Santa Barbara
57° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Santa Maria
48° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
San Luis Obispo
52° F
50° F

5 frugal ways to boost summer movie fun

By Robert Elsenpeter, Contributing writer
Published On: Jun 10 2011 02:26:03 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2013 07:37:05 AM CDT
Movie tickets, popcorn

iStock / YinYang

Summertime is when Hollywood hits us with its biggest and best movies -- at least the blockbuster special effects powerhouses.

Yes, with its rich history of giving us both barrels this time of year, summer has indeed become a time for movies.

But beyond just going to the movie theater, you can turn the act of going to a summer movie into an event in and of itself. The movie you see needn't be at the top of the summer movie charts.

You can do something very simple and easy, or you can make it an extravagant affair. There are a lot of ways you can make your summer movie viewing a memorable event. The important thing is that you make it a fun occasion for you, your family and friends.

Is movie fun on a budget even possible?

Movie ticket, money

No. 5: Go cheap

Going to the movies isn't cheap. By the time you pay $9 to get in and then get hit with another $15 for popcorn, candy and pop, you've already burned through your entertainment budget for the year.

But you can still get the theater experience without going broke.

Discount (or second-run) theaters can help you catch up on the world of cinema -- but to get that discount you usually have to wait a few weeks.

Normally, a movie gets shown at first-run theaters, where you pay big bucks to see it. But after it's had its run in "regular" theaters, it trickles down to the discount theaters where sometimes you only pay a dollar to see it.

If you're looking for quantity to your summer movies, discount theaters can help you get your fill.

What if it's too nice to go inside?

Movies in the park at Brooklyn Bridge

No. 4: Take in a movie in the park

Many cities and their parks departments have movies in the park.

True, it won't be the theater experience with 3D zombies coming through the screen or surround sound or any of the other technological bells and whistles that we get at the theater, but movies in the park give you a chance to watch an old favorite in a mellow, comfortable environment.

Plus, if the kids get bored, they can run off and start their own de facto soccer game in a nearby field.

The movie is usually shown on the side of a building or on a screen erected for the event. If you pay anything for it, it'll be cheap, but you can bring a cooler, throw down a blanket and enjoy an old classic.

But why even leave home?

Popcorn, DVD, home theater movie remote

No. 3: Theme a party around your movie

The great thing about technology these days is that more and more of us have kicked-up home theaters. Giant plasma TVs and Blu-ray players are pretty common, so why not invite your friends and family over for a party?

You can go all Martha Stewart and base a party theme on the movie you select -- dress up in your '60s or '70s finery, serve chocolates and shrimp and have a "Forrest Gump" party.

If you want to make your kids happy, get them dressed up as their favorite toy and have a "Toy Story" themed party.

If you were really adventurous, you could turn the themed party into a festival: Rather than just watch one movie, why not watch all the "Star Wars" movies? If you have some especially geeky friends, the costumes alone will be priceless.

Wanna go for a drive?

Drive-in movie theater

No. 2: Go to a drive-in movie

In the late 1950s, drive-in movie theaters were everywhere. But, so were guys putting grease in their hair and women wearing poodle skirts. While we don't need to bring back everything from the '50s, some of it is still fun.

They are few and far between, but if you look around, you might find a drive-in nearby. And if that's the case, you can put your friends in the car -- don't forget to sneak in a couple your smallest passengers in the trunk just for old time's sake -- load up a cooler and make tracks to the drive-in.

Need a break between any of the three movies? A lot of them have playgrounds for the kids (assuming they are still awake past the first movie) and their snack bars are nothing short of awesome.

Sounds good, but how can I save on gas?

Woman wearing 3-D movie glasses

No. 1: Create your own drive-in

Regrettably, not every park department is going to offer movies in the park, and drive-ins may not be an option. In that case, why not combine all these ideas -- drive-in, movie in the park and theme party -- into one and make your own?

If you own a video projector (or know someone who owns one), you can have your own hybrid party right on the side of your house. There are even companies that will rent you a projector.

Set up the projector, throw out blankets, fire up the grill, and have some sweet summer fun.

For instance, one film enthusiast with a freeway noise barrier wall behind his house broke out his video projector and showed Pink Floyd's "The Wall" on said wall.

You may have noise laws that you have to work within, but it can be a great way to get in some summer movie fun in a creative way.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Santa Barbara Fatal Accident Folo

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • Slideshow: 3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Who's the Boss blurb image

    Sony Pictures Television

    Where are 'Who's the Boss?' stars now?

    With Tony Danza marking his 63rd birthday on Monday, join us for a look at what he and the rest of the cast of "Who's the Boss?" are up to today.