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New movie releases: Avoid ginormous movie theater rates

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Depending on the movie theater, moviegoers can pay the same price to go to a movie that they would to pay an electricity bill.

Moviegoers pay up to $10.75 just to see a film. That's not including the amount it costs to buy refreshments. An order of nachos and a drink can easily cost a consumer $20. That's over two months of Netflix for mail-in movies ($7.99 without taxes for one DVD at a time, $11.99 for two DVDs at a time, $15.99 for three DVDs at a time) and higher than a month of mail-in videos and video streaming ($15.98 minimum without taxes).

You want to see the movie live and share in the experience with the rest of the theater. You don't want to watch the movie on your computer or in the comfort of your own home.

But why pay so much when there are so many deals to pay less?

Movie times matter, but so do your financial institution perks.

Those "junk mail" promos consumers get from the mail carrier may come in handy. Pay attention to what your bank or credit union offers when it comes to movie tickets. For example, a Chicago credit union called D'PUC Credit Union can sell $8.50 AMC movie tickets to its members. It doesn't matter when the movie came out or what time the movie starts. The tickets are available for sale as long as they're in stock.

Purchase tickets online.

Online ticket purchasing may initially turn consumers off. They'll think of the price of shipping and handling or processing fees and choose to go to the movie theater instead. But an example where that assumption isn't accurate is Showplace Village Crossing 18 in Skokie, Ill. Movie tickets in the theater are $10.75 after 4 p.m., but they're $8 if purchased through Fandango. Log into their website and buy tickets online for a cheaper rate.

Use gift cards.

Christmas is around the corner. Got a family member or friend who has no idea what to buy you? Request gift cards. That way, the next time you see a movie, the film costs you nothing.

Purchase Entertainment Coupon Savings books.

Those books always have coupons for movie theaters in them. The only downside is the coupons often require consumers to wait 10 days before seeing new releases. If you're in no hurry to see the film, then where's the harm in waiting a little over a week? Online rates for the books are $19.99 and a print book version is $24.50.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago finance, employment and savings tips, or subscribe to her Chicago Personal Finance channel at the top of this page.

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