Wednesday, May 29, 2013

If you're new to movie screenings, then you're at the right post.  I know some are in the school of thought that trade secrets shouldn't be shared.  That what goes on in the Fight Club stays in the Fight Club.  But hey, sharing is caring, right?

One of the most common questions I get from friends is just where do I get all these free movie screenings.  That's where this wonderful thing called the internet comes in.  In past times, movie screenings would be by mail distribution only or by rsvping via a newspaper ad.  With the growth of such sites like, most screenings are distributed through the internet.  As such, a lot of times, all it takes is Googling for a screening with the right keywords can bring one up for you.

But if you're lazy like me and want all the work done for you there are movie screening sites that consolidate the information for you.  Popular sites include and  Other sites try to be much more by being a place of social gathering of movie aficionados where not only can you get screening information but discuss about movies.  Two such places are and  Be sure to sign up for various movie theater rewards like Regal, and AMC Stubs which offer screenings for their members on ocassion.  The latter charges a membership fee.  Also look out for contests for screenings by radio stations, distributors, blogs and newspapers.  In the New York City area, radio stations KTU and Z100 are two that come to mind.

The second most common question that I get from friends is when should I arrive for a screening?  Even though movie screenings are free, most of them require that you wait on a long line to attend the screening.  Screenings are often overbooked to insure that full capacity is reached at the screenings.  That said, it really depends on a lot of factors.  In general, if you're looking to just get in, it's safe to say that you should arrive at least 1 hour beforehand.  If the screening is the only screening being offered OR the first screening offered for that movie, I would add an additional hour to that.  If it's a blockbuster movie, yes, add yet another hour to it.  If there's incremental weather, subtract 30 minutes.  If there has been multiple screenings of the movie you want to see already, over the past week or two, subtract 30 minutes.

The last bit of screening wisdom I'll like to share is to be sure to make friends with the people you meet on the line.  You're gonna be on the line for awhile anyway.  It goes a long way when you're able to make new screening friends that may help you on the line or tell you about new screenings in the future.

Good luck in finding that screening you want.  In the next few weeks keep an eye out for Man of Steel, Monsters University, and World War Z!  Feel free to comment below if you have additional questions on the process.  The above is all based on New York City, though, it definitely applies to other major cities as well.

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