Cheap films

By admin
Category: Fun | Date: Tue 14 Oct, 2008

As an undergrad, I had a friend doing Film Studies at uni – which seemed to involve sitting around watching DVDs for most of the day. Granted, my degree involved sitting around reading books, but there were occasions when I felt a little envious…

Whether your taste in films is for the latest comedy hit, a chick-flick, a gritty drama or the black-and-white classics, finding a source of cheap films will ensure you have some cash left over for popcorn or pick’n’mix sweets. Don’t ever fork out seven quid for a cinema ticket, or full-price for a DVD … whether you want a big screen, or whether you’re renting or buying, here’s how to make your money stretch that bit further.

Cheap cinemas

Whenever you go to the cinema, ask for a student discount; most will give you one on production of a valid student card. That reduction often only knocks the price down by £1 or £1.50, though, so here’s how to get even cheaper seats.

Independent cinemas

Look out for independent cinemas in your area. The Peckham Multiplex (a 20 minute walk from my flat) is brilliant: student tickets are £4.50 at all times, and tickets for anyone on a Tuesday are £3.99.

See if you can find something similar near where you live (Google is a great resource here!)

Pub film screenings

Depending on your area, some local pubs might do cheap film screenings – with the added advantage that you can watch the film with a drink in hand. Tickets are usually £2-£3 (or a bit more, but with food/booze included). The films on offer may tend towards the artsy sort, so if you’re just after recent releases, you might want to look elsewhere.

Student film societies

Offering a mix of artsy films and last term’s big releases, student film societies are a brilliant source of cheap movies. They operate in large lecture theatres or purpose-built cinemas on campus, and average admission prices are about £2 – look out for special events when tickets are free.

Your uni’s student union website will probably have details of the film society, or check the noticeboards around the hallways.

Cheap rentals

If you’re planning a night in rather than a night out, don’t rent from Blockbusters or one of the big chains. Get your DVDs from a library instead.

Public libraries

It’s worth joining a public library near your halls or house; you won’t find much in the way of academic books, but you can borrow novels, popular non-fiction, DVDs and CDs. (Tip – if you’re an English student, public libraries often have the fiction you’ll be studying.)

DVDs typically cost £1-£2 to rent for a week.

University library

Your university library probably has DVDs that you can borrow – these may be sequestered in some dusty corner, but you’re likely to find a good range of popular films and timeless classics there.

These are free for students to borrow (at least, they are at my uni!) so this should really be the first place you look when wanting to rent a DVD. Only resort to your public library if your university doesn’t have a copy of the film you want.

Cheap purchases

Sometimes, you want to own a DVD rather than simply borrow it. Whether it’s the entire boxed set of the X-Files, or a copy of A Knight’s Tale (endlessly rewatchable), here’s where to look when you’re on a film shopping spree. – Free shipping on DVDs, and they usually have a good selection for £5 each. / – Amazon have some good deals, but I’ve usually found will have the same DVDs slightly cheaper. / – If you’re not fussed about having a second-hand DVD, ebay has some real bargains. (It’s also great for posters and other film paraphernalia.)

Check high-street stores too: Virgin, HMV and Zavvi often have good deals. A lot of towns have a discount DVD store, too, where you can pick up similar bargains to those on

Over to you

Have you found a great source of free or cheap films? Are there any places above you’re now planning to try out? Let us know in the comments…

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