Become a Master of Movie Night

by Gretchen Jacobs

Pittsburgh can be a jackpot for watching discounted and free movies if you know where to look! Try some of the tips below to earn your black belt in savvy cinema spending. Hi-YA!

White Belt: offers a limited amount of free movies. If you’re really bored, this might be for you!

Yellow Belt:

Online streaming: While Netflix’s recent controversial price increase drove away many customers, Netflix is still a good way to get a steady movie fix on the cheap. If you’re not interested in Netflix, check out Amazon’s new online movie streaming service, Amazon Prime. Get the DVD service too and you can watch movies at your own pace and avoid late fees.

Don’t feel like committing to Amazon Prime or Netflix? Hit up a RedBox or Blockbuster Express machine around the city. Watch new releases for just over a dollar a day. But, don’t forget to bring them back, or you’ll continue to be charged each day you forget!

Orange Belt:

Have a movie night at home care of the Carnegie Library: The Carnegie Libraries have wonderful collections of DVDs. You can borrow up to 5 DVDs at a time for free! You can take them out for a week and you can renew them twice online if you need to.

Green Belt:

Monday Night at the Southside Works Theater: Watch a movie on a Monday and enjoy a nice discount. All movies (with an additional charge for 3-D movies) are only $5 on Monday at the Southside Works cinema. You can also get a free soft drink when you buy a popcorn and get a $1 off candy and soda.

Blue Belt:

Carmike MaxiSaver Theater in the South Hills offers $1 movies every night of the week. You won’t find the newest releases at the MaxiSaver; usually they play movies that have been out for a few months. A word of warning: the movies here are cheap, but grab a bite to eat before you go because the popcorn and drinks are pricey.

Purple Belt:

Citiparks Movies in the Park: From June – August Citiparks hosts Cinema in the Park: a series of free movie screenings in parks around the city. They play recently released and classic films. Find the closest to your neighborhood: Schenley Park, Brookline Memorial Park, Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville, Grandview Park in Mt. Washington, Riverview Park in Observatory Hill, and at the West End / Elliott Overlook.

Brown Belt: 

If you’re into cult classics and old favorites go to a local theatre like Dormont’s Hollywood Theater or other local theatres. Prices are usually cheaper than your average big box theater and you can watch classic movies until your heart’s content.

Black Belt:

Catch a documentary screening at University of Pittsburgh or Carnegie Mellon along with other local colleges and universities. Find out when by doing a Google search for the university’s events calendar. These are usually free events and often provide refreshments!


Sign up for Gofobo on immediately. They send exclusive invites to movie screenings in and around Pittsburgh. The screenings are completely free and you can see movies before they are even released (with no spammy e-mails or surveys to fill out after). Advice: RSVP as soon as you get an invite and show up to the movie about 30-45 minutes early. While you may have a ticket, it is still first come first serve because the screening companies want to fill the theatre. Using this service, I’ve been able to see movies like Zombieland, The Lovely Bones, and Moneyball (just to name a few) before any of my friends and for free.


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