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Summer Discounts at the Movies

If summer means spending more time with the grandkids, one thing’s for sure: It’s a time when you can spend less money—or none at all—taking them and yourself to the movies.

Regal Cinemas, the largest theater chain in the United States, once again is holding its Free Family Film Festival, offering free admission to movies rated G and PG each Tuesday and Wednesday through August. The passes are available to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis, with shows beginning at 10 a.m.

AMC, the second largest chain, has its own bargain Tuesdays, offering the cheapest ticket price of the day to anyone age 60 and older. Monday through Thursday, at select theaters, AMC offers a $5 special on unlimited popcorn and soda, as well as $1 admission on Wednesdays to family movies, with proceeds going to two children's charities. 

Others have also gotten into the act, even though the economic recession has proved to be a gold mine for movie theaters, with attendance up 13.5 percent this year as worried consumers seek to forget their real-life money troubles with reel-life escapism.

Carmike Cinemas, the nation’s fourth largest chain, recently launched “Stimulus Tuesdays” at its 250 theaters, selling 16-ounce drinks and 46-ounce tubs of popcorn for $1 each on that day.

Dates for these discounts vary around the country, so check your local theater.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.

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