How to get free and cheap cinema tickets


Updated on 16 July 2019

After cheap cinema tickets for yourself or the kids? We reveal the widely-available schemes that'll help you bag huge discounts on trips to the movies.

Get two tickets for the price of one

Meerkat Movies lets you buy two cinema tickets for the price of one at several cinema chains, including Odeon, Cineworld and Vue.

There’s a catch, of course.

To qualify, you’ll have to:

  • Purchase an insurance policy (car, van, motorcycle, contents/buildings, pet, life, business, landlord or travel insurance) or;
  • Switch your utility, broadband, home telephone or digital TV provider or;
  • Take out a loan, credit card, mobile phone contract or SIM only contract through comparethemarket.com.

You'll then receive a weekly code, which allows you to purchase two for one cinema tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a whole year. 

You can buy tickets in advance at the cinema or online.

Just enter your voucher code in the 'Your Order' step of booking to apply the discount or present the code at the box office,

You also get access to Meerkat Meals, which is a two-for-one offer on starters, mains and desserts at thousands of restaurants every Sunday to Thursday via the app for a year.

Bag a family deal

Vue is offering a Family Ticket for up to four people, where each person pays a child’s price for a ticket on U, PG and 12A films.

You just need to ensure your group contains at least two children aged 12 or under.

Some Vue cinemas offer cheaper tickets that are generally under £7 for an adult regardless of when you go (with the potential exception of bank holidays).

Not everyone may get lucky with cheaper tickets, so you should check the prices at your local Vue cinema.

Odeon’s Family Ticket allows you to get tickets for the whole family, but the adults pay child 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 probably 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 tickets for both kids and accompanying adults from £2.49 on selected weekend mornings and throughout the school holidays.

Head to the Mini Mornings offer page for further details. 

Movies for Juniors is available at Cineworld where you can watch a film with your kids from £2.50 each. 

A premium option, Premium Movies for Juniors, is priced from £5.50 but offers access to previously unreleased, new films.

Odeon Kids allows you and your children to watch a kids film from £2.50 each on weekend and school holiday mornings.

Other tickets under Odeon Kids such as teens, seniors and students are the same price as adult and child admission.

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 the cost of your ticket price.

Predictably, evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays cost the most.

Empire Cinemas also offer cheap tickets on a Tuesday from £4.25 each as part of its Sav£rday Tuesday deal. 

The offer excludes Bank Holidays, Impact, IMAX, D-Box screens, Luxury and VIP seating, Empire Extra performances, 3D films and special presentations. 

Vue has Super Mondays at most of its cinemas, which offers tickets from £4 on Mondays – 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 £17.90 a month.

This is a great deal if you watch several films each month and are near a Cineworld.

Until 6 May, The Odeon Premiere Club allowed you to earn 10 points for every £1 you spend in the cinema or online.

Members will no longer be allowed to earn these points from 6 May.

But they can use any accumulated points up until their expiry 12 months after they were purchased or earned.

These points can be spent on tickets, food and drink.

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.

Film fans have the opportunity to visit Odeon cinemas as many times as they like for a monthly fee of £17.99 in almost all Odeon cinemas.

A higher monthly fee of £19.99 includes central London cinemas.

Membership of Picturehouse cinemas will give you four free tickets, up to £2 off tickets at most Picturehouse cinemas, 10% off food and drink, priority booking and a host of other discounts.

Picturehouse's national partners including Hotel Chocolat and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

Individual membership costs between £25 and £90.

Showcase has the Insider Club, which offers discounted tickets.

Some Showcase cinemas offer discounted tickets every day, while others give discounted admission on Sundays after 7pm and all-day Mondays and Tuesdays only.

You'll also get the chance to win tickets to free preview screenings and you can enjoy 25% off food at Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito restaurants.

Vue regularly has offers, check out 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 for £4, Empire has Empire Seniors on Wednesday mornings for £3.75 and Odeon has Silver Cinema with tickets from £3 (check your local listings).

The ticket generally comes with a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit.

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.

But 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.

The Free Movies UK forum is worth registering for, as members share details of the latest free screenings.

Students can also get hold of tickets to free screenings at Picturehouse cinemas by joining the E4 Slackers Club via Facebook or by taking out a Picturehouse cinema membership.

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.

Tesco Clubcard holders can use boost the value of their vouchers to save at certain cinemas. You can turn 50p worth of Clubcard vouchers into £1.50 to spend at Cineworld.

Alternatively, Tesco Clubcard holders can turn £10 of vouchers into £30 to spend on an Unlimited Pass.

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.

This card 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.

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