IMAX 3D is cool, and seat-vibrating Dolby Digital Surround Sound is undeniably awesome, but budget big-screen experiences also have their charm. There's also the added thrill of knowing you've gotten a bargain.
Most major cities and lots of smaller hamlets offer free or very low cost film festivals, outdoor screenings or even high-school film events. You just have to know how to find them.
There's no comprehensive online resource listing all the free film festivals and screening events in the country. Your best bet is to do some digging to hunt down events in your area. Web sites for chambers of commerce, public park systems and local film associations or schools are logical places to start. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, for example, provides a list of free summer movie events in New York's public parks on its Web site. Or, check to see if your region has a site like freefilmfestivals.org (based in London), which compiles information about upcoming local movie events. Social media is also a great place to hunt down free movie events in your area.
If streaming, renting, swapping, dollar theaters or free movie events don't satisfy your budget movie bug, there are still more ways to save. Find links to online discount sites like Groupon and Living Social, along with lots more information, on the next page.