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Survive This Economy: Save On Summer Movie Season

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(Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images for Universal Music)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Summer means movie, but that can cost you a bundle, especially if you have kids like the Wrights, a suburban couple with four kids.

Taking the family to a movie can cost as much as a monthly utility bill, but as CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, there are some new ways to save at the movies that might surprise you.

“When I think about taking everyone to the movies, I think about I’m going to spend somewhere between $75 and maybe $80; with the tickets, and the popcorn, and the pop,” Marcus Wright said.

It’s an expensive night out, but there are ways to save on movie tickets that can easily cost $10 to $12; even $15 or more for 3-D movies.

You can start at the grocery store. Until the end of June, if you spend $40 on listed dairy products at Dominick’s stores, you get two free movie tickets to any theatre.

Kellogg’s is offering a deal where buying six boxes of certain snacks gets you one free ticket.

If you’re a member of Costco, you can get two tickets to AMC Theatres or Regal Cinemas for $15.99.

Current students at DePaul and Roosevelt universities can buy AMC tickets at their schools for $6 to $8.

Anyone with a Visa Signature credit card also gets a deal.

“On Fridays, they offer two-for-one movie ticket passes, if you purchase them through Fandango, with your Visa Signature card,” said consumer expert Andrea Woroch. “They also offer $5 off a purchase of $25 through Fandango.”

Here are some more tips to save money at the movies:

1) Take advantage of “daily deal” sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, which send emails notifying you of discounts you can take advantage of in the area, including deals offering up to 50 percent off of movie tickets.

2) Become a regular at one theater, and sign up for its incentives program. AMC Theatres, for instance, gives customers enrolled in their Stubs Rewards Program free concession upgrades and waives online ticket purchase fees for them. iPic Theaters in Bolingbrook offers its members free tickets on their birthdays, as well as discounted concession prices ($2 on beer and $9 on select cocktails) on Tuesdays.

3) Buy discount gift cards from websites like Gift Card Granny, which can save you 10% to 30$ on movie cards.

4) Landmark Theaters in Lakeview lets customers buy a ticket book with 25 tickets costing $8 each.

5) Students, parents of children and the elderly should inquire about discounts available at movie theaters. At Landmark Theaters, students, children and the elderly (movie-goers who are at least 62 years old) can buy tickets for $9.

6) Students from any college with a valid ID can see independent and classic movies at Block Cinema, located on Northwestern University’s campus, for $4.

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