5 Simple Hacks For Cheap Cineplex Movie Tickets

Sunday 12th, January 2014 / 00:00 Written by
5 Simple Hacks For Cheap Cineplex Movie Tickets

The Skinny

Cineplex is the main theater chain in Canada. The SCENE program is their rewards program. In discussing the Scotiabank SCENE Visa, it is important to understand the ways to discount your movie tickets.

There are a few ways that you can discount your movie watching experience.

  • Buy discounted movie tickets / packages from Costco or other organizations
  • Take advantage of promotions for Hollywood Movie Money
  • Go on discounted days (Tuesdays) or at cheaper theaters
  • Buy your tickets online to get extra SCENE points
  • Join a SCENEtourage with your friends
  • Use the right credit card


These all work at Cineplex movie theaters. Some of these strategies will work at other chains.


In doing my review of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa,  I thought it only appropriate to define the value of a movie ticket and discuss how to potentially bring the price you pay down. The main movie theater chain in Canada is Cineplex, so these are discussions on saving money on Cineplex theaters. Some of these may or may not be relevant to other theater chains in Canada.

Personally, I only really value a movie ticket at a rate of ~$8. The reason that I value it at that rate is because there are various ways to reduce the price you pay for your movie ticket. Personally, I don’t value the IMAX or 3D experience, so I would not be willing to pay for this. Also, half the movies I go to are on Tuesdays. Obviously, you have to do what works for you. Some of these will work for you and some won’t.

Here are some ways that I reduce my cost of going to the movies:

  • Buy discounted movie tickets / packages from Costco or other organizations
  • Take advantage of promotions for Hollywood Movie Money
  • Go on discounted days (Tuesdays) or at cheaper theaters
  • Buy your tickets online to get extra SCENE points
  • Join a SCENEtourage with your friends
  • Use the right credit card


Discounted movie tickets / packages

Cineplex, and other movie theater chains have movie passes and packages. Often these are sold in bulk to organizations at a hefty discount. One of the easiest ways to discount your movie experience is by buying these.


When I was at the University of Waterloo, I used to buy these from the Student Life Centre as they were available to everyone there. At different places I have worked, the concierge services would sell these movie passes for a big discount. At other times, I have bought them from Craigslist and eBay. More recently, I have bought these from Costco or CAA. Also, many restaurants near movie theaters have “dinner and a movie” specials where they sell you the passes for a very good discount. You should look at any organizations who might do this.


Available to everyone, Costco sells movie passes and packages for a fairly heft discount compared to the box office. Movie tickets are valid for any night are usually in the range of $9, which is not a bad rate. The real discounts come in the packages. For about $25, you can get 2 movie tickets, 1 popcorn and 2 drinks.

For those of you who don’t have a Costco membership, you still can purchase from Costco. The Frugal Find does a good job explaining this.

Take Advantage of promotions for Hollywood Movie Money

There are often promotions for Hollywood Movie Money. These work out to passes or a certain amount of money that can be used towards movie tickets or concessions. Often these come with the purchase of a targeted movie on Blu Ray or some other product. If you are savvy and know how to buy the promoted Blu Ray for cheap, you can essentially get your movie money for cheap / free. This strategy requires much more planning but the discounts can be very big.


As an example, a few years back there was a promotion for X-Men: First Class. If you purchased any X-Men movie on Blu Ray, you would get up to $12 towards an admission for First Class. I was able to find the first 3 X-Men movies for $5 each. Even if I didn’t want to have the X-Men Blu Rays, for $15 (3 purchases of $5) I was able to get 3 admissions to First Class, as well as the Blu Rays for each of the first 3 X-Men.

To keep up to date with the latest promotions, check out the Hollywood Movie Money thread.

Go on Discount Days or at Cheaper Theaters

A very simple way to saving some money is by going to the movies on the discount days. At many of the Cineplex theaters that I go to, Tuesday is the day when movies are discounted. The theaters in Toronto area charge $7.99 for a Tuesday movie. If you show your SCENE card or use your SCENE account online, you get an extra 10% discount on Tuesdays only.


The base price on a Saturday night tends to be in the $12 range, so this works out to a decent discount, assuming you are not interested in the other strategies I have outlined.

I also have been known to frequent the movies at smaller theaters which are cheaper than the big ones. This is a strategy you can use if it makes sense for your particular preferences.

Buy Tickets Online

The other way to get great value is by buying your movie tickets online. As it currently stands, you would normally earn 100 SCENE points for every ticket you purchase. If you purchase your ticket online (through m.cineplex.com or Cineplex.com or the app), you will get an additional 20 SCENE points. This works out to about a 11% discount on all your movies.


  • 50 tickets bought at $10 / ticket
  • Will yield 5 additional movies through SCENE points (average $9.10 / movie)
  • If bought online, will yield an additional movie after 50 (average $8.92 / movie)


Let’s say you spend $10 for every movie ticket you buy. After you bought 50 movie tickets at the box office, using your SCENE account, you would have received 5000 SCENE points for those movies. You would have spent $10 x 50 tickets = $500, and received an additional 5 movies from the 5000 SCENE points. That works out to 55 movies for $500 or $9.10 each (assuming you spend $10 per movie).

If you had bought those same tickets online, you would have received an additional 20 points per ticket. After 50 tickets, you would have received your 5000 points for the movie purchase (as noted above), but you would have received an additional 1000 points (50 tickets x 20 points) for having bought online. This works out to an extra movie. Alternatively, you can think of this as 56 movies for $500, or $8.92 / movie.

Join a SCENEtourage

The SCENEtourage program is about encouraging you to go to the movies with your group of friends. You can add 3 people to your SCENEtourage. If 2 or more of your group goes to the movies together, then you each get an extra 50 SCENE points. This is a great bonus, especially if you regularly go with your significant other or your small group of friends.

50 bonus SCENE points is a great addition, as it means a free additional movie for every 20 movies you see with your friends. This is on top of the SCENE points you are already getting.

Use the right Credit Card

When it comes to movie tickets, it seems that only Scotiabank cards are going to give you an extra bump for spending money on movie tickets.

The Scotiabank SCENE Visa will give you 5 SCENE points for every dollar spent, as opposed to the regular 1 SCENE point per dollar spent.
Scene VisaScotiabank Scene Visa

The Scotiabank American Express Gold card (my review here) will give you 4 Scotia points per dollar spent, which is about 4% value in return.

Combining Everything

Ideally, what you want to do is combine all of these strategies in a way that makes sense. If you can get the Hollywood Movie Money at a discount, buy your tickets on discounted days, and buy your tickets online while going to the movies with your SCENEtourage, you can do quite well. Ideally, you would pay dollars for the movies you go to on Tuesdays, then when you go to an IMAX movie, on a Saturday, you should redeem your SCENE points for that ticket.


  • 50 tickets bought on Tuesdays at $7.19 each
  • 40 of your movies seen with SCENEtourage friends
  • Can yield up to 8 free tickets to be used any day
  • The initial $7.19 that you paid should be optimized by buying Hollywood Movie Money or using the right credit card


Let’s say that we take the same example of 50 movies. In this case, let’s say that all of those 50 were purchased for Tuesday movies at $7.99 with the 10% SCENE card discount. That works out to $7.19 each.

From these 50 tickets, you would earn 5000 SCENE points, which could be used for 5 tickets for ANY movie, including an IMAX, 3D movie, even valid on a Saturday. If you bought them online, you would earn an extra 1 movie ticket. If 40 of those 50 were seen with your SCENEtourage, you would get an extra 2 movie tickets.

  • 5000 points from movies
  • 1000 points from buying online
  • 2000 from seeing movies with your SCENEtourage

The initial $7.19 that you have paid in, should always be charged to you in the best way you can. If you have the Scotia SCENE Visa, you would get 5 SCENE points per dollar spent. If you have the Scotiabank American Express Gold card, you will receive 4 Scotia points per dollar spent. If you can use Hollywood Movie Money that you can get at a discount (however you want to define that), then you should use that.

Doing it this way, you are optimizing your movie purchases, earning the points cheaply, spending them for more valuable things.


There are a few ways to discount your movie tickets.

  • Buy discounted movie tickets / packages from Costco or other organizations
  • Take advantage of promotions for Hollywood Movie Money
  • Go on discounted days (Tuesdays) or at cheaper theaters
  • Buy your tickets online to get extra SCENE points
  • Join a SCENEtourage with your friends
  • Use the right credit card


When using your SCENE points, you will want to redeem your SCENE points against expensive movies, while trying to earn your SCENE points through cheaper movies (on Tuesdays or non IMAX).
Scotiabank Scene Visa

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8 comments on “5 Simple Hacks For Cheap Cineplex Movie Tickets”

  1. Foreclosure says:

    I also suggest signing up for a “SceneTourage” which gets you an additional 50 scene points. You need a minimum of 3 people to sign up for a scenetourage. Once signed up, if at least 2 members go to a movie together, those 2 individuals will be credited an extra 50 scene points or 150 points per movie vs. 100 thus every 7th movie is free!!

  2. Alya says:

    When using Scene points, use them for movies in IMAX or AVX so that you aren’t spending $20 on a movie, but it’s still the same 1000 points to redeem for a movie.

    Another way to get more Scene points is to use the card at concessions, some combos offer 100 points whereas others get you 1000 points.

  3. aaron says:

    How do you buy tickets online and using mutiple cards with scenetourage ?

    • thepointster says:

      If you set up your SCENEtourage in advance. So as an example, I have myself and my wife in my SCENEtourage.

      Whenever my wife and I go to a movie together, we apply one ticket to her SCENE account and one ticket to my SCENE account. Each of us get the points for the movie individually, even if we paid separately in 2 totally different transactions. The SCENEtourage points will be awarded if my account has a movie ticket applied to the same show as her account. If that is the case then we would both get the SCENEtourage bonus points.


  4. Darla says:

    i tried to join your mailing list nd it said to let you know it wasnt working. i enoyed your comments.

  5. Cameron Hobson says:

    One other option I’ve been using to great effect is Swagbucks. Do surveys, watch videos, play game, and you get access to free giftcards, including Cineplex – I’ve been stacking that with the Tuesday discount and scene points, and going to VIP with free gift cards for a 100% free date night (Rogue One, with a full meal for two and a few drinks at a cost of absolutely nothing? Yes please!).

    If you happen to have a spare older phone sitting around, or don’t mind tasking your personal phone to it for a few hours a day, even just running their six video apps will get you 60 cents a day (caps at 10 cents a day per app) – over the course of a month, having done basically nothing, that’s 18 dollars towards a ticket (I’d recommend at least doing a few surveys or something – once a month you get a 25 dollar gift card for 22 dollars of points, and Cineplex is eligible).

    http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/HowardMurdock – Referral link
    http://www.swagbucks.com – Non-referral

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