Save on Movies This Academy Award Season

Is anyone else rushing to see all the “Best Picture” nominated flicks before the Academy Awards in early March? If so, you’ll realize that with twice the nominees (there are 10 this year), you’ve got quite the expense in front of you.

In 2009, American film fanatics spent $9.87 billion at the box office. That’s a whole lot of ticket stubs, popcorn, and previews! Before you open your wallet to see “Avatar” in 3-D, consider some tips for saving on cinema.

Cut out the pricey snacks. Resist the buttery goodness and refreshing sodas that accompany any theater experience by eating before the show or bringing your own drink or snack. If you must splurge, share the jumbo with your fellow movie-goers and score free refills.

Early bird gets the savings. Although many theaters have steadily jacked up their prices, most still offer matinee shows that can be several dollars cheaper.

Stick to the box office. Buying movie tickets from online sites such as Fandango is convenient-you can bypass the long lines and go straight to the good seats! But they often add a service fee of a dollar or two to your purchase, which can add up.

Discount or independent theaters. Many cities have discount theaters where new releases go to live out their final cinema days before heading to DVD. Independent theaters, which often house those overlooked Academy favorites, can also be cheaper than traditional big-box theaters.

Skip the IMAX. We know IMAX and 3-D make for a whole different viewing experience, but they can cost twice as much as a show on the plain old big screen.

Buy tickets in bulk. If you’re a real movie buff, you might consider buying tickets in bulk, which reduces the price of each movie you see. But be aware that movie passes bought ahead of time don’t always apply to the latest releases.

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