For a summer of college, I lived in New York City while I interned at a technology startup called Webmind (formerly Intelligenesis, Wired correctly predicted a dim future ) and was amazed when movies at the movie theater near Union Station were over ten bucks (this is back when “regular” theaters had movies for around $7 and matinees for only $5-6). Expensive was relative since, in looking back, $5-6 for two hours of entertainment was pretty good even back then.
So I can’t imagine what it’s like for parents of kids because going to the movies, even before you talk about snacks, gets to be ridiculously expensive. Fortunately, if you’re a parent with kids home for the summer break, a lot of movie theaters actually have kid friendly summer movie programs. The programs offer free family friend G or PG rated movies during the day, usually starting in the morning, absolutely free for the kids and a few bucks for the parents. In all cases, it’s first come first served.
- Bowtie Cinemas  (CT, MD, NY, VA) – Tuesdays and Wednesday at 10am, FREE.
- Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse  (various) – $1 per show or 10 shows for $5, with films starting at 9am on Tuesdays. Promotion starts early June.
- Cinemaworld  (FL, RI) – Runs for June and July, starts at 10am, kids are free, parents are $2 or free with donation of a non-perishable pet food item.
- Classic Cinemas  (IL) – Wednesday Morning Movie Series starts June 13th and runs eight weeks. Movies are Wednesday morning at 9am and cost $1.
- Clearview Cinemas  (NY, NJ) – Starts July 11th and goes for eight weeks.
- Collins Road Theatres  (IA) – Starting late May until early August, kids are free and adults are $1 every Monday through Thursday at 10am.
- Camp Flagship  (MA, MD, ME, PA, VT) – Shows are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays at 10am but may vary based on location. Click on locations in the menu to select your location then click on the Camp Flagship button on the left for that location’s schedule.
- Georgia Theatre Company  (GA, FL, SC, VA) – Every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am, $1 admission and discounted kid’s concessions.
- Great Escape Theaters  (various) – The program starts late May or early June and goes for ten weeks, each location starts it at different times. All shows start at 9:30am and some places will charge for parents.
- Harkins Theatres  (AZ, CA, CO, OK, TX) – Summer Movie Fun Program is a “season ticket” program where you can buy a package of tickets (10 for $7), otherwise they are $2 each. Movies start at 9:45am.
- Malco Theatres  (AR, KY, MS, TN) – Starts early June until early August, $2 per ticket for 10am showings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
- Marcus Theatres  (IA, IL, MN, ND, NE, OH, WI) – Tuesdays through Thurdsays at 1m from June 19 – August 16th for only $2.
- Marquee Cinemas  (CT, FL, KY, NC, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV) – Varies from location to location but movies start at 9:30am on Tuesday and Wednesday, program starts late June to early August with a choice of two movies each day.
- Muvico Free Summer Film Fest  (various) – Goes from June 12th – August 6th, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10AM.
- Regal Cinemas  (various) – Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres offer offer G or PG rated movies for $1 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10am. Most of these programs start in mid- to late June and run into mid-August.
Last but not least, Showcase Cinemas  has a summer reading program where kids get to see a free movie every Wednesday morning at 10Am from July 11 – August 8 if they read a book and provide a book report.
Check out your local community center or library, they usually have free summer movie programs as well!
Does your local movie theater offer a free movie program for kids? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!