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Eight ways to get cheap – or free – movie tickets

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Updated: March 3, 2018 

Who doesn’t love watching the latest movies on the big screen with a bucket of popcorn – or maybe a Choc Top is more your thing.

What you might not like is the cost. A regular adult movie ticket at Hoyts or Event Cinemas costs about $22 a session in suburban Sydney.

Or if you really want to splurge, a Lux or Gold Class ticket will set you back almost double that at $39.50 and $42 respectively for an adult.

Then, of course, you add the snacks and drinks and before you know it you’ve spent a small fortune.

The good news is there are plenty of deals for discount tickets so there is really no reason to pay full price for a movie again. And no, it doesn’t mean you have to go to the movies only on Tuesdays – although that is one way to save.

You’ll only pay $13 for a standard adult ticket on Tuesdays at Hoyts in suburban Sydney, which is a saving of $8.50. Hoyts Lux tickets are $32 on Tuesdays, saving you $7.50!

The savings are higher for Event Cinemas Gold Class tickets which are $27 on Tuesday – a saving of $15.

It may also be worth signing up for your favourite cinema rewards program.

For example, with Event Cinemas Cinebuzz rewards you get a discount movie each week and if you see six flicks you get one free movie ticket. And by booking online with Cinebuzz, you earn an extra 25 points towards your next movie ticket.

Hoyts has two rewards options. Bronze is free and you’ll get a discount movie each week and selected member only event pricing. You can also earn 1 Qantas Point per $2 spent on tickets and treats.

Pay $13pa for Silver membership, though, and you’ll get a Bonus Movie of the Week ticket on activation, 10% back in “Hoyts Dollars” on most purchases, a discount movie each week and selected member only event pricing.

An app that can help you score cheap movie tickets is Choovie. The idea behind the app is on-demand pricing so if a session is really popular tickets will cost more but if there are a lot of empty seats you could pick up a real bargain.

At the time of writing, for example, you could have picked up a ticket for as little as $8. At this stage participating cinemas are mostly smaller independents.

Hoyts and Event Cinemas also have arrangements with various providers to give their customers substantial discounts on tickets. Here’s a round-up of what’s on offer.

AAMI

AAMI Lucky Club members can get Gold Class tickets at Event Cinemas or Village for just $20. The catch? It’s only available for sessions on Monday-Wednesday but excludes public holidays that fall on that day. You buy your tickets online through AAMI.

Bupa

Bupa members receive up to 25% off the box office price when they purchase their movie vouchers online.

This offer is available at Hoyts, Event Cinemas, BCC, Greater Union and Village.

This offer is available at Hoyts, Event Cinemas, BCC, Greater Union and Village. You’ll pay $16.50 for an adult ticket and $12 for kids. Vouchers are valid for six months, with a minimum purchase of two tickets.

Community & Public Sector Union

CPSU members can buy tickets for $13.10 (adult) and $10.20 (kids) at Hoyts, Event Cinemas, BCC, Greater Union and Village.

You need to call 1300 137 636 to order your tickets. Other unions offer similar deals so it’s worth checking if you’re a member of a union if there are any discounts.

NRMA

If you have NRMA membership you can buy an adult ticket to NSW and ACT Event Cinemas, BCC, Greater Union & GU Film House for just $13.50 while for kids or 60+ tickets are $11.

You can purchase eVouchers online and they are valid for six months. You have to purchase a minimum of two eVouchers per transaction with a maximum of 10.

Optus Perks

Optus customers can save at Hoyts paying just $12 for adults, $9.50 for kids and $30 for LUX.

You have to register for Optus perks and book your tickets online. Surcharges apply for Recliner cinemas ($3.50), Xtreme Screen ($3.50) and 3D ($3).

RACV

RACV members can save up to 30%.

Tickets for Hoyts and Village cinema tickets are available to buy online and in selected RACV shops, while tickets to Palace cinemas are available online only.

Certain tickets require that at least four to be purchased. However there is no maximum for the number of tickets you can purchase.

The movie tickets generally have a four- to eight-month expiry period.

RACQ

RACQ members can also enjoy big savings.

As with NRMA you can buy eVouchers online and they are valid for six months.

A maximum of 20 tickets can be purchased per transaction and they can be used at any Queensland Event Cinemas and BCC.

You’ll pay $12.50 for an adult and $10 for a child. There is currently Also a summer special running until May 1 and you can get adult tickets for as little as $9.50. A Gold Class “peak” ticket will cost $31.50 or you can buy an “off-peak” version for $26.50.

Off peak tickets are valid any time on Sunday-Wednesday but only before 5pm on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. They can’t be used on public holidays.

Telstra

Telstra customers get a discount at Event Cinemas. You’ll pay $12.50 for standard tickets, $15.50 for 3D or $16.50 for experience blockbusters in Vmax.

Savings based on $21.50 for standard adult ticket, $16 for children and $42 for Gold Class/Lux unless otherwise noted. You may pay a surcharge for 3D, Vmax, Extreme Screen or recliners cinemas. 1Saving based on $22 for adult ticket. 2Savings based on $39.50 for Lux ticket. 3Saving based on $20 for standard ticket, $15 for children and $42 for Gold Class and for “peak” tickets. Savings may be higher for off-peak.

Have we missed any deals? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Maria Bekiaris

Maria Bekiaris

Deputy editor Maria Bekiaris joined Money in 2001 as a writer/researcher. She writes about personal finance and investing, and has contributed to Australian House & Garden, Good Health, and Mother & Baby.

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12 Comments

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  1. Qantas Frequent Flyers offer movie vouchers for both Event and Hoyts Cinemas. Hoyts are $12/adult ticket, and Event is $15/adult ticket. When you purchase online through Frequent Flyers, you also earn more frequent flyer points. The only downside I’ve discovered is they have a relatively short expiry timeframe (4-6 months), and you must buy a minimum of 4.

    • Hi Jelena,

      We looked at the Qantas website but were unable to purchase tickets for any cinema in Sydney. You’ll have to let us know your secret!

      – Money team

      • Vouchers can be purchased from the Qantas store. The vouchers then need to be used to book the session on Hoyts website or exchanged for a ticket at the box office. There are various options available.

    • Hi Mel,

      The RACV offer is a percentage discount rather than a flat price, so the cost depends on the original price of the ticket which may vary between cinemas.

      – Money team

  2. RAC and HBF both offer discounted movie vouchers to their members via their online member rewards websites.
    Currently you can get Hoyts Lux tickets for $27 and a book of 5 Event and Village Child Screen Saver vouchers for $52.50.

  3. I use the Raiz app. They have a section called Raiz Rewards where you can buy cinema vouchers for a few places e.g. Event, Hoyts, Village. Prices vary from $9 – $20 depending on what you get but what’s even better is you get up to $4 cashback on top of that back into your Raiz account.

  4. Folks,
    The best value for money in Brisbane is Cineplex. Prices between $6.5 – $8.5 and why people go pay double and tripple at other movie theatres has always been a mystery to me!!!

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