How to find free or cheap cinema tickets (Part 1)

Free cinema tickets cheaper Things to do in Britain when you're broke skint no money free cheap by Penny Golightly

A night out at the cinema is always a treat, but it’s even better if you can find free cinema tickets. It’s also fairly easy to find discounted tickets and special offers, if you know where to look. Welcome to the latest article in our new Things To Do In Britain When You’re Broke series.

Start with the biggest source of freebies

The most frequent distributor of free cinema tickets to the general public is ShowFilmFirst, who also run film freebie distributor Tell Ten. Sign up for their text and email alerts, and you’ll be sent codes that you can exchange for complimentary tickets. These tend to be snapped up very quickly, so don’t wait around to make a claim if you’re sent a code. Smaller free screening ticket distributors include Paramount and Disney Screenings UK.

Get on the list at your favourite cinemas

The main UK cinema chains also offer free preview tickets from time to time, usually in prize draws. Vue and Cineworld are good examples. Join their mailing lists, read the newsletters as they arrive and check websites regularly.

Search out media giveaways

Big movie promoters like to create a buzz as their films launch, so they partner with media outlets to get publicity. Entertainment magazines and most newspapers host these cinema ticket giveaways, and it’s worth leafing through their pages or trawling their sites to see what turns up. Try Huffington Post UK, Heat and TimeOut.

Milk your memberships

Free screenings may also be offered as perks to people with various memberships. While you might not want to take out an expensive subscription just for the sake of the occasional free movie, if you already have one then you might as well take advantage. Freebies turn up regularly for Times+ Times / Sunday Times subscribers, Sun Perks or Telegraph subscribers, PruHealth Vitality insurance customers, UK American Express AMEX Rewards, and occasionally on the O2 Priority Moments rewards app.

You can gain access to Priority Moments by sending off for a free O2 SIM card and putting it in an unlocked mobile phone. Some customers who’ve left O2 say that they still have full access to the app even though they no longer have a phone contract with the company.

Make the most of student life

If you’re at university or college you can get a few extra student perks. The best place to start looking for free screenings is the E4 Slackers Club, and they also turn up every now and then on commercial student websites. Societies and departments at your university or college might hold free screenings too, so check notice boards and forums.

Free film festivals, short films and documentaries

You can find all kinds of free film showings at community centres, embassies, and film festivals. Sometimes these are for documentaries, or short or experimental films. Check local listings, and have a look at FreeFilmFestivals for events to attend and advice about setting up your own festival.

That’s it for the freebies today, but expect a new article soon on how to find cheap cinema tickets and get all kinds of discounts on your movie tickets too. If you liked this post, check out the recent related post about fresh ideas for wonderful British walks.

Do you have any other ways of finding cinema tickets for free? Let us know how you do it.

Similar Posts


  1. Hi there,

    Is your Empty the Storecupboard Challenge over ? or are you continuing until the very end of it ? Let me advise, XXXX Pat

  2. Hi Patricia – good to hear from you! The Empty the Storecupboard challenge is just about over, and there’s going to be a new article about it on the site on Thursday. Hope you like it.

    Penny x

Comments are closed.