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Free and cheap summer movies for kids

Theater chains offer special programs of family-friendly flicks on weekday mornings.

By Teresa Mears Jun 1, 2010 8:56AM

It's summer, and a young mother's fancy turns to -- free and cheap movies to entertain her children in air-conditioned comfort. Dads and grandparents may like these films, too.


Most of the major theater chains have a summer program of free or discounted movies for children.

Some public libraries, cities and parks also show free movies during the summer. If school is already out in your district, the summer movie programs may start as early as this week, but most start next week or the week after.


At most theaters, you can attend without children, but check the rules if you plan to go alone. At Harkins Theatres, for example, no adults are admitted without children. Some theaters also are offering discounts on snacks and drinks.

Thanks to The Frugal Girls and our friends at Cities on the Cheap, we have the scoop on this summer's free and cheap family-friendly movies.


Here are the chains with free movies:

  • Cobb Theatres offers free movies for kids at 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. To find the schedule for your area, you'll first have to choose a theater and then scroll down to the bottom of that page and click on "Free Summer Kids' Shows."
  • Great Escape Theatres have a Summer Children's Film Festival with free films at 9:30 a.m. weekdays. The schedule varies by theater.
  • Muvico's Free Family Film Festival is at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays from June 15 through Aug. 3.
  • Regal Entertainment Group is showing movies at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the Free Family Film Festival. The exact schedule, including the starting and ending dates, varies by state.

Here are the chains with discount films:

  • AMC Theaters' Summer Movie Camp is offering family movies for $1 at 10 a.m. Tuesdays June 15 through Aug. 10. A popcorn-drink combo is $4.
  • Carmike Cinemas will show a family-friendly flick at 10 a.m. Tuesdays for $1. Popcorn and drinks are $1 each. The program runs June 8 through Aug. 10.
  • Cinemark's Summer Movie Clubhouse starts June 1 in some cities and offers 10 weeks of films for $5 if purchased in advance and $1 each if purchased at the box office. Films are shown on weekday mornings, but the schedule varies by theater.
  • Classic Cinemas' Wednesday Morning Movie Series offers children's films for $1 at 10 a.m. Wednesdays June 16 through Aug. 11.
  • Dickinson Theatres' Summer Vacation Movie Series is $13 for a package of eight shows or $2.50 each. Movies are shown weekday mornings. For schedules, choose a theater and click on "Summer Vacation Movie Series."
  • Harkins Theatres shows Summer Movie Fun films at 9:45 a.m. Monday through Friday. Ticket prices for the 10-film series vary by theater, but all charge less than $10 in advance for the entire series. No adults are admitted without children.
  • Malco Theatres has a Kids Summer Film Fest with movies for $2 each at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The festival runs June 1 through July 28.
  • Marcus Theatres' Kids Rule summer film series presents films for $2.75 at 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays June 23 through Aug. 12. The admission price includes popcorn.

Schedules may vary at individual theaters, so be sure to double-check before you pack up the kids.


If those aren't enough free and cheap movies to entertain your kids, don't forget another repository of free films you can show at home: your public library. And you can bring your own cheap snacks.


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