Going to the movies is one of my favorite things to do. Because of my interest in movies, I love going to advanced screenings, red carpet movie premieres, and special events. Did you know that all of the things I just mentioned are free? I want you to be able to have the same fun experiences that I do. Here is a list of all of the ways I know of how to go to the movies for free in Los Angeles.
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There are so many different ways that you can see movies for free in LA. On the LA Dreaming podcast, we discuss the different ways that you can see movies for free with Elliott Ares. We share how you can attend test screenings of upcoming movies, FYC events, movie premieres, and more. You can listen to the podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, or Podbean.
Advanced Movie Screenings
At some screenings, you will be asked to provide your thoughts on the movie. You might fill out a survey in the theatre or by providing a review on a website. Be sure to arrive at least 90 minutes early as they give out more tickets than the number of available seats to try and ensure a full house. Most screeners will ask for you to leave your phone with security outside of the theatre because they don’t want to risk people recording the movie.
I get my tickets for most of my screenings through advancescreenings.com which I highly recommend using. One of the best things about this particular website is that you can sign up for email alerts. I get emails often letting me know about movie screenings in my area. Because the screenings are free they tend to fill up very quickly so do not be dismayed if you strike out on your first few attempts to go to a screening.
Advance screenings are my go-to spot for most of my screenings but there are other companies that I get screenings through as well. Gofobo offers a lot of screenings and while they are a company that expects your opinions in exchange for the tickets it is not too much to ask to see a movie for free. There is also See It First which I have the least amount of luck with but it is still worth checking out. Preview Free Movies is a website that you can sign up with as well. In some cases, they will pay $10 for your thoughts. You can sign up for Screening Squad here. Another test screening company is Before The Premiere you can sign up with them here.
1iota is a website that mainly gives out tickets for tv show tapings but occasionally they will have tickets for movie screenings & premieres. I have gone to several events through 1iota.
I recommend signing up for the email lists of Street Food Cinema, I recently got free tickets to an early screening of an Amazon documentary about Billie Elish. Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery will occasionally give out free tickets to movie screenings so I recommend signing up for their email list as well. Atom tickets is another email list that I recommend. They will send a few emails about free screenings or buy one get one ticket free offers.
Screenings through American Cinematheque
The American Cinematheque hosts movie screenings throughout the year. Sometimes, they are able to offer an early screening, other times they are helping host FYC events. They do have a membership that gives you access to more screenings but they also have the occasional free screening. Be sure to sign up for their email list to stay up to date with their events.
Free Screenings to Select Movies at the Academy Museum
Do you have an LA public library card? Check out the Discover & Go offers for the Academy Museum. Library cardholders can reserve one ticket per offer.
You can find the email sign up links here:
Radio Station Movie Screenings
This type of screening only happens a handful of times a year. My first time getting tickets to an advance screening through a radio station was for an early screening of A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. I got tickets through Kost 103.5 on the contest part of their website. I was given two tickets to the screening. Not only was it great to get to see the movie for free, but I ended up winning a $25 Visa gift card. Plus, all guests got a swag bag with some fun movie merchandise. More recently, I won tickets to an advance screening of Jungle Cruise through the Kost website.
Radio Stations Contest Websites to Check Out in LA:
See Free Movies By Doing Secret Shops
I have now gone to the movies for free on two occasions thanks to a secret shopping app that I use called I Secret Shop. Both times, the reimbursement covered the cost of two movie tickets and one popcorn or drink from concessions.
Regal Cinema Rewards
If you have a Regal Cinema near you I recommend that you sign up for their free rewards program. You get a point for every dollar you spend and after a certain number of points, you can redeem your points for a free movie. In addition to free movies, you can also get free drinks and popcorn as rewards. I have also gotten free tickets to screenings of a few movies before they are released because I am a member of the Regal Crown Club. Recently, Regal gave out free tickets via Twitter so it is a great idea to follow them on there as well.
AMC now has a free version of their stubs card which allows you and a guest to see movies for free throughout the year with their member screenings. I have been a stubs member since the fall and have already seen three movies for free through this program.
Accounts to Connect with on Social Media
I have won tickets to screenings from both of these accounts. They will also occasionally share links to tickets that you don’t have to win. Follow both on Twitter. Mind on Movies & Cinemovie. I also recommend following theatres like the TCL Chinese & New Beverly on Twitter. Nerdist & Fox 11 do giveaways on Twitter too.
Variety offers free movie screenings that sometimes include Q&As with the actors for guild members (SAG, WGA) and for AARP members. Priority is given to guild members at the screenings. Any unclaimed seats to a non-guild member. The Variety screening series takes place in Los Angeles as does LA Times The Envelope Screening Series which is open to anyone who signs up for tickets but priority is given to guild members.
One other screening series is the Awardsline Screening Series through the website Deadline. You can visit the websites of Sony, Fox Searchlight, and Warner Bros. to sign up for their screenings. They will email you if they have an upcoming screening in your area.
Amazon Movie Screenings
Amazon will occasionally host free movie screenings in partnership with Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Joining the Cinespia email list is the best way to find out about those events. During quarantine, Michael B. Jordan partnered with Amazon to host a Night at the Drive In which gave attendees a free movie night plus snacks. You can register with Amazon here to be notified about future events.
How to Attend a Red Carpet Movie Premiere
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I attended the premiere of Lucy in the Sky last night at Fox. The movie was a unique story that is so different than your typical space movie. The highlight of the night was meeting the amazing Jon Hamm at the after party. #lucyinthesky #jonhamm #natalieportman #foxstudioslot #foxstudiolot #foxsearchlight #cinefile #moviestudios #studiolot #moviepremiere #filmpremiere #moviestars #eyeonla #abc7eyewitness #foxla #seela #welikela
Living near Los Angeles gives me the opportunity to attend several red carpet premieres for movies. I have been able to attend some really fun premieres like Pitch Perfect 3 where I got to be on the side of the red carpet. A few years ago, I got to attend the premiere for Battle of the Sexes & the after party through Citi Private Pass tickets. I have even found a few competitions via Twitter that have helped me go to premieres like the Big Bear movie.
The best way to learn about these types of events is by purchasing my e-book which gives you access to my private Facebook group. This will be the easiest way for you to get tickets to red carpet movie premieres and other celebrity events.