5 Places for Free and Cheap Summer Movies for Families

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

During the summer, parents are always looking for ways to keep the kids entertained on a budget.

And, on a hot day, there’s nothing better than an air-conditioned theater with a family-friendly flick on the big screen.

Going to the movies can be an expensive adventure, though, so bargain hunters and frugal film fanatics alike are always on the lookout for discounted tickets.

Lucky for them, five theater chains are offering cheap summer movies for families.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Alamo Drafthouse
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Stake your spot at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Summer Kids Camp. All Kids Camp tickets are $5 each for kids of all ages — even adults. Each week brings a new selection of family-friendly movies, from recent animated favorites to timeless classics.

Most screenings are for age 3 and up. However, some locations allow all ages. The chain’s famous no-talking/texting policies still apply, and noisy families may be asked to leave.

The series runs all summer, from June to August. Titles, dates and showtimes vary by market.

AMC Theatres

AMC Theater concession stand with popcorn
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Mark your calendar for Tuesdays this summer. For its loyalty club members, AMC Theatres offers Discount Tuesdays, with savings of about 50% from regular ticket prices, especially for evening showtimes.

On Tuesdays, the chain also offers a $5 combo special at the concession stand, also only for loyalty club members.


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Through Aug. 10, every Wednesday, Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse opens its doors for frugal families with eight flicks for just $1.50 each.

Harkins Theatres

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For eight weeks, Harkins Theatres’ Family Fun Series season pass offers a different kid-friendly flick each week.

The season pass works out to just $1 per ticket. The price is the same for adults and kids, but grownups must be accompanied by a child.

The theater chain has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

Regal Cinemas

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Throughout the summer vacation period, every Tuesday and Wednesday, families can jump aboard Regal Cinemas’ Summer Movie Express for inexpensive family fun.

Tickets are just $2 each. The series runs through the first week of September at most locations.

Within any given movie theater chain, it’s important to note that not all locations participate in the summer fun. Be sure to check your local theater before loading up the kids in the minivan.

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