Thrifty and Frugal Living: Free Movie Tickets...Are they worth it?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Free Movie Tickets...Are they worth it?

As most of you know I recently went to a free screening of The Back-Up Plan. What I haven't told you is about my experience with the "free screening". Yes, it is legit. You do see a movie for free several weeks before it comes out. However, when you sign up for your tickets it tells you to get there early because they overbook it. I have been debating with myself on whether or not it was really worth it. I still don't have an answer, but I want to share the facts with you.

In my case with The Back-Up Plan we had to drive about 30-35 minutes to Tampa. We arrived 1 hour and 45 minutes early (by accident..we meant to get there an hour early). There were already a ton of people there. We later found out that the people that arrived one hour early were turned away. So, after waiting in line for over an hour we are seated 10-15 people at a time. When we got into the theater all of the seats except for the front row were taken or being saved (except a LARGE section roped off for critics). I have only once in my life sat in the front row and I hated it! I have really bad eyes and it makes the whole thing unenjoyable for me (I did discover a nifty trick...wear your sunglasses! It makes it less blurry if you are in the front). Then, we find out that we verily made it in. Only a few people got in after us. We were told to turn our phones completely off...if they even see a light they kick you out. Then we got to enjoy the movie. Except I was kind of in pain (not including the eye strain/pain) because I couldn't put my elbow on the armrest because I had a stranger beside me using it. : (

SO....

Positives:
*Free Movie
*You get to see the movie before other people

Negatives:
*You often have to spend extra gas/time to drive to theater
*You must arrive at LEAST 2 hours before the movie (2 hours of my paycheck is worth more than the price of tickets....so this kind of negates the free tickets)
*They overbook the theater so you may get turned away
*They overbook the theater so you have to sit RIGHT beside other people & no putting your feet up!


So is it worth it? Probably not. Will I do it again? If it is a movie I really want to see I probably will.

Ohh...and just so you know. It was in one of their smaller theaters than seats 191 people. They roped off at least 30-40 seats for critics. They had to turn away "at least 100 people". So, when I say overbook...I mean OVERBOOK!

2 comments:

Krystal said...

Yep, I used to work these. Usually when the movie starts if the critics seats are still empty, we would let other people sit there. We just had to keep them roped off just in case they showed up. Not all the movies are crazy busy, some times they are, but there are some movie screenings that aren't as bad. My advice? Have someone hold your spot and grab a drink at the bar next door! =)

g33kinp1nk @ The Freebie Addiction said...

In all honesty, they should stop overbooking. Because I had the same experience as you. I looked at the mass amounts of people in line waiting to see a free movie and said screw it and drove back home - which is 30 minutes out of the way as well.