The Money Shot: sweet or salted

A photo of surprised cinemagoers
Dave and Sharon were still shocked by the cost of their popcorn and drinks...
"The end of Orange Wednesdays doesn't just spell the end of cheap cinema tickets... It means the end of an era"
  • | by Emily Bater

Film buffs and savers alike are marking the loss of a long-serving deal this week.

That's right - we're pouring one out for Orange Wednesdays, which gave its last free cinema tickets away this Wednesday.

Orange Wednesdays - or 'EE Wednesdays' as they never really became – began in 2003 as a ploy to get more bums on seats on the quietest cinema-going day of the week. 

The offer allowed Orange customers to get a free extra cinema ticket for any film in any cinema across the UK with a code sent via text message. It's estimated that almost 40m tickets were given away during the deal's 12-year lifespan.

The end of Orange Wednesdays doesn't just spell the end of cheap cinema tickets. It means the end of a time where love-struck teens could treat their most recent paramour to a cheap night out in front of the latest blockbuster or hammy horror; a time when young and old, families and friends alike would try in vain to make their group an even number.

According to a recent study by YouGov the cost of going to the cinema has never been higher. The average cinema trip costs £7.85 once you add up parking, food and drink - and that's not including tickets, making going to the cinema an expensive night out according to YouGov.

So what's next for the bargain-hunting film-lovers amongst us? We here at the Money Shot have a few suggestions for ways to keep a trip to cinema thrifty…

Don't buy snacks

While the cinema experience is sometimes just as much about the accompanying popcorn and hotdog as it is about the film you're watching, the cost of shelling out for extra snacks can be enough to stop families going to the flicks full stop. Instead of shelling out for sugary snacks, smuggle them in on your person or in your bag instead. 

Get a family ticket

Lots of cinemas offer a discount for family trips to the cinema, sometimes up to 20% .You'll usually need four people though, so borrow another adult or child if you're short. Some cinemas may stipulate that two of the four people have to be children, so check beforehand.

Get a membership card

This is only a good idea if you're a regular cinemagoer, but buying a membership or loyalty card for your favourite cinema could be a great way to save while still watching new films.

Cineworld Cinemas offer an Unlimited Cards which lets you see as many movies as you want from just from £16.40 a month.

Considering an adult ticket costs around £10 (and as much as £15 in London), just two visits a month would justify the cost.

Odeon Cinemas offer a loyalty card where you can accumulate points to get free tickets and discounts on food and drink.

Buy online

Buying tickets in advance online can sometimes save you around 10% of the ticket price.

What's your snack of choice when you go to the cinema? Do you choose sweet, salted or a bit of both? Or do you leave the cinema to canoodling teens and stay at home? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter

On Covered this week

Apples and Oranges fought it out to compete for our favourite spherical fruit.

Kristian Dando rounded up our favourite vans from TV and film.

Confused about your energy bills? Abbie Laughton-Coles decoded them for you.

Here's why switching current accounts is about to change forever.

In the news

How much you spend or save is down to your genes, according to a report from the Journal of Political Economy. The study of twins revealed that people are genetically predisposed to save or spend regardless of wealth, sex or upbringing.

The head of the Yorkshire Building Society is "unhappy" with the levels of current account switching. Chris Pilling 'slammed' big banks and urged the FCA to make switching easier.

Llamas escaped, the internet went mad, and we wondered if their owners had pet insurance...

Almost three-quarters of all homes sold in January failed to achieve their asking price, according to the National Association of Estate Agents.

Join us next week for another thrilling instalment of the Money Shot. In the meantime, send us your letters.