscribe to the Telegraph, you can attend free preview screenings.

Free preview screenings

Free tickets are often given away to promote new films. However only selected titles are previewed so you’ll need to sign up to specific sites to get hold of screening codes as they are released.

Try Show Film First, the Total Film Club, Paramount Previews and Disney Screenings. The Free Movies UK forum is also worth registering for, as members share details of the latest free screenings.

Students can get hold of tickets to free screenings at Picturehouse cinemas by joining the E4 Slackers Club via Facebook

Kids and teen tickets

Most major cinemas offer discounts for children at specific times. 

Cineworld has £1.50 tickets for both adults and kids on selected Saturday and Sunday morning screenings through its Movies for Juniors programme.

Empire runs Junior screenings on Saturday and Sundays at ‘pocket money prices’ for both adults and children.

Odeon screens discounted Kids movies at certain cinemas on Saturday and Sunday mornings and through the school holidays with tickets at £2.50. Check your local cinema listings for more details. Adult tickets for 13-17-year-olds at Odeon cinemas also have 15% knocked off. Those buying family entry will also get all their tickets at child prices.

Vue has £1.99 tickets for both kids and accompanying adults on selected weekend mornings and throughout school holidays. Head to the Mini Mornings offer page for further details. Vue also offers 20% off adult tickets for teens aged 13-18 years old. With a family ticket, eveyone pays he child ticket price (four people, with a minimum of two children in a group).

Senior tickets

Most cinemas offer discounted tickets for seniors.

A couple of chains also run senior screenings and throw in a free hot drink and biscuit for you to enjoy while you watch the film.

Vue has the Seniors Club, Empire has senior screenings on Wednesday mornings and Odeon has Senior Screen with tickets for £3 (check your local listings).

Student tickets

If you’re a student you’ll be able to get hold of discounted tickets at most cinemas. But make sure you have your ID to hand.

Money off passes for carers

If you are receiving Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or are registered blind you can apply for a CEA card that allows a carer (parent, family member, worker etc.) to enter the cinema for free when you buy a full-price ticket.

Go off-peak if you can

If you can, going to the cinema in off-peak times (weekdays before 5pm) will slash pounds off your ticket price. Predictably, evenings and weekends cost the most.

Local deals

Keep an eye out for local deals and offers at independent cinemas. 

Voucher codes

Watch out for voucher code and cashback deals on sites like VoucherCodes.co.uk, MyVoucherCodes, Quidco and TopCashback. And like the loveMONEY Facebook page to stay up to date with any new deals, discounts and offers.

Get cashback

TopCashback is running a limited offer to give new members a free Star Wars cinema ticket. After signing up to TopCashback for free, all you have to do is buy a Star Wars cinema ticket for up to £10 from any UK cinema. Make sure you've downloaded TopCashback's mobile app and sign in. Click on 'in-store' cashback and then select the 'Snap & Save' icon and find 'Free Cinema Ticket- New Member Deal'.

Take a photo of your till receipt (not your ticket) which shows the product item, the name of the retailer, the receipt number and the date and time of the purchase and download it to the app.

The cashback will be in your account within 30 days of purchase and you have until 27 December to redeem.

Cashback websites often have amazing deals on travel, entertainment, leisure and financial products. Head over to TopCashback and Quidco to find out more.

Daily deals sites

Check out daily deals sites like Groupon, which may feature discount offers on cinema tickets.

Your tips

How do you save money at the cinema? Let us know using the Comments box below.

Love film? Then have a read of Where to watch free movies legally online.

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