Cinema deals, tips & tricks

Cut the cost of tickets for Cineworld, Odeon, Vue & more

The cinema isn't the cheap date it used to be. If you want to check out the latest big screen blockbusters, it can set you back up to £20 for a ticket alone – more horrifying than a bad B-movie. This guide has tips and tricks to help you save at the cinema almost as many times as James Bond has saved the world, including a year's 2for1 movies for £1, five Vue tickets for £22, and more.

Quickly check which cinema deals you can use on a particular day


We want to make it easy to find the best deal for you, whether you can only visit the cinema on a certain day, or you just want to know when you can use a particular deal.

As you'll see from the table below, there are multiple deals available every day of the week. Select an offer for full information, how to get it, and any exclusions.

Have we missed anything? If there are cinema MoneySaving tricks you use that we haven't got in our guide, let us know in the MSE Forum.

Money Tips Email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest guides, deals and loopholes, simply sign up today – it's spam-free!

Deals & tricks for multiple cinema chains

Further down we'll look at deals for specific cinema chains, but first, these are the top tricks and offers that you can use at more than one chain or independent cinema.

  1. Trick to get a YEAR's 2for1 cinema tickets for about £1 – including new releases

    Meerkat Movies.

    Meerkat Movies has been highly publicised by an enterprising Russian meerkat and his pal Sergei for several years now. Buy certain insurance, switch utilities, or successfully apply for a financial product through comparison site Compare The Market, and you'll get 2for1 cinema tickets on a Tuesday or Wednesday for a whole year.

    2for1 cinema tickets should never be your reason for choosing a product such as insurance – use other comparison sites and our insurance guides to check you're getting the best deal. However, if Compare The Market isn't cheapest/best for what you need, we've a trick so you can still get the 2for1 movies...

    What's the cheapest product you can buy to qualify for Meerkat Movies?

    The answer is one night's UK travel insurance for one person. If the insurance is dead cheap, you can get a one-day policy for when you're not actually travelling/needing it, just so you'll be eligible for the 2for1 deal.

    When we did a quick search on Compare The Market on Tuesday 29 August, we found the cheapest single-trip travel insurance policy was £1.01.

    At this price, the insurance is far cheaper than the cost of a second cinema ticket, so in most cases you'll save even if you use it just once. What's more, you'll also be given Meerkat Meals, which gets discounts at many big chain and independent restaurants – see our full Meerkat offers info.

    Search Compare The Market for single-trip UK travel insurance for one person
    Buy the cheapest policy – when we checked on Tue 29 Aug, it was £1.01
    Download the Meerkat app for Android or iOS and activate your membership

    Meerkat Movies is valid at most cinemas across the UK – the big chains (such as Odeon and Vue) as well as lots of independents – but not all of them. If in doubt, check with your local cinema before turning up. Unlike some cinema offers, you can use it on the latest blockbusters.

    • Meerkat Movies need-to-knows

      • To qualify for Meerkat Movies & Meals membership, you need to purchase one of the following through Compare The Market: Car, motorcycle, home, van, pet, landlord, life, home/content or travel insurance. You can also qualify by taking out a credit card or loan or switch energy, digital TV or broadband supplier.

      • Activation can take at least 48 hours, so you may not be able to use the 2for1 offer on the same day you activate Meerkat Movies.

      • The year's 2for1 membership begins from the date you made a purchase. If you make any additional purchases during the 12 months, it'll extend your membership from the date of your most recent purchase.

      For more info on what you get and how to use this offer, see Meerkat Movies & Meals deals.

  2. Six free Odeon or Vue tickets with a Club Lloyds account

    Lloyds Bank's Club Lloyds gives you six free Odeon or Vue tickets (normally £35 to £65 depending on the location) a year. The account is fee-free as long as you meet its £2,000 a month minimum pay-in – there's a £3 a month fee if you don't.

    You can claim the free cinema tickets each year you have the account. Alternatively you can choose 12 months' Disney+, a Coffee Club and Gourmet Society membership, or an annual magazine subscription instead.

    You can pick six Odeon or Vue tickets at the 'Choose Your Benefit' page when logging in to your Club Lloyds account. Tickets can be used for 2D or 3D movies and are valid for 12 months.

    We're highlighting Lloyds here for the free cinema tickets, but NatWest and First Direct banks are currently offering big newbies switch bonuses, up to £200 – see our Best bank accounts guide for full info.

    • Club Lloyds account info

      Minimum pay-in: £2,000 a month (£3 a month fee if you pay in less)

      Interest: 1.5% AER variable on the first £4,000, 3% AER variable on the next £1,000 and 0% on everything above £5,000 (at least two monthly direct debits are needed to get the interest)

      Arranged overdrafts: 27.5% EAR variable (first £50 is at 0%)

  3. Up to 40% off tickets via Lidl Plus – but always check it against other deals

    Lidl Plus.

    New and existing users of the free Lidl Plus app (Android/iOS) can register with The Cinema Society to get vouchers giving up to 40% off cinema tickets. The vouchers can be used at Odeon, Vue, Showcase, Reel Cinemas, Scott Cinemas, Savoy Cinemas, Grosvenor Glasgow and Perth Playhouse. Unfortunately, it excludes Northern Ireland.

    How it works

    • Sign in to the Lidl Plus app and select 'Partner offers', then choose 'Up to 40% off cinema tickets'.

    • Select 'Redeem this offer' by Wednesday 4 October 2023, and then you'll need to register at The Cinema Society website.

    • Choose your cinema and buy a discounted voucher (it'll be emailed to you) which you can then exchange for a cinema ticket at the box office or online, depending on the cinema.

    You can buy up to 10 vouchers a day, which you can share with friends or family. In most cases, vouchers will be valid for at least six months and can be used on any movie at any time, but there may be exceptions, so always check the terms and conditions carefully. See The Cinema Society for more information.

    While it offers up to 40% off tickets, its discounts are based on 'peak-time' prices

    In other words, the most expensive full-priced ticket at each cinema. This means it's always worth checking against available deals elsewhere to make sure you are getting a saving, especially if you're not seeing a movie at peak-time.

  4. 'Free' cinema ticket for someone accompanying a disabled person

    CEA Card.

    If you're disabled and need extra assistance at the cinema, a CEA Card (developed by the UK Cinema Association) costs £6 a year and allows you to get a free ticket for a companion each time at most cinemas. To get the free ticket, you'll need to buy a full-price ticket for yourself for the same showing.

    You can apply for a CEA Card online or by post. To be eligible you must be receiving either Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment, or hold a Severely Sight Impaired or Sight Impaired registration.

    The UK Cinema Association says about 90% of cinemas accept the card, including big chains such as Cineworld, Odeon and Vue – see participating cinemas near you. You'll need to have your card when you book.

    See our full guide on 30+ MoneySaving tips for disabled people.

The above deals can be used at multiple cinemas, but we've split up the next part of this guide by chain-specific offers.

Jump to Cineworld | Empire | Odeon | Showcase | Vue

Cineworld & Picturehouse deals

  1. Swap Tesco Clubcard vouchers for double the value on Cineworld & Picturehouse tickets

    If you've Tesco Clubcard vouchers, you can use them towards Cineworld or Picturehouse cinema tickets*. You'll get twice the value you would if you used them in-store at Tesco, as every 50p in Clubcard vouchers becomes £1 when exchanged for a Cineworld or Picturehouse code.

    If you've got at least £10 in Clubcard vouchers, you can use them to get double the value towards a Cineworld Unlimited* card – so £10 becomes £20. See our other top picks to use your Clubcard points on.

    • Tesco Clubcard cinema need-to-knows

      • The minimum Clubcard voucher amount you can exchange is 50p (for a £1 reward) for Cineworld or Picturehouse tickets, and £10 (for a £20 reward) for Cineworld Unlimited.

      • When you exchange vouchers for Cineworld or Picturehouse, you'll be emailed a voucher with a code. You can't use the voucher to book by phone – you can book online (but a 70p to 95p booking fee applies to each ticket) or print and take it to the cinema to redeem.

      • There's no limit per customer on the number of vouchers you can exchange.

      • Clubcard voucher codes are valid for six months.
  2. £3 Cineworld or Picturehouse ticket Friday to Sunday for Three mobile customers


    If Cineworld or Picturehouse is where you go to see movies on the big screen and you're a Three mobile customer, you can get a code for a £3 adult cinema ticket via the Three+ rewards app. It's for any 2D movie once a week at any time on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

    How to claim a £3 Cineworld or Picturehouse ticket

    • Search 'Cineworld' or 'Picturehouse' in the Three+ app and select 'Get Reward' to be shown your code. When you're ready to use your code, select 'Use reward code now'.

    • Claim the code online at Cineworld (95p booking fee) or Picturehouse (70p booking fee), or by showing the code at the box office (no booking fee).

    Codes are valid until 11.59pm on Sunday. After that, you'll need to get a new code for the following weekend any time from 00.01am on Monday.

    • Excluded screenings

      VIP/premium seating, 3D, IMAX, 4DX, Superscreen, ScreenX – although you can upgrade to these when booking for an additional fee.

  3. Some can pay just £11 a month for unlimited movies at Cineworld but it's a location lottery

    Cineworld's Unlimited membership allows you to see as many movies as you want at its cinemas. For some, this will be as cheap as £10.99 a month, but many will have to pay more. Whether you can get the cheapest Unlimited membership prices depends on where you live and if you're happy only using your membership at limited locations.

    Cinemas have been split into four groups (check which locations are in which groups below) and you can only use your Unlimited membership at cinemas in your group and any groups below it, without incurring an additional cost. For example, 'Group 2' £16.99 a month membership can be used at all cinemas in 'Group 2' and 'Group 1'.

    • All Group 1 locations, for example, Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff – pay £10.99/month

      • Aberdeen
      • Aberdeen Union Square
      • Aldershot
      • Bedford
      • Bolton
      • Bradford
      • Bristol
      • Cardiff
      • Hull
      • Plymouth
      • Runcorn
      • Stoke on Trent
      • Weymouth

      If you want to visit a cinema in any of the other groups, you can pay an additional charge of £2 to £6 a ticket.

    • All Group 2 locations, for example, Brighton, Edinburgh, Sheffield – pay £16.99/month

      • Ashton-Under-Lyne
      • Birmingham Broad St
      • Boldon Tyne & Wear
      • Bracknell
      • Brighton
      • Broughton
      • Burton on Trent
      • Bury St Edmonds
      • Castleford
      • Chesterfield
      • Chichester
      • Dalton Park
      • Didcot
      • Didsbury
      • Dover
      • Dundee
      • Eastbourne
      • Edinburgh
      • Ely
      • Falkirk
      • London Feltham
      • Glasgow Parkhead
      • Glasgow Renfrew St
      • Glasgow Silverburn
      • Gloucester Quay
      • Harlow Harvey Centre
      • Harlow Queensgate
      • Haverhill
      • High Wycombe
      • Hinckley
      • Huntingdon
      • London Ilford
      • Ipswich
      • Isle of White
      • Jersey
      • Leeds
      • Leigh
      • Llandudno
      • Loughborough
      • Luton
      • Middlesbrough
      • Newcastle
      • Newport Spytty Park
      • Northampton
      • Nottingham
      • Poole
      • Rochester
      • Rugby
      • Sheffield
      • Shrewsbury
      • Solihull
      • Speke
      • St Helen’s
      • St Neots
      • Swindon Regents Circus
      • Swindon Shaw Ridge
      • Telford
      • Wakefield
      • Warrington
      • Watford
      • London West India Quay
      • Whitely
      • Whitney
      • Wolverhampton
      • London Wood Green
      • Yate
      • Yeovil
      • York

      If your local cinema falls into Group 2, you'll also have access to all cinemas in Group 1. If you want to visit a cinema in Group 3 or Group 4, you can pay an additional charge of £2 to £4 a ticket.

    • Group 3 locations, for example, Birmingham NEC, London O2, Milton Keynes – pay £19.40/month

      • Ashford
      • Basildon
      • London Bexley Heath
      • Birmingham NEC
      • Braintree
      • Cheltenham
      • Crawley
      • London Enfield
      • London O2
      • Hemel Hempstead
      • Milton Keynes
      • Rushden Lakes
      • London South Ruislip
      • Stevenage
      • London Wandsworth
      • London Wembley

      If your local cinema falls into Group 3, you'll also have access to all cinemas in Group 1 and Group 2. If you want to visit Leicester Square cinema, you can pay an extra £2 a ticket.

    Group 4, which costs £21.90 a month, gets you access to all cinemas including London Leicester Square.

    All price bands require you to sign up for a minimum of three months.

  4. £2.50 child AND adult tickets for selected Cineworld screenings

    With 'Cineworld Movies for Juniors' screenings you can get £2.50 tickets for kids (aged 14 and under) and accompanying adults on weekends and school holidays. If booking online, there's a 95p per ticket fee.

    Rather than brand new releases, it's generally recently or previously-released films. What's on offer will vary by cinema. See Cineworld for current listings.

  5. £4.50 tickets for over 60s for a selected screening every Wednesday at 10 cinemas

    If you're aged 60 or over you can get a £4.50 ticket to a selected screening each Wednesday at 10 Cineworld locations as part of its 'CineSeniors' offer (check the link for this week's movie). Cineworld says you'll also get 'free' hot drinks and biscuits. If booking online, there's a 95p per ticket fee.

    The 10 participating Cineworld locations are: Boldon Tyne & Wear, Cheltenham, Didsbury, Leigh, Milton Keynes, Poole, Rochester, Shrewsbury, Whiteley, and Witney.

Money Tips Email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest guides, deals and loopholes, simply sign up today – it's spam-free!

Odeon deals

  1. Five Odeon tickets for £30 (or eight for £40) – for any 2D movie till 31 October

    Have a few movies you'd like to see over the next couple of months? If so, Odeon is offering MyOdeon members (sign up for free) five tickets for £30 (£6 each) or eight tickets for £40 (£5 each). They're available at this Odeon Summer Saver link until 11.59pm on Saturday 30 September.

    You can use the tickets for any standard 2D movie any day until Tuesday 31 October. Once you've purchased, you'll find your ticket bundle in the member area of the MyOdeon app or the Odeon website. You can only redeem your tickets through the app, not at the cinema. Odeon says booking fees won't apply when using this offer.

    The tickets can only be used for screenings at Odeon's standard cinemas. If you want to visit one of its Luxe-branded cinemas, you'll need to get the Luxe Summer Saver bundle, which is five tickets for £35 (£7 each) or eight tickets for £48 (£6 each). Luxe and Dine Islington is excluded from both offers.

    • Excluded cinemas & screenings

      If you want to use your tickets at any of the following cinemas, you'll need to purchase one of the more expensive Luxe Summer Saver bundles: Luxe Bridgend, Luxe Hull, Luxe Leeds Bradford, Luxe Aylesbury, Luxe Bromborough, Luxe East Kilbride, Luxe Edinburgh West, Luxe Leeds Thorpe Park, Luxe Leicester, Luxe Liverpool Switch Island, Luxe Nuneaton, Luxe Sheffield, Luxe Warrington, Luxe Acton, Luxe Birmingham Broadway Plaza, Luxe Derby, Luxe Dundee, Luxe Durham, Luxe Epsom, Luxe Glasgow Quay, Luxe Holloway, Luxe Lee Valley, Luxe London Haymarket, Luxe London West End, Luxe Maidenhead, Luxe Maidstone, Luxe Putney, Luxe Stafford, Luxe Swiss Cottage, Luxe Tamworth, Luxe Telford, Luxe Islington, Luxe London Leicester Square. 

      As above, none of the ticket bundles is valid at Luxe and Dine Islington, or for Recliner seats, Recliner+ seats, Premier seats, or any other premium priced seating.

      You can only use the tickets for 3D, IMAX, iSense or Dolby format screenings if you pay an upgrade fee (this varies by cinema).

      You can't combine these tickets with any other offer.

  2. Save up to 60% when signing up to MyOdeon for free

    Sign up for free to MyOdeon and you can get cheaper tickets all-day Monday and on selected screenings on Tuesday to Sunday.

    For example, when we checked in August, MyOdeon membership gave us £6 tickets for Barbie at Milton Keynes instead of the normal £14 – a 57% saving.

    You can use MyOdeon membership to book at the cinema or online, but Odeon says members will always get cheaper tickets when booking online than they would in-person at the box office.

    To get the cheapest tickets, sign in to your MyOdeon account and look for the yellow 'MyOdeon Saver' banner against the movie time. You can then select the MyOdeon Saver ticket when booking and it'll be valid on all tickets in the same transaction, so friends or family can benefit too.

  3. Odeon MyLimitless membership is now £15 a month (was £18 a month)

    Screenshot for MyLimitless account, for Ellen Ripley, with QR code, membership number and membership start date.

    Odeon's 'MyLimitless' membership allows you to see as many standard 2D movies as you want in a month at its cinemas.

    It was £17.99 a month (£19.99 including central London) but you can now get it for £14.99 a month (£16.99 a month to include London West End cinemas).

    Odeon says this is an ongoing price reduction, but of course it could change that at any time. There's a three month minimum term only when paying monthly.

    If you know you'll use it all year, it's slightly cheaper to sign up for annual membership at £170, which works out at £14.17 a month.

  4. £2.50 child AND adult tickets for selected screenings

    With 'Odeon Kids' screenings you can get £2.50 tickets for kids (aged 14 and under) and accompanying adults on weekends and school holidays for MyOdeon members booking online (£3 for MyOdeon members booking at the cinema). If you aren't a MyOdeon member, you can sign up free, otherwise you'll pay £3.25 online or £3.75 at the cinema.

    Odeon offers a small selection of movies a week (usually two or three, labelled with 'Odeon Kids'). See Odeon for current listings.

  5. See 'mystery' movie preview screenings for about £6 via Odeon Screen Unseen

    Odeon Screen Unseen.

    If you'd like a sneak peek of a movie before it's released to the masses, there's a much better solution than streaming some dodgy illegal copy filmed on a camcorder. 

    If you're someone who doesn't mind surprises, you can catch preview screenings of upcoming movies for £6 if booked online at Odeon with free MyOdeon membership (or £7 in-cinema), or £7 online without MyOdeon membership (£8 in-cinema).

    The catch is, you won't know which movie you're seeing until it starts

    Odeon says it'll always have a rating from 'U' to '15' and won't be a horror movie – they're reserved for its separate Scream Unseen.

    Previous Screen Unseen movies include Free Guy, Another Round, Parasite, Extra Ordinary, and Booksmart – so based on this, you probably shouldn't expect a blockbuster of the magnitude of Avengers, but if you're someone who likes to go see movies in general, this can be a good and fun way to get your hands on a cheap ticket.

    Register at Odeon Screen Unseen and you'll be emailed when a movie is available to book.

  6. £3.50 tickets for over 60s for selected 'Silvers' screenings

    If you're aged 60 or over you can get a £3.50 ticket to selected screenings, if you're a free MyOdeon member and book online. MyOdeon members booking at the cinema will pay £4.50. If you don't have MyOdeon membership, it's £4 online or £5 at the cinema.

    Odeon says you'll also get 'free' tea, coffee and biscuits before the movie starts. See Odeon Silvers for upcoming screenings and times.

Vue deals

  1. Five Vue tickets for £22 (or 10 for £40) – for any 2D movie till 30 September

    Groupon. Vue.

    You can grab cheap Vue tickets via deals site Groupon* for any 2D movie showing until Saturday 30 September, such as Barbie, Oppenheimer, Haunted Mansion, The Equalizer 3, Strays, or Saw X (released 29 September).

    You can opt for 10 tickets for £40 (£4 each), or five tickets for £22 (£4.40 each).

    The discounted tickets via Groupon can be used any day of the week until 30 September, and by anyone – you don't have to use them all yourself. They can be used at the same time or during separate visits.

    You'll receive an email with one unique code per ticket – these can also be found in your Groupon account. Make your booking at the Vue website (you can't book at the cinema) and enter your unique code(s) at the checkout. Groupon says there's no booking fee to pay.

    Sadly, the tickets aren't valid with the Meerkat Movies deal, which gets you 2for1 cinema tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays – see above for info. If your local Vue sells tickets for less than £8 to £8.80, you may be able to get a cheaper deal with Meerkat Movies on those days.

    • Ticket validity per cinema location

      Tickets bought via this deal are valid for specific seat types, but you can upgrade your seat (for example, to 'VIP') for a fee – the price depends on the cinema location.

      The tickets are valid on Vue's 'Super Saver' seats at the following locations:

      • Aberdeen
      • Accrington
      • Altrincham
      • Barrow
      • Basingstoke Festival Place
      • Bedford
      • Birkenhead
      • Blackburn
      • Bolton
      • Bristol Cribbs
      • Bromley
      • Camberley
      • Cambridge
      • Cardiff
      • Carlisle
      • Carmarthen
      • Cheshire Oaks
      • Cleveleys
      • Cramlington
      • Croydon Grants
      • Cwmbran
      • Dagenham
      • Darlington
      • Doncaster
      • Eastleigh
      • Edinburgh Ocean
      • Edinburgh Omni
      • Eltham
      • Exeter
      • Farnborough
      • Finchley North
      • Finchley Road
      • Fulham Broadway
      • Gateshead
      • Glasgow Fort
      • Halifax
      • Hamilton
      • Hartlepool
      • Hull
      • Inverness
      • Islington
      • Lancaster
      • Leeds Kirkstall
      • Leeds Light
      • Livingston
      • Bristol Longwell Green
      • Manchester Printworks
      • Manchester Lowry
      • Merthyr
      • Newbury
      • Newcastle Under Lyme
      • Northampton
      • Oxford
      • Piccadilly
      • Plymouth
      • Portsmouth
      • Preston
      • Reading
      • Redditch
      • Rhyl
      • Romford
      • Scunthorpe
      • Sheffield
      • Shepherds Bush
      • Southport
      • Staines
      • Star City
      • Stirling
      • Stroud
      • Swansea
      • Thanet
      • Thurrock
      • Torbay
      • Watford
      • Vue West End
      • Westfield
      • Westfield Stratford
      • Worcester
      • York

      Tickets are valid for Vue 'Standard' seats at the below locations:

      • Bicester
      • Bury The Rock
      • Croydon Purley Way
      • Glasgow St Enoch
      • Harrow
      • Leamington Spa
      • Leicester
      • Norwich
      • Wood Green
  2. Two Vue tickets for £9 to any 2D movie on any day via Priority

    O2 mobile and Virgin Media broadband customers can get two adult tickets for £9 (£4.50 each) at Vue cinemas to see any 2D movie each week via Priority.

    Priority. Vue.

    How to get the deal

    • You'll need Priority (Android / iOS). Search 'Vue' and once you've found the offer, select the 'Use Now' button to get a code.

    • You'll be directed to the Vue website where you'll be able to claim the code for two tickets for £9. You need to do this by 11.59pm on Sunday, or your code will become invalid.

    • You'll be emailed two e-codes which you can exchange at the box office or online (but not over the phone). Your codes are valid for seven days.

    The offer refreshes each week at 10am on Mondays, so if you've had a code before, that's when you can pick up a new code to go again. O2 says codes are available for that week until 10pm on Sunday, but could end sooner.

    What's particularly good about this deal, is it can be used to see any 2D movie, on any day of the week, including weekends when discounts are rare. However, depending on the price of tickets at your local Vue, you may be able to get a better deal on a Tuesday or Wednesday using Meerkat Movies.

    • Excluded screenings & seats

      The deal can't be used on the following types of screening: Premieres, Big Screen Events and alternative/special showings including Mini Mornings, Senior-friendly, Autism-friendly and Scene screenings.

      You'll only be able to get two tickets for £9 on 2D screenings, though you can book a 3D screening, IMAX, VIP, Recliner, Xtreme seating or Gold class screening online or at the box office if you pay the difference in price.

  3. £2.49 child AND adult tickets for selected screenings

    With 'Vue Mini Mornings' screenings you can get £2.49 tickets for kids aged two to 12 and accompanying adults on weekends after 10am and every morning during school holidays, when booked online or via the Vue app (if bought at the cinema, tickets are £3.49 each).

    What's on offer will vary by cinema. See Vue for current listings.

Showcase deals

  1. Sign up for FREE membership to save about £5 on Showcase cinema tickets on selected days

    Showcase cinemas' Insider.

    If you've a Showcase cinema near you (see all locations), you can get tickets to see 2D movies, including new releases, for £7.50 (for £9.50 at Bluewater) from 7pm on Sunday, and all day Monday and Tuesday. Tickets normally cost up to £13.

    All you need to do is sign up for free to Showcase's 'Insider' membership. You'll be sent a membership card by post but you can print off a temporary card, or show it on your phone, to use it before it arrives, or use it immediately online.

    You can book the cheap tickets by showing your card at the box office, or online by selecting the 'Insider' ticket option (there's a £1 booking fee).

  2. £5 tickets for over 60s on Mondays before 4pm

    If you're aged 60 or over you can get a £5 ticket (£8 at Bluewater) for most movie screenings starting at 4pm or earlier on Mondays as part of Showcase's 'Silver Screenings' offer. Tickets at other times normally cost about £9 so you're saving about £4 with this deal. You can book online or at the cinema, but online bookings include an additional £1 fee.

    You can't combine this offer with any other discount, and extra charges apply for screenings in XPlus or 3D, and XLR or Gallery seating. Any screening classed as 'Event Cinema' will cost £8.

Empire deals

  1. £2 child AND adult tickets for selected screenings

    With 'Empire Jnrs' screenings you can get £2 tickets for kids (aged 14 and under) and accompanying adults on weekends at selected cinemas. If booking online, there's a 70p per ticket fee.

    You can usually choose from a couple of movies each week, which will be recent (but not the newest) releases or classic family movies. See Empire for current listings.

General cinema cost cutters

  • It's no surprise to anyone that snacks and drinks bought at the cinema often have a high mark-up. Although that waft of popcorn when you enter the cinema lobby can easily tempt many, you'll be paying a lot more than if you brought your own snacks – though it's long been thought that cinemas don't allow this, so MoneySavers have been sneaking snacks into their bags, pockets and socks (maybe?) for years.

    However... Cineworld, Odeon, Vue, Empire and Showcase all told us its policy is that you can bring your own drink (as long as it's non-alcoholic and not in a glass container) and food, as long as it's not hot nor has an overly strong odour – so you shouldn't be whipping out a cheeseboard or egg sandwich, but chocolates or sweets, or a bit of fruit are fine – just be mindful of loud crunching.

    While the big cinema chains we asked shared the same policy, it may not be universal at all cinema brands or independents.

  • There's nothing worse than sitting through a terrible movie for two hours, especially when you've paid to watch it. Save yourself (and your money) from any modern day equivalent of Jaws: The Revenge by checking out reviews from other cinema-goers first.

    The two most popular free movie review sites are IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. You can get a quick glance at a movie's overall user rating, read reviews from the public, or see what critics thought. Don't worry about spoilers, reviews that include those are clearly marked.

  • Cineworld and Odeon have both offered paid-for memberships for many years now which allow you to see as many 2D movies as you want at their cinemas for a set monthly fee.

    These subscription deals are generally for serious movie buffs who tend to see three or more movies a month – and of course it's only worthwhile if you live or work near that brand of cinema. Yet as memberships for some are now as little as £11 a month, it may now be worth it for more people.

  • As we can't cover every cinema in the UK, this guide mainly focuses on the big chains, but you may have an independent cinema near you that offers cheaper tickets. They usually have fewer screens and you sometimes have to wait a couple of weeks to see the bigger releases, but some prefer the more intimate setting.

    We asked MoneySavers on Facebook and Twitter for their thoughts on independent cinemas and which ones they'd visited – many said they're able to get tickets for under £5. Tap the tweet below, or see the 300+ Facebook replies, to read the comments or add your own.

  • Sometimes the cinema experience isn't as enjoyable or comfortable as you'd hope, and many don't think to complain or ask for a refund if things go wrong. Most cinemas will refund your ticket if there was a technical glitch that was the cinema's fault, for example the projector breaks or the sound is out of sync.

    But we've also heard from MoneySavers on Facebook (see some of the comments below) who have complained about annoyances such other cinema-goers being loud and distracting, or the cinema being too cold, and have received refunds or free tickets for a future visit. So if you've had a bad cinema experience, it's worth raising this with staff.

    Walked out half way through because of rowdy kids and got our money back.

    – Lianne S

    Had compensation from cinema after the film ended for being so COLD 🥶

    – Jo-ann

    We asked for a refund at the end of the film as we were watching a quiet film and next door was a film with screaming and loud explosion effects drowning out our sound. The manager issued full refunds on both tickets.

    – Paul C

    I went to see Star Wars at Odeon but they started to show Coco instead! They stopped it after 10 minutes (I was actually enjoying it!), refunded us and gave us upgrades to the posh screen for next time.

    – Claire M

    As for whether you can walk out of a movie because you're not enjoying it and receive a refund, the big cinema chains we asked went quiet on us – probably because they don't want mass walkouts if there's ever an Emoji Movie 2 😒.

    In general, you're unlikely to be given compensation just because you think a movie's rubbish, yet we did hear from a few users who received complimentary tickets for a future visit, so it may be worth asking, though this very much seems down to the cinema manager's discretion.

  • With the proliferation of video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+ and Now over the past few years, there is less need to venture to the cinema to get your film fix – and with packages for the big services mentioned costing less than £12 a month, you can watch a lot more movies for your money at home – see our TV MoneySaving tricks.

    Of course, watching a movie from your living room sofa is a different experience to the cinema, but if you're not so fussed about the night out element, or giant screen, then streaming services can be a good alternative to forking out for a cinema ticket, especially if you're paying for one or more of them anyway.

    While the majority of big studio blockbusters will get their first showing at the cinema, there's been a trend in recent years of some movies being released on streaming services at the same time as their cinema release, or soon after. This year, there was less than a three-month gap between Black Panther: Wakanda Forever being released at cinemas and then appearing on Disney+.

    Some movies don't even make it to the cinema at all – Netflix for example, produces its own original movies – see our Netflix hacks for how to cut the cost and get more from your subscription. Disney+ has also previously skipped the cinema and offered movies exclusively on the streaming service such as the live-action Lady and the Tramp and Hamilton – see how to get Disney+ for £5.99 a month (normally £7.99) if you're an O2 customer.

Money Tips Email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest guides, deals and loopholes, simply sign up today – it's spam-free!

Spotted out of date info/broken links? Email: