How to get free and cheap cinema tickets


Updated on 10 February 2017

Here's how to catch a new release at the cinema without spending a fortune.

Bag a family deal

Vue cinemas offers a Family Ticket for up to four where each person pays a child’s price for a ticket. You just need to ensure your group contains at least two children aged 12 or under.

Odeon’s Family Ticket also allows you to get tickets for the whole family at child’s prices. Two children and two adults are eligible for the offer as well as one adult and three children.

As with most of these offers, you’ll have to pay extra for 3D films.

Kids and teen tickets

Most major cinemas offer discounts for children at specific times. 

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

Vue has £2.49 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. Certain Vue venues also offer 20% off adult tickets for teens aged 13-18 years old. 

Cineworld also does Movie for Juniors where you and the kids can get in for a tiny £2 each (3D £3.50) on weekend and school holiday mornings.

Odeon screens discounted Kids movies at certain cinemas on Saturday and Sunday mornings and through the school summer holidays with tickets at £2.50. Adult tickets for 13- to 17-year-olds at Odeon cinemas also have money knocked off.

Cheap and free cinema tickets (Image: Shutterstock)

Go off-peak on weekdays

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.

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. 

Vue has Super Days at most of its cinemas, which offers up to a third off all day on a Tuesday or a Monday. 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 £17.40 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. 

Odeon has Odeon Limitless, which offers cinema goers the chance to see any film they want, as often as they want to in Odeon cinemas across the UK and Ireland. The launch of this new card offers film fans the opportunity to visit Odeon cinemas as many times as they like for a monthly fee of £17.99 in almost all cinemas, and a monthly fee of £19.99 for central London cinemas.

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.

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 £6.50 (£8.50 for 3D films) 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.

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 Cinema Club, Empire has Empire Seniors on Wednesday mornings and Odeon has Silver Cinema with tickets for £3-£3.50 (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.

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 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

Earn rewards

With the free Cinetreats app (available for Android) you can earn rewards called ‘stubs’ for doing simple tasks like doing a survey or downloading new apps firms want to try out.

The stubs can then be exchanged for free cinema tickets at your local theatre.

 

Use Nectar or Clubcard points

You can use Nectar points to save money on cinema tickets at Vue. With 500 points you can get a £2.50 discount on the cost of your tickets.

Meanwhile Tesco Clubcard holders can use boost the value of their vouchers to save at certain cinemas. You can exchange £3.50 worth of vouchers for a child’s ticket or £4.50 worth of vouchers for an adult’s ticket at Cineworld.

How to get cheap and free cinema tickets

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.

Local deals

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

Use a cashback website

Cashback websites like TopCashback and Quidco often have amazing deals at cinemas.

Voucher codes

Watch out for voucher code offers on sites like VoucherCodes.co.uk and MyVoucherCodes.

Daily deals sites

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

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