wikiHow to Buy Movie Tickets Early

Three Methods:Calling AheadBuying Your Tickets OnlineBuying Tickets In Person

Buying movie tickets early can ensure that you get a seat at a crowded premiere or even get you a better seat if the theater you are going to has assigned seating. Try these different methods to get tickets ahead of time so that you aren’t anxious about missing that film.

Method 1
Calling Ahead

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    Search online for nearby theaters. Oftentimes, theaters will list their phone number online as well as their current and upcoming movie showings. Choose which showing you would like to go to from their online schedule.
    • If you are going to larger theater chain, such as AMC, be sure to obtain the number of the theater that is located nearest to you.
    • Once you've chosen your theater and showing, jot down their phone number.
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    Call the cinema. Let them know exactly which movie and what time you would like to go. Some theaters only allow you to buy your ticket a certain number of days ahead of time so be sure to inquire about any specific regulations.
    • If the theater requires you to wait to reserve a ticket then be patient and call back as soon as you are allowed to (for some theaters, this may be the day of the showing). You can even set a reminder on your phone if it’s for a movie you think will be particularly crowded and difficult to get a ticket for.
    • Blockbuster releases that are in high demand may have available tickets and showtimes up to a month in advance,[1] so don’t be afraid to ask if there’s an upcoming movie that you’re dying to see and want to reserve tickets for far in advance.
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    Have your credit card handy. Some theaters will allow you to reserve your ticket ahead of time and you can pay when you arrive while others will require your credit card information over the phone to charge you at the time of calling. It’s best to have that information readily available so that you don’t lose your spot.
    • If you don’t have a debit or credit card, ask to borrow a friend or family member’s and then pay them back in cash.

Method 2
Buying Your Tickets Online

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    Choose a website to buy your tickets from. There are many online ticketing websites, such as Fandango[2] and[3] Some of these websites even have special perks for those who sign up and use their service regularly so if you’re a film buff, consider signing up as a member.
    • Be aware that not all of the theaters in your area will have online ticketing available. Smaller theaters in particular are less likely to use online ticketing services. Luckily, these websites will tell you if that is the case so you can call the theater directly or go to their website.
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    Enter your zip code in the search bar. This step will show you all the theaters in the area and you can browse to see which are showing the film you would like to see.
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    Enter in your information. Once you have chosen the movie and location, you can enter in the date and time you want to see the movie. Depending on the film and theater, you may be able to buy your ticket far in advance or you may have to wait until it is closer to the actual showing date.
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    Enter in your payment information. Most online ticketing services accept a variety of credit or debit cards along with online payment services, such as PayPal.
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    Buy your ticket. Most theaters will allow you to simply show your receipt on your phone and print out your tickets just before entering the movie. You can also print your ticket at home if you have a printer. Just be sure to save the email confirmation that you have bought your ticket as this will serve as your proof of purchase.

Method 3
Buying Tickets In Person

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    Go directly to the theater. There are some benefits to doing it old school, particularly if you are trying to reserve tickets at a small art theater or if you want tickets for a showing later that day. The person at the ticket booth is likely to give you better service and less likely to turn you down if you have a specific request (such as buying a ticket far in advance).[4].
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    Specify which showing you would like tickets for. Because many people buy tickets online or just before a movie screening, it’s important to emphasize that you want a ticket for a later showing.
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    Pay. Another benefit of buying your ticket in person is that, unlike the other methods, you can pay in cash if desired. Theaters generally accept most credit and debit cards as well.
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    Go in early. You can either leave the theater and come back before the showing or you can also wait in the general area. That way, you can head into the screening room early and get the best seating possible.
    • Some theaters now have lounges and even bars or cafes that you can relax in before heading to your movie. If this is the case, be sure to check them out.
    • Be aware that theaters are paid to play trailers before the feature[5] so you could be watching these for up to twenty minutes before your movie begins. If this will bother you, consider entering the screening room a little after the official starting time.


  • If you are a student or senior, be sure to bring along identification as most theaters offer discounts.[6]

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Categories: Cinemas