Not an A-list celebrity, but want to attend advance screenings of movies like you are? Here’s how you can score free tickets to movies that aren’t even out yet.
How Advance Movie Screenings Work
Movie studios spend lots of money promoting their movies. Sometimes this includes setting up advance screenings to get people talking about a movie ahead of its release. These screenings usually occur in major cities, but not always.
When a studio sets up a screening, they buy up entire showings at theaters across the U.S.; then, they give all the tickets away. Some of the tickets go to newspaper journalists and other media types, so they can review the movie; but most of them go to regular moviegoers, like you and me. These tickets are typically distributed through a handful of websites. Just create a free account with these sites, and you’ll get a notification whenever tickets are available.
You can usually claim two free tickets to a screening. However, some sites allow you to set up two accounts per household. So, if want to take your family to an advanced screening, this may be a work around. Check the terms of service posted on the site to see what’s allowed.
Once you RSVP to a showing, you’ll be able to print your tickets. These can be redeemed at the ticket counter, or there may be a special check-in table set up just for the screening. Bring photo ID, in case you need it. Since they often overbook showings, it’s a good idea to arrive 30-60 minutes before the start of the movie, so you’re sure to get a seat.
Sometimes actors from the movie attend the free screenings, or do live introductions via satellite. When my husband and I attended a screening of Delivery Man, Vince Vaughn and Chris Pratt did a live remote intro of the movie. Kinda cool.
Where to Find Free Tickets to Advanced Screenings
Some studios handle ticket distribution themselves; others hire a third party to do it. If you want to get invited to lots of advanced screenings, sign up for a free account with all of these websites. They’ll email you whenever there’s a free screening in your area:
SeeItFirst (they handle free screeenings for Disney, Marvel and others)
Warner Bros. Screenings
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Fandango (sign up for Fandango VIP to receive screening invites)
Movie theaters also do their own free screenings from time to time. Be sure to sign up for the free rewards programs at all of your local theaters, so you get an invite.
Win Advance Screening Tickets
- Local radio and TV stations often give away free tickets to movie screenings. They may require you to call in to win, or they may announce an RSVP code that you can go online and redeem for passes.
- Movie websites also give away ticket and RSVP codes to advance screenings. Check out BackStageOL and CineMovie.tv for more chances to win.
- Want to attend an actual red carpet premiere with celebrities? SweepstakesFanatics.com has a list of movie sweepstakes where you can enter to win.