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8 ways to never pay full price at the Atlanta movies again

Going to the movies is a swell splurge for a date or family night, but you simply don't need to pay full price.

Here are 8 ways to save money at Atlanta movie theaters:

Save on admission at Midtown.

931 Monroe Dr. (in the Midtown Promenade Center). 404-879-0160

Midtown Art Cinema has some of the best standard movie ticket prices, including $8.75 for matinees and $11 at night. And you can deduct the typical downtown parking charge from your entertainment budget. There's lots of free parking near the theater since it's in a shopping center.

Drive your seats to the theater.
Starlight Drive-In Theatre
2000 Moreland Ave. SE.

One of the best family-movie deals going is the drive-in. The first-run Starlight Drive-In Theatre on Atlanta's perimeter charges $9 for adults and $1 for kids. If you're tight on time, though, keep in mind that you need to arrive early for the best seats and to avoid annoyingly long ticket lines closer to show time. And you'll need a working FM radio in the vehicle to hear the movies.

For an uncomplicated, no-rewards card discount at the Starlight's snack bar, print out coupons for a free medium drink with a large popcorn and a free small drink with nachos here.

Pay $5 admission on Tuesdays at Movies ATL.
3760 Princeton Lakes Parkway. 678-513-4400

A Carmike theater, Movies ATL, offers $5 movie tickets on Tuesdays. Then they sweeten the deal with $2 small fountain drinks and $2 small popcorn, with most candy $3. As you'd expect, this is just the price for standard features: 3D, BigD and IMAX involve upcharges.

Step right up and ask for a senior discount.

Almost all local movie houses offer some sort of discount for senior citizens. Most theater managers discourage the box office from hazarding a guess at your age, so if you or a grandparent in your party qualifies, ask for the discount! Note that the senior price isn't usually much less at matinee rates: Midtown Art Cinema charges $8.75 for adult matinee and $8 for seniors, for example. But at evening shows you can save two or three bucks per ticket with the discount. Note, too, that "senior" is defined differently from place to place. For Midtown it's 62, while at Regal and AMC theaters it's 60.

Take two-year-olds to Carmike or Regal.
Kids who are 2 and 1 come into the movies free at Carmike and Regal theaters, while AMC requires a child ticket for kids ages 2-12.

Go AMC if you want free online ordering.
The convenience of skipping the box office lines and the sold-out shows is well worth the online charges of a $1 or so per ticket on Fandango or individual theater websites. But you can order online for free at AMC theaters. All you need to avoid the surcharge, on Fandango or AMC's website, is a free AMC Stubs rewards program membership. Note, though, that the waived online ticket fees only apply if you are purchasing four or more tickets. If you pay the extra $15 per year for the AMC Stubs Premiere membership, they'll waive the online ticket fees for any purchase (and provide a bunch of other primo benefits).

Munch out for less with the Crown Club Card at Regal concessions.

Know you'll get the munchies at the theater? All Regal theaters offer 25 percent off candy with a paid admission on Monday and 50 percent off popcorn with paid admission on Tuesdays. The only stipulation is you've got to use a free Regal Crown Club® membership to purchase your tickets and concessions.

Use your free tickets wisely.

When those rewards card points from theater chains add up to a free ticket, choose when to redeem them carefully. It stinks to arrive at the theater only to find that you won't be able to get in free, or must pay an upcharge to use your "free" ticket. At Regal theaters, for example, free ticket passes are not accepted during the first few weeks of some movies' theatrical release. At AMC theaters, a similar restriction generally applies to the first two weeks of a film's theatrical release. To make sure you can use your pass (or pay an upcharge to use your pass), call the theater ahead of time. Or, on Fandango or AMC's online purchasing site, look for the "no passes" or "special engagement" description next to the film title.

Hit the flicks on Tuesdays for deep discounts.

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