A few months ago, Yahoo Movies ran a story about Blanchester Showplace Cinemas in Ohio. The small, three-screen theater offers tickets to first-run movies for four dollars a pop — less than half the national average for movie tickets, which stands at a bank-breaking $8.13. That makes Blanchester a solid candidate for the cheapest first-run movie theater in America. The piece got a lot of people talking: Our comments became a place for readers to share their own suggestions for the best local deals on movie tickets.
We wanted to take a look back at your responses and share the wealth — or rather, the wealth-saving tips. Below, we compiled some of your best suggestions. We double-checked all of the pricing info with the theaters directly, and verified whether they were first-run (showing new movies) or second-run (showing movies that are several months old). A lot of you piped up about theaters that blend newer and older titles for an across-the-board cheaper-trending price, including M-89 Cinema in Ostego, MI; Carmike in Middlesboro, KY; Madison Square 8 Cinemas in Huntsville, AL; Cinemark Tinseltown 9 in Arlington, TX; and many more.
Here are some more highlights from your feedback, showcasing the worthiest first-run contenders and second-run standouts. Who said you can’t afford a night out at the movies anymore?
Carmike Cinemas, Cinema Twin
Reader Comment: “We have a 2-screen theater (Carmike Cinema) that plays the 2 largest release movies on their debut dates and ticket prices are $2.50 everyday!” wrote Kevin Norwood.
The Real Deal: Carmike, which shows some second-run movies, must have raised their prices recently, since they’re now listed at $2.75, Fridays and Saturdays; $2.25 the rest of the week. Still, that’s a sweet deal for a movie, even if it’s a little older.
What’s Playing Now: Lucy
Reader Comment: “$4 tickets, all ages, all the time, and it’s all the new releases, and they have $1 hot dogs, $1 popcorn, and $1 soda,” Amy pointed out.
The Real Deal: Credit to Amy, and also Megan K, for naming this commendable challenger. Tickets at Movies 10 (above) are the exact same price as Blanchester. One minor hitch is the multiplex offers second-run movies along with its healthy offering of first-run ones. Also, 3-D movies go for six bucks.
What’s Playing Now: The Maze Runner
Morris Twin Cinema
Reader Comment: “It usually sticks to second-run films (getting them about two weeks after the premiere date),” wrote Ashley.
The Real Deal: The Texas theater offers a rock-bottom discount of $1.50 a movie — all seats, all showtimes. With the occasional first-run title, this is one of the best deals in the country.
What’s Playing Now: Into the Storm
Cinemark Cinema 8
Sand Springs, OK
Reader Comment: “$5 for a regular showing, $2.50 on Discount Tuesdays,” said ScottJEmigh.
The Real Deal: Scott is right: 5 bucks will let you see second-run titles — the theater charges another 50 cents for new movies. It’s a great price for a theater that sprinkles first-run movies in with older titles.
What’s Playing Now: Let’s Be Cops
River Falls, WI
Reader Comment: A Yahoo reader who goes by 1-of-those-damn-libs said, “River Falls Wisconsin is only $3 and you can get popcorn, soda, and candy for under $5. The movies are always new releases and current.”
The Real Deal: The main adult-ticket price is four bucks, and many flicks shown there are second-run. Still, it’s a fantastic deal. Also, in Wisconsin: Towne Cinema in Watertown — almost exactly the same prices for a mix of new and old titles.
What’s Playing Now: When the Game Stands Tall
Rainbow Promenade 10
Las Vegas, NV
Reader Comment: “It’s an old 10-plex. It is 4 dollars before 4 p.m. and 6 dollars after 4 p.m. But 3D will run you 3 dollars more,” wrote Larry.
The Real Deal: Larry’s got his facts straight.
What’s Playing Now: If I Stay
Reader Comment: “When I was in Tallahassee there was a theater that sold tickets for 75 cents. The movies were not new release… and the chairs were shaky.” said Eric K.
The Real Deal: That 75-cent deal is probably lost to the ages. The cheapest theater in the city we could find offers older titles for three dollars. But maybe it has better seats?
What’s Playing Now: Hercules
The Columbian Theater
Reader Comment: “4 dollars for 13 and up and 2 dollars for 12 and under,” said CollinsFan.
The Real Deal: The Columbian is a solidly second-run theater, but four dollars is still a good deal.
What’s Playing Now: Edge of Tomorrow
Reader Comment: “The price of a ticket is $3.00 and seats 35 people,” A Yahoo Reader pointed out.
The Real Deal: The three-dollar deal is Tuesday-only at this tiny single-screen venue. The rest of the time, it’s four dollars, and usually for older titles.
What’s Playing Now: The Hundred-Foot Journey
Federal Way, WA
Reader Comment: “$2 for regular movies and $2 more for 3d! Great family choice,” said Dustin.
The Real Deal: The prices are accurate, but the movies are all older. Still, it’s a great deal.
What’s Playing Now: The Fault in Our Stars
The Plaza Theater
Reader Comment: “Maplewood Plaza’s got that beat!” claimed Tony. “$2 every day, $1 Tuesdays!”
The Real Deal: He’s right it’s an excellent deal — but for all older movies.
What’s Playing Now: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Photo credits: Thinkstock, Google Images