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2013 Free and Cheap Summer Movies for Kids

Summer Movie Theater Programs for Children


Remember as a child how much fun it was to go to the movies? Now you can give that same experience to your children, but for free or nearly free this summer.

Many movie theaters open the doors in the summer with free or nearly free movies for kids. The trend is continuing in 2013, but there is a noticeable difference in theaters moving away from the free movies to charging a small admissions fee. Along with the movies, some of the theaters, for example Classic Cinemas, are having games and entertainment before the movies are shown. Other theaters offer special prices on concession stand refreshments.

Movie Information

The free or cheap movies shown during the summer programs are not generally the newest movies out. Most are older children's movies that can be bought on CD or have already been released for online viewing. However, when the movies, even older movies, are shown on the big screens, with huge sound systems, and in a dark, cool theater, it is still fun and exciting for children.

For 2013, an example of the movie lineup includes Madagascar3, Hotel Transylvania, Ice Age and Rise of the Guardians.

Times and Other Information

Theaters almost always run the summer movies on a weekday in the mornings. All of the theaters recommend that you get there early because of crowds and because most have a first-come, first-serve policy. You will want to pack up the kids early to insure they get a seat.

The free (or cheap) summer movie programs are fun and affordable and will help fill the "what's there to do" gaps during the summer.

Here are some of the theaters offering these programs.

1. Showcase Cinemas - Bookworm Wednesdays - 2013 Summer Movie Program

Showcase Cinemas is running a program this summer to encourage reading by rewarding kids with a free seat at the movies in exchange for a book report. The program runs from July 10 - August 7, on Wednesdays. The movies being shown include The Lorax, Yogi Bear, Ice Age: Continental Drift and more. For more details and to get a copy of the book report form, click on the link above.

2. Cinemark Theatres - Summer Movie Clubhouse - 2013 Summer Movie Program

Cinemark invites children of all ages to the annual "Summer Movie Clubhouse," a 10-week series featuring movies for kids priced at $1 or less. The movies being shown include Horton Hears a Who, Hotel Transylvania, Back in Action and many more.

3. Classic Cinemas - Wednesday Morning Movie Series - 2013 Summer Movie Program

Located in 12 communities in Illinois, families can enjoy movies for $1 per person for nine weeks during the summer. There are also games and activities planned for the children an hour before the movie begins. It looks like there are a lot of fun things planned at Classic Cinemas this summer.

4. Malco Theatres - Kids Summer Film Fest - 2013 Summer Movie Program

Located in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee, Malco Theatres are hosting the "Kids Summer Film Fest" through July 31. Movies run two days a week and the price of a ticket is $2 per person.

5. Marcus Theatres - Kids Dream - 2013 Summer Movie Program

Enjoy movies at discounted prices in June, July and August during the Marcus Theatres "Kids Dream" summer film series. Admission is $2 and movies are shown three morning each week.

6. Marquee Cinemas - 2013 Free Summer Movie Program

Marquee Cinemas offers a special selection of free movies each week during the summer at no charge. There are different movies shown at different locations, but some of the lineup includes The Three Stooges, The Pirates, The Lorax, Ice Age and many more.

7. Regal - Summer Movie Express - 2013 Summer Movie Program

Enjoy movies for just $1 for nine weeks during the summer at Regal movie theaters during the "The Summer Movie Express" event. The movies being shown includes The Three Stooges, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Yogi Bear, Happy Feet Two, Coraline and more.

8. Harkins Theatres - Summer Movie Fun - 2013 Summer Movie Program

The "Summer Movie Fun" program at Harkins Theatres is running for 10 weeks during the summer. Season tickets can be purchased in advance for less than $1 per movie or on the day of the movie for $2. The movies being shown include Rise of the Guardians, The Pirates and Hotel Transylvania.
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David Kirkpatrick, Senior Editor, Internet and Technology
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