Flicks For Free (or Free-ish): The Cheapest Movies in Miami

What's stopping you from getting your flick fix these days? An over-exaggerated fear of the bed bug infestation? Cell phone distraction and interactive audiences? These disturbances go from minor to major when you factor in the ridiculously inflated price of movie tickets.

So, what are your real options? How do you feed that craving for action, comedy or drama on the big screen? We've got a few options to ease the pain on your wallet.

Screen on the green
If you don't mind swapping standard theatre seating for a grassy outdoor spot, head to the New World Center on Wednesdays for the SoundScape Cinema Series. You won't have your choice of movies like you'll enjoy at the megaplex, but you will get to check out films like Ray, Victor Victoria and Some Like It Hot for absolutely nothing -- plus, no teenage usher's going to call you out for bringing your drinks and snacks from home.
500 17th St., Miami Beach; 305-673-3330

Older options

It's common knowledge that older theatres are commonly abandoned, which

usually factors in some price slashing. Take for example, the California

Club 6. This once-gem in North Miami Beach still shows the top films

each week, but it's eerily quiet inside -- and that's no complaint. It's

not too nasty and the seats do the trick. A trip to CC6 is a flat,

reasonable rate at $6 a pop.

850 Ives Dairy Road, North Miami Beach; 305-249-2345

Go mobile

There's nothing like an old school pastime keeping its cool in the 21st

Century. Up in Fort Lauderdale, the Swap Shop Drive-In is still alive

and kicking. It might sound lame if you've never been there before, but

there's plenty of privacy for dates or extracurricular activities, in

case you're in the mood for extra enhancers. With more than a dozen

flicks running each day, at $7 a show, it's one of the more affordable

options in South Florida. A snack bar is central to feed your movie

munchies, but plan ahead and grab some goodies before you enter the

gates. Roll your windows down if you're into background noise or

creepin' on nearby neighbors.

3291 West Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-791-7927

AMC - perks are key

It's easy to shy away from heading to the movies when the 'con' list

more than likely outweighs the 'pro' list. But, AMC has the right idea,

hooking everyone up with ticketing deals, and even concession discounts.

You just have to know how to find 'em. For instance, morning movies at

AMC theaters are $6 every day before noon. That's a daily deal if you're

an extra early bird (weekends included). There's also $8 Student Day

every Thursday, so bring that student I.D., even if you haven't been

enrolled since 2005. Also note that the AMC experience does come with

free refills on large sodas and popcorn -- one per order. So, go early,

split the snacks and you'll make out like a bandit ... unless you're in

for 3D, IMAX or ETX. Then you can just say goodbye to your savings.

Tower's on top

The Tower Theater is known as Miami's melting pot movie-going

destination. The Calle Ocho venue is managed by Miami Dade College and

features a wide variety of cultural flicks -- unconventional options that

entertain outside of the mainstream. A bevy of foreign films and film

festival flicks are available for screening, so if you're a subtitle

super fan (bilingual options included), Tower's the spot for you.

Tickets are priced at $8 or $7 for MDC students. Once in a while, it's

nice to deviate from the norm and dive into something different. Check

in for the monthly freebie movie, and take advantage of the

complimentary treat.

1508 S.W. 8th St., Miami; 305-643-8706

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Tracy Block