10 Free Ways to Watch Movies This Summer


What’s more fun in the midst of the summer heat than a nice, cool movie? When the entire family is tired of being in the water, when the boat is too hot, when the weather is foul and when you never want to see another popsicle again for the rest of your life – it’s time to take in a movie. Just last night my husband took our two oldest daughters to see “Inside Out,” while I stayed home in a peacefully quiet house with two sleeping babies and read a book – without interruption. It was the best two hours I’ve had in a while (did you hear me? It was QUIET. Silent. No one said my name or asked me for anything. Or smelled questionable). But we aren’t talking about me, we’re talking about movies; our kids has a blast on their date night with daddy, and he probably had an even better time than they. It’s just movie time; summer is the perfect season for the movies.

But they’re expensive. A two hour date night for my husband our 7-year-old and our 4-year-old cost $70 by the time he paid for movies and bought snacks for everyone. That’s a lot of money for an alcohol-free evening (you know you were thinking the same thing). That made me think; that’s a lot of money for a Thursday evening night for two children and one adult, so there must be a lot of families in the world unable to go see movies. Those on a tight budget cannot afford to drop $70 on M&Ms and a movie, so what do they do to get the movie experience? I looked it up, and it seems that there are plenty of options for those on a budget who want to see free movies this summer.

Free Park Movies

I don’t know if every town or city does this, but ours does. Every month the local community in my area does a movie in the park kind of evening where everyone brings their favorite blankets or chairs, a picnic meal and sits back to enjoy a movie on a massive screen. It’s like the drive in but not in the car, in the park. It’s a nice concept.


Hulu offers a streaming service, and some of the movies that the company streams are completely free of charge. Of course, these are quite limited and not very new releases. But still, it’s a free movie. Even renting one on television can cost a bundle these days, and we all know that there is no such thing as an actual video store anymore (right? Because there is not one I’ve seen in at least two years).

Hulu Plus

Anyone can watch movies free with this paid subscription service if you merely take the time to sign up for the free 7-day trial. The key is to remember that you have to cancel the subscription before the trial is up or you will end up paying for it if you don’t actually want it. That’s 7 days of free movies that will keep you entertained. You can also cancel the subscription and sign up for it again under another family member from your household’s name.

Look for Promotions Online

Companies are always offering their customers ways to earn free money and movie tickets, you just have to know where to look. For example, some companies will trade you a free movie ticket for buying a certain number of their items at one time. If you use a product enough, this is a great trade off.


Not only do you get to see the best shows ever on Netflix in a very binge-worthy manner, you also get to do it for free for a solid month this summer. The service is currently offering one free month of service to anyone who takes the plan and runs with it, just remember to cancel before the free trial is up. That’s a month of free movies for you and your family.

Work for a Theater

When you are employed by a movie theater, you get the opportunity to see movies when they are released without paying a fee at all. It’s not an option for everyone, but it is a great option if you have teens at home that want to see movies, but can’t afford to spend a small fortune every time a new movie comes out.

Theater Mailing Lists

This is not entirely free, but hear me out. When you sign up for a free mailing list at the theater, you will occasionally receive invitations to see a new movie sequel that’s coming out (usually a big blockbuster hit) with the invitation to see the first movie in the series free of charge beforehand.

Check out Free Movies on Fandango

It’s the site you use to purchase your movie tickets in advance, and it’s the site where you can check out an entire page that lets you know which movies are free and which are available free of charge thanks to special promotions companies are running.

Sign up for Mystery Shopping

There are a number of mystery shopping companies in the US that will offer you compensation to rate things and experiences, and this includes movies. Sign up for several companies now and you could spend the vast majority of your summer seeing awesome movies.

$1 Movies

Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s practically free. Our local movie theater offers $1 days on Wednesday mornings during the summer. We get to pay $1 a ticket and take the kids to the movies to see something that’s not new, but not too old. We always sneak in our own snacks in my big bag and only buy popcorn and drinks at the theater. I understand, too, that there are plenty of coupons and deals out there that will enable people to get things like this at a discount or even free when you look for them.

Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images


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