How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free
I know this sounds amazing, and there's a kicker — you can see these movies in theaters for free BEFORE they're released to the general public!
It sounds too good to be true, but it can be done really easily. For the past year or so, I have been attending movies in theaters before they've been released. I pay nothing to see them, and to top it off, there are often no previews, so 100 minutes actually means 100 minutes.
Some movie studios provide free screenings of movies. They do this to build interest in a movie, to do research, and to allow the press to review it. If people have a good experience, they'll tell their friends and write positive reviews.
These are the same movies you can see a few weeks later for $12 a pop. Over the past six months, I've seen The Green Hornet (awesome movie!), The Next Three Days, and Limitless, among others, all a few weeks before they were released to the general public, and all for the family friendly price of "on the house." (See also: Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again)
How to See Movies in the Theater for Free
It's a very simple process, you just need to know where to look. There are two main sites that I frequent — GoFobo and Film Metro — though I'm sure there are others I haven't heard of. Some of the screenings will be available to you, in which case you just need to reserve and print your tickets (each reservation typically comes with two). For some movies, you'll need an RSVP code first. A good place to look for those is rsvpcodes.com, where people enter city and movie-specific codes for others to use.
What to Know Before Attending a Screening
There are several things you should keep in mind for these screenings:
1. Reserving a ticket doesn't guarantee you access to a movie.
For most movies, people enter on a first-come, first-served basis. I usually find that getting to the theater 30 minutes early is plenty.
2. Not every movie will be available.
I've never been disappointed by the selection, but when movies are free, it's a little difficult to complain if something's not perfect.
3. It might not work in rural areas.
If you live in the middle of Montana, it's unlikely that there are a lot of screenings in your area. I live in Washington, D.C., where free screenings are very common.
Enjoy your new knowledge, and feel free to go crazy with the popcorn and soda. When you save $20+ on a movie, there's no harm in splurging a little on the snacks!
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