Relatives are in town, the kids are home from school, you're burning up vacation time from work - sounds like a good time for everyone to catch a movie. Except that the going rate for a ticket is hovering around $11, plus $3-$4 extra for 3-D showings or about $5 for IMAX - then you'll need to add a few bucks each for popcorn, soda and candy. Suddenly, going to the movies is downright expensive - especially with post-holiday bills looming.
Here's a look at movie theaters with bargain-priced nights and matinees. Time your visit right and you can save more than 50 percent.
1950 Jericho Tpke., Elwood, 631-499-7800
THE DEAL $4 tickets all day on Tuesdays.
GOOD TO KNOW Beyond the discounts on Tuesday, the theater offers free popcorn refills on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school year. Students who receive an A average on any report card can get rewarded with a free matinee ticket, popcorn and soda. Also, adults can present proof they're celebrating a birthday and they'll get free popcorn and soda, too.
3951 Merrick Rd., Seaford, 516-409-8700, seafordcinemas.com.
THE DEAL $6.75 tickets all day Tuesdays and daily on showings before 6 p.m.
GOOD TO KNOW Nobody under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian, a rule greatly appreciated by adults looking for a (quiet) grown-up evening out.
1068 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station, 631-928-3456, mypjcinemas.com
THE DEAL $5 tickets daily for showings before 6 p.m. when school is out. When classes are in session, the same deal runs Wednesdays and Friday-Sunday.
GOOD TO KNOW The fun of seeing a film at PJ starts when calling for showtimes - the manager not only gives the schedule, but offers mini-reviews for most of what's playing. Follow that with the "PJ's Piques" page on the venue's website, which offers critiques and thoughts on, well, just about anything.
350 Hempstead Ave., Malverne, 516-599-6966
THE DEAL Tickets are $5.50 all day Wednesdays.
GOOD TO KNOW This isn't your average megaplex. Malverne's movie theater is dedicated to playing independent and foreign films, meaning your bargain dollar here stretches beyond blockbusters into indie film territory.
2 Brook Rd., Westhampton Beach, 631-288-2600
THE DEAL $4 tickets on Tuesdays; $6 tickets daily on showings before 6 p.m.
GOOD TO KNOW There aren't many movie theaters to choose from on the East End, and even fewer that offer regular discounts, particularly on new releases.
Bay Street Theatre
1 Bay St., Sag Harbor
INFO 631-725-0818, baystreet.org
THE DEAL $5 tickets for classic films select Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m.
GOOD TO KNOW Bay Street's "Picture Show" brings classic films back to the big screen. Selections are often themed - meaning you can see, for example, Tony Curtis in "Operation Petticoat" one evening (Jan. 28) and "Some Like It Hot" the next (Jan. 29).