The local Fredericksburg area movie theaters are again offering free (or very cheap) movies for families this summer. Regal 14 Cinemas at Central Park and Marquee Cinemas at Southpoint recently released their schedules of summer movies for families. Paragon Village 12 theater also offered low-cost family movies last summer, but as of last check have yet to release their schedule for this summer (check their website to see if/when they announce it).
The movies are early morning matinees featuring movies that were released within the last few years (even some that were released just a few months ago). This year’s list appears to be mostly kid-friendly but some of the movies may be better for slightly older children due to intense action sequences or dramatic themes (i.e. Legends of the Guardians). You can see the full list of movies, dates and times here and here.
If you plan on going here are a few tips from my wife who enjoys taking our three kids to these movies every summer.
1) These free/cheap summer movies are a great time to take your child to his or her first movie since they are all in the morning, you are not wasting the usual six dollars plus, and if you do have to leave the theater these are all films you can watch again on DVD if you have to miss a few minutes to go to the bathroom.
2) Make sure to choose the films you go to wisely. Even though they are cheap not all movies are meant for all age groups. Some of the movies scheduled this summer are animated and some feature real actors, but be sure to read some reviews online to make sure it will be fun for your child and contain appropriate content. Movies like Kung Fu Panda 2 and Despicable Me contain very little questionable content while other movies such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 and Legends of Guardians contain scenes of partying and death that will require more parental guidance.
3) Get there early! These movies tend to fill up quickly. If you want to find seats together (and let’s face it you aren’t going to let your toddler sit by themselves) and you don’t want to sit in the first row then you should get there at least half an hour early.
4) Go there for a fun experience with the kids, but realize that it will be crowded and possibly loud. These are family summer movies after all. The intention is not to sit down to a quiet movie theater with no distractions but rather to provide for a fun diversion for an hour or two during the long summer break.
Have you been to any of the free or cheap summer movies? What movies on the list do you most want to take your kids to see this summer? Please share your tips on attending these or other movies with kids in the comments below.