Two national theater chains are offering free, or for as little as $1, admission to family movies this summer to keep the kids entertained during the hot months ahead. It's like having free airconditioning for a few hours!
Regal Cinemas started its free Family Film Festival this month, with nine weeks of movies for parents and kids to enjoy.
The G and PG rated movies start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesdays, with seating limited to first-come, first-served until capacity is reached.
The free tickets are available at select theaters' box office on the day of the show.
You can check with your local Regal Cinemas theater for what's playing at these free shows, or look at its Web site to see what's playing in your state. Many of the movies are older. Some of the movies playing in California, for example, are "Charlotte's Web," "Curious George" and "Bee Movie." Your kids might have already seen them, but a free showing on a big screen can't be beat.
Summer Preview: 35 Reasons We're Psyched for Summer
What do a mutant with muttonchops, a teenage wizard, a gay Austrian fashionista and giant freaking robots have in common? They're all part of this year's ginormous summer movie lineup, with stars and stories so big we can barely catch our breath.
The world's very favorite wizard, Harry Potter, has been absent from screens for so long that Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who portrays him, has had time to act in an indie drama ('December Boys'), star in a British made-for-TV historical pic ('My Boy Jack') ... and go full-frontal on stage -- in London and Broadway. In other words, our little boy hero is growing up, and don't think Potter-philes haven't noticed. His fans are maturing too, but they're not too big to shriek like little girls at the sight of him in the hotly anticipated (and pushed from fall '08) 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.' (July 15)
Sure, he was a great Oscars host, but while we can appreciate a dancing, singing Hugh Jackman in a tux, we really love him when he's got his claws out ... as Wolverine, the tortured mutant with the fantastic muttonchops. That's why we're excited for 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine,' which promises not only to breathe life back into the 'X-Men' franchise but also to make us forget the three hours we wasted on 'Australia.' (May 1)
3. Christian Bale to Terminators: "I'm Gonna F***ing Kick Your F***ing A**"
'T4' (is it a sequel? a prequel? both?), i.e. 'Terminator: Salvation,' is shaping up to be even more explosive than star Christian Bale's much-publicized on-set freak out. Even with the tamed PG-13 rating, thanks to a Pizza Hut tie-in, the 'Terminator' franchise appears to have a hit on its hands the size of those giant Terminators grabbing people up for human experimentation. After hearing Bale's rant, we just worry that up against his awesome vengeance, the cyborgs are gonna turn metal tail and run -- we know we would. (May 21)
As proudly offensive and divisive as was 'Borat,'Sacha Baron Cohen's first foray into brilliant sociological satire disguised as shock humor, the movie's $128 million haul proved there was an audience. But will Americans in a split Prop 8-climate be as welcoming to his latest big-screen caricature, the flamboyantly gay Austrian fashionista Bruno, who drags an S&M slave through a mall and attacks a self-defense instructor with two dildos? The side-splitting first trailer tells us "Hell, yes." (July 10)
Sure, the sequel to 2007's 'Transformers' has a lot going for it: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, a bunch of giant talking robots and, of course, 789 explosions courtesy of director Michael Bay. But if we're honest with ourselves, the real draw of 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' is Megan Fox. Had Megatron been around to see the sexy starlet leaning over the hood of a car in the first flick, he might have just scrapped his whole "I want to destroy mankind" plan. But, hey, then there wouldn't be a sequel. (June 24)
He can pull off any role: the inspirational teacher-coach, the caring husband-dad, even the cutthroat bad guy. But it's action movies that made Denzel Washington a star, and he'll be kicking plenty of bad-guy butt in the 'The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3' -- a remake of the 1974 original -- in which he plays an NYC subway dispatcher trying to thwart a John Travolta-led gang of hijackers. Ah, if only Denzel worked for the subway in real life. You can bet no one would jump the turnstile then. (June 12)
AMC Cinemas' Summer MovieCamp is every Wednesday from June 17 through Aug. 5, where kids' films will also be shown at 10 a.m. Admission is $1 per person, with the money and concession proceeds being donated to charity.
At the movie camp AMC is selling a "KidsPack" for $3, which is a kids' size drink, popcorn and snack. The snack can be upgraded to a regular candy for $1 more.
Not all of the AMC Cinemas' theaters are participating in the promotion, so check with your local AMC theater or look it up on AMC's Web site to see if the deal is available near you.
While both of these deals, free or not, look like a way to get more money out of parents for the high-priced concessions, it still looks like a deal.