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Free Summer Movies for Kids – 2009 Edition

Written by Nickel - 26 Comments

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In honor of Memorial Day, which marks the unofficial start of summer, it’s time to start thinking about cheap entertainment for you and your kids. Given that catching a movie is one of the best ways to beat the heat, I’ve put together a list of free (or really cheap) summer movie theater promos. In case you’re not aware, theaters often have special summer promos where they show G or PG rates files on weekday morning for free, or nearly so.

While we’re generally happy with our Netflix membership, nothing beats an occasional trip to an actual movie theater. What follows is my best attempt at compiling these free movie offers for major theater chains. If your favorite theater isn’t listed, give them a call, as it’s possible that I either missed them, or they didn’t have their information listed online.

Free (or cheap) summer movies

  • AMC Summer Movie Camp – $1 movies for charity, Wednesdays at 10AM from June 17 – Aug 5 (in most markets). Group tickets on sale starting June 10th.
  • Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse – Ten weeks of kids movies on weekday mornings. All ten movies can be purchases in advance for $5 (total) or you can purchase tickets for each show at the box office for $1/each. Runs for 10 weeks, dates have yet to be announced.
  • Classic Cinemas Wednesday Morning Movie Series – G and PG rated movies for just $1 on Wednesday mornings at 10AM for nine weeks from June 17 through Aug 12.
  • Clearview Cinemas – Eight weeks of family films. Free admission, every Thursday @ 10:30AM starting July 2.
  • Cobb Theatres – Advertising free summer kids shows, but you need to click through and select your local theatre to get details.
  • Georgia Theatre Company
    Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10AM from June 9 through July 30. Admission is $1, kids soda and popcorn available for $1.50 each.
  • Kerasotes Theaters Summer Movie Program (pdf) – Seven weeks of summer vacation movies at 10AM on Wednesdays and Thursdays from June 24 – Aug 6.
  • Malco Theatres – $2 movies for charity at 10AM every Tuesday and Wednesday from June 2 – July 29.
  • Marcus Theatres – “Kids Rule” summer film series from June 17 – Aug 13. Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10AM (except July 1/2). All seats $3.00 w/free popcorn.
  • Regal Cinemas Free Family Film Festival – Select G & PG movies start at 10AM each Tuesday and Wednesday during the festival. Admission is free. You can check the movies as well as a list of locations, dates, and times by clicking through and selecting your state.
  • United Artists – Participating in Regal Cinemas Free Family Film Festival (link leads to Regal announcement).
  • Edwards Cinemas – Participating in Regal Cinemas Free Family Film Festival (link leads to Regal announcement).

If you’re aware of any other major theater chains that offer something similar, please leave a comment with details.

Published on May 25th, 2009 - 26 Comments
Filed under: Frugality

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Don’t forget Bookworm Wednesdays at the Showcase Cinemas/National Amusements. Kids have to read a book & bring in a book report to get in for free & enter into giveaways. Parents/chaperones get in for free also.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 25th 2009 @ 10:25 pm
  2. sadly, these free movie programs are biased against working moms who aren’t free to take the kids to a move on thursday morning. I DO keep that in mind when decided what theater to patronize

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26th 2009 @ 12:09 pm
  3. Beth, come on. They only provide these free movies when the theater would normally be closed. They aren’t going to tie up a theater during their prime time hours for a free movie. It’s designed for kids who are out of school, and for the babysitters, moms, dads, etc. who are watching them. When a business offers something free, they get to set the parameters to what will benefit them the most.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26th 2009 @ 10:07 pm
  4. This is great news. My husband has been laid off and has been looking for work. For the summer, since there seems to be no end in sight in his employment situation, we have pulled our older son out of summer daycare ($169 per week) and will be pocketing most into savings and giving my husband a $50 per week slush fund for three kids. This will be a great way for him to have a bit of escape time during the day before he ventures on looking for new work.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 27th 2009 @ 10:16 pm
  5. Sure Beth… I’m sure the theatre managers got together and said, “hmmm, when can we schedule free movies for kids so that working mothers can’t make it?” I’m sorry you are unable to attend, but I really doubt they did it “to” working mothers!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 2nd 2009 @ 10:13 am

    Great list; thanks!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 5th 2009 @ 9:31 am
  7. Gee Beth, that’s funny because personally I’ve always thought that the theaters that don’t offer free movies discriminate againt stay-at-home mothers. You see without the luxury of a second income we can’t necessarily afford to pay for movies.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 6th 2009 @ 5:01 pm
  8. Yes, I agree, Beth…it’s definitely a conspiracy!! Yeah, right. What planet are you from? You definitely sound bitter that you have to work and can’t stay home with your kids. Sorry you feel that way, but it’s all about supply and demand. Actually, I think the movie theater management just feels sorry for all us stay-at-home moms and thought it would be nice to give us a break from changing diapers, breaking up fights and wiping noses all day long!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 8th 2009 @ 5:13 pm
  9. Wow – any opportunity to continue the debate on working outside the home mom vs. working inside the home mom. Been there – done both. God bless you all!! James 3:9-11 “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 9th 2009 @ 10:51 pm
  10. Working mothers, stay at home mothers…it’s a debate that will never end. How about being grateful that we are mothers at all? Or being grateful that movie theaters offer free movies at all?

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 19th 2009 @ 7:56 pm
  11. WOW! I cannot believe ANYONE is complaining about FREE & REDUCED MOVIES but here is my “take” on it……… its for the KIDS not the parents! Pass along the info to whomever is taking care of your KIDS and your KIDS will still get to enjoy a free movie……….. your sitter will enjoy as well! (I know I used to do in home daycare) if your KIDS are in DAYCARE rather than with a sitter I am sure they have planned activities there, this is targeted to KIDS who need things to do in the summer…………. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? KUDOS AND THANKS to the theaters that offer movies for kids in the summer PERIOD! (BETH if you really are that bitter, take a day off / vacation or sick day and ENJOY the goodies with your kids! )

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 30th 2009 @ 1:02 pm
  12. Thanks for the list! Daycare provider, stay at home mom and boy do we need to get out and have some inexpensive fun!! Thank God for the cheap movies and many other activities or we would be at home all summer with the kids doing their best to send me bonkers!!! LOL

    Gotta love it!

    Thanks Aagain!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 1st 2009 @ 12:39 am
  13. Thanks for the GREAT list….it will come in handy when we travel too!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 12th 2009 @ 7:27 am
  14. This is too funny…and a little crazy. I am a single working Mom who got laid off last October and haven’t been able to find a new job yet. It’s very hard out there. I’m either over qualified or not qualified at all. While I love having the time off with my 5 year old and feel these free movies are awesome for us as now we can enjoy them, I hate not having any money and scrimping to do anything if at all…and struggling to pay the bills. It’s a catch 22…work, not work. I unfortunately don’t have a choice. We all need to count our blessings right now as we could all be much worse off. :0( (sorry, just my opinion)…. have a great week and enjoy those free movies if you can.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 15th 2009 @ 10:43 am
  15. i would like to see if you could send me a funny video he is a very poor kid, his parents cant afford to buy him no movies or take him to the movies he is a 3year old boy, that he is very miserable, and especially know that xmas is just around the corner, i’m a good neighbor from this kid, and i would like to see if you could mail this boy andy good funny movie to this address 947 n. benton way los angeles, ca 90026 little boys names is jaiden torres,he is a loney kid he doesn’t have friends, he is handicaped with a syndrome please help this boy by sending him a nice movie, thanks, god bless you all, margarita benitez

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 6th 2009 @ 10:08 pm
  16. I can only Think That you “stay at home Mom’s” are bitter because your Husband Can’t Make enough money driving a dump truck. So, you turn on a woman who decides to not only do what you do, but also work to have more money… instead of pms ing on her why don’t you stop crying during little billy’s nap and find a job. Or at least try to be smart enough to be mad at your loser husband for not making enough money to support you lazy self. Food for thought… If your loser husband died in the garbage truck he drives, would you go homless?

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 9th 2010 @ 9:53 am
  17. Whoa, Daniel, that’s harsh. No need for that, dude.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 31st 2010 @ 9:30 am
  18. Thank you Robert! But Daniel, who probally has limited friends from Planet X where everyone is employed making 6 figures, is one of those people you shouldn’t respond to. is a great place to look for free or cheap things to do. (there are also other cities you can type as well)

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 7th 2010 @ 4:50 pm
  19. Yes, thank you Robert! Daniel, not all stay at home moms are bitter and have husbands that don’t make much. My husband makes six figures and I CHOOSE to stay at home with my kids. There are plenty of stay at home moms that make that choice. If you have spent even one day with 2 or more kids you would know that stay at home moms are far from lazy. I don’t think it is right to attack either side of the stay at home moms verses working moms. We each make our choices and have to live with the negatives and positives of both decisions. Try and be happy with what you have…not with what you don’t.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 18th 2010 @ 6:31 pm
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