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Discounted and Free Movies For Families all Summer

The reel deal on inexpensive (and cool) summer entertainment


Looking for something to do during the dog days of summer? Check your movie theater. Many local and national chains are offering family-friendly, discounted or free movies all summer. Generally the free movies aren't first-run, but it's still a fun experience. If your child has never been to the movies, this is a great tryout. If she's noisy, don't worry, the theater is probably teeming with loud kids. Plus, you haven't paid full price, so if you have to leave, it's not a huge deal. And for those preschoolers who crave routine, seeing a movie they recognize may go over better than seeing something new. 


Hispanic family enjoying popcorn at movie theater
Blend Images/Andres Rodriguez/Vetta/Getty Images
Cinemark offers a bunch of discounted movie programs throughout the year and over the summer, including Reel Family Time which offers $1 admission per person for parties of three or more. Also includes the opportunity to purchase a "Kiddie Combo" to snack on while you watch. Check your local theatre to find out if they participate -- tickets are only available at the box office and not online.

Clearview Cinemas Kids Club

Free movies every Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. starting July 11 and 12 and running for eight weeks. Titles include The Smurfs, Rio and Mr. Popper's Penguins. No tickets are required, but keep in mind that the free tickets are first-come, first-serve.

Harkins Summer Movie Fun

Tickets are on sale now for the program for Harkins Theatres in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas, which has been around for over 30 years. The program, which is for children 12 and under (and the grown up that accompanies them) runs for 10 weeks through the end of July/beginning of August. You must purchase tickets in advance. The theatre also offers a season ticket program that allows you to watch all the movies. Individual tickets are also available for $2. For more information, read the Summer Movie Fun FAQ.

Marcus Theatres Kids Rule Film Festival

Marcus Theatres offers a host of discount deals throughout the year, including Kids Rule, a summer movie program across 700 theaters in states across the country, including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, certain family-friendly movies are $2, with popcorn and fountain drinks also costing $2 as well.

Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express

Starting at the end of May, at the 10 a.m. showings Tuesdays and Wednesdays, select G and PG-rated movies are $1 though the end of August. Check local listings for showtimes and a list of movies that will be playing. Aportion of the proceeds will benefit the Will Rogers Institute. Titles include Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Rio and Mr. Popper's Penguins.

Showcase Bookworm Wednesday Club (formerly National Amusements Kidtoons)

Aside from the free My First Movie Program for toddlers and preschoolers in April, Showcase Cinemas offers Bookworm Wednesdays, every week at 10 a.m. from July 10 - August 7. Kids 11 and under need to fill out a book report form and they'll get into the movie free. Kids under six who go with a big brother or sister (or cousin or friend) who complete the form and an adult do not need to complete the form. The theater also offers a popcorn club for a $10 annual fee, which includes free movie tickets and other goodies throughout the year.

AMC Theaters Summer Movie Camp

Unfortunately, due to lack of interest, the free movies program has been discontinued, but the chain is showing family movies at a discounted price over the summer. Check local times, but most showings are before noon.

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