Movie Kid

Where to Find Free or Nearly-Free Kids’ Movies This Summer

With the school season coming to an end, a parent’s thoughts quickly turn to, “what are we going to do with the kids all summer?”

Fortunately, lots of movie theaters offer discounted tickets to G- and PG-rated movies.  There used to be a tradition of offering free kids’ movies in the summer, with theaters trying to drive traffic during typically slow times, figuring they’d make their money where they’ve always made their money – on the $10 buckets of popcorn and foot-long candy bars.  But alas, inflation has hit the kids’ movie circuit, so now, in most cases, tickets are merely cheap.

Here’s where you’ll find them, starting with the chains that operate in the most states.  There may be smaller chains or independent theaters near you that offer deals as well.

Regal Cinemas, which has theaters in all 50 states, is charging just $1 for the 10 a.m. showing of select G- and PG-rated movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for 9 weeks starting in mid June.

Cinemark operates in 32 states and is showing G- or PG-rated movies for $1 per ticket weekday mornings for 10 weeks starting in mid June.  Or, buy all 10 weeks’ worth of movies in advance for just $5.

AMC Theatres, which has screens in 31 states plus the District of Columbia, has discontinued its Summer MovieCamp program.  However, it is offering G- and PG-rated movies at discounted prices if you go before noon on any of 9 Fridays beginning on May 27th.

Carmike Cinemas, a 30-state chain, is offering Thursday 10 a.m. kid flicks for $1 starting in early June.

Rave Motion Pictures, with theaters in 20 states, is offering free kids’ movies Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. for 8 weeks this summer.

Marquee Cinemas, a 10-state operator (Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia), offers discounted summer movies for kids, but has not yet posted its schedule.

Southern Theaters, which has locations in 9 states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas), is offering $3 kids’ movies (including popcorn and a drink) at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this summer.

Dickinson Theatres, an 8-state (Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas) chain, is offering G- and PG-rated movies this summer for $2.50 per show or $13 for 8.  Click on a theater in your state and look for the “S.V.M.S.” ad, which stands for Summer Vacation Movie Series.  The movies begin in mid June.

Marcus Theatres is a 7-state (Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin) chain that’s offering $2 family films on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10 a.m. from mid June to mid August.

National Amusement Theaters, which operates in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island, is offering $3.50 G-rated movies on Saturday and Sunday mornings beginning in mid June.

Bow-Tie Cinemas, which has theaters in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and Virginia, is showing free kids’ movies at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from mid June to mid August.

Harkins Theatres, which operates mostly in the Phoenix area, but also has a small number of theatres in other parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas, is offering 10 weeks of G- and PG-rated movies for $2 per ticket or the whole season for less than $10 per person.  The tickets are for weekday 9:45 a.m. shows starting at the end of May.

Malco Theatres, which operates in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, is offering $2 kids’ films at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during June and July.

Clearview  Cinemas, with locations in New York and New Jersey, is offering free kids’ movies at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays for 8 weeks starting on July 6th.

Lots of towns offer free movies in parks, libraries, and other venues throughout the summer as well.  And, of course, there are always free DVDs to be checked out at the library.

We’ve turned most Sunday nights into movie night at our house, watching classics with the kids like the Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Dr. Doolittle, and more.

What free or inexpensive kid-friendly activities do you plan to take part in this summer?

If you know someone else who might benefit from this information, please forward a link to this article.  And if you haven’t done so already, sign up for a free subscription to this blog.  Two or three times a week, you’ll receive ideas and encouragement for using money well.

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3 Responses to Where to Find Free or Nearly-Free Kids’ Movies This Summer

  1. Brianne June 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM #

    Thank you for this!! Contacted a few theaters!

  2. Matt Bell May 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM #

    Susie – I’d keep checking the Dickinson site to see when they post their updated schedule. From what I can tell, it looks like there are no Regal theaters in Kansas that are participating in the summer kids’ movies program.

  3. susie May 28, 2011 at 10:30 PM #

    I don’t think some of these are up to date.. clicked on dickenson for kansas, and regal they show movies for 2010.. 🙁

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