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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.