Life Hacks: Going to the Movies

There are countless problems you encounter on a daily basis that can put a little speed bump in your day. Life hacks are those “a-ha!” moments where you find the simplest solution to your daily problems, often using items immediately at your disposal. Each month this column will take you through some creative hacks to use in all different areas of your life to make your day-to-day as simple as possible. Since it’s finally summer and it’s blockbuster season, we have tips and tricks to perfect and save you money at the theater.

Nothing compares to a warm bag of theater popcorn, your favorite candy, and a great film on the big screen. Getting perfectly buttered popcorn is every moviegoer’s dream, but it takes a little work. If you prefer to handle your own buttering, try attaching a straw to the butter station, which will allow you to butter all the way to the bottom of the bag. If you prefer to let the concession workers prepare your popcorn, ask them to layer it.

If you’re a regular movie-goer you know the ticket prices are constantly rising at the theater, so you’re probably looking for bargains any chance you get. An excellent way to know about specials and deals is to follow your favorite theater’s social media pages. If there’s a flash sale on concessions or tickets, they’ll be announced here first. Many theaters also offer giveaways for free merchandise from the movie studios for their latest releases.

The latest movies seem to be getting longer and longer, making it that much harder to make it through an entire film without a bathroom break. Thanks to the latest technology, you can make your bathroom runs during the slowest moments in the film and avoid missing key plot points. The RunPee app, available for iPhone, Android and Windows phones, will inform you of all the three to five minute long scenes that don’t have any key plot points, twists, laugh out loud moments or exciting action. It even has a timer option that will vibrate to let you know that it’s a good time for a pee break. The app will also alert you to any bonus scenes after the credits, so you don’t miss a thing.

If you frequent the theater often, then it’s not a bad idea to stock up on affordable tickets every chance you get. Large discount stores like Sam’s Club and Costco often have movie ticket bundle packs that allow you to buy multiple tickets cheaper than you can get them at the box office. This is a great option for families.

For the dedicated movie fans who must see all the movies first, there’s a great program called Movie Pass. For as little as $30 a month you can see a movie as often as every 24 hours. The program includes almost all local theaters. The membership only includes 2D films so you’ll have to purchase separate tickets to see the Imax or 3D films.

If you’re a parent with movie-loving kiddos, then you’ll definitely want to research your local theater to find out what special theater programs for kids they offer. Most theaters have a summer movie series that offer very discounted or even free tickets and affordable concessions.