Save Money & Visit Your Local Base Movie Theater

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The last time my family and I went to a AMC movie theater, we spent about $75. Seventy Five Dollars!  I was astounded at the price of a family outing to the movies. I mean, it’s great to see a movie on the big screen, but for $75? Not many theaters give a military discount, or if they do it is for each person with a DOD I.D., and even then it’s usually one or two dollars off per ticket. Not a lot of savings, if you ask me. Of course, popcorn, drinks, candy were part of this price. I know I could pack my own stuff to save a few bucks, and I usually do. When I do, it’s still about $40 to $50 for tickets alone. We are a family of four in case you’re wondering.

As of late, we have been visiting our local base movie theater. The movies are free and the concession stand is mega cheap! Thankfully in San Diego we have a few base theaters to choose from. Now, if you’re the type who cannot wait to watch the latest blockbuster on the big screen and must watch it the minute its released, then the base theater is not your best bet. I mean, it is if you want to watch the movie for a second, third, or fourth time. But if you can wait about 3 weeks after a movie is released then the base theater is the best choice for saving money! My family and I have watched many movies at the base theater for free, and spent about $20 for popcorn and drinks for four people. TWENTY BUCKS! This is for popcorn and drinks, obviously if you want hot dogs and nachos it’s not too much more. Cheaper than a AMC or Regal theater, again, if you ask me. Last weekend we watched Pitch Perfect 3, and the weekend before that we watched Ferdinand. Tomorrow is Friday and our plans include a trip to the base theater to watch The Greatest Showman.

The only downside is the theaters usually have one screen, so that means two movies per night shown, and the show times are usually evening hours. And the theater usually gets packed! I missed the first 35 mins of Ferdinand because I was standing in line to buy popcorn, my fault because I got there five minutes before the movie started. So my advice is get there early! Buying from the concession ensures the movies remain free. There is no one checking if you brought outside food, but lets all be cool and continue to enjoy a free movie by following the rules. Also, no tickets required just show up early, especially if it’s a blockbuster! And the best part, no previews! If the movie time is at 1800, the movie starts at 1800. Not a minute before or a minute late.  Check out your local base theater for an inexpensive night out.

If you are stationed at San Diego NAS, you have three base movie theaters to choose from – Lowry Theater on Coronado, San Diego Naval Base Theater, and Miramar Bob Hope Theater (NOT free, however, tickets are cheap! Like, $3.00 cheap).