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Published October 27th 2014
To theatre shows and movies
Source Image: Ticket Bounty
You could tear your hair out at the cost of shows and movies. My partner recently took two of his grandchildren to the movies and looked dejectedly at his $3 change out of a $50 note.
And as for theatre shows, you might as well take out a second mortgage out on your home if you want to treat yourself to a few shows each year.
But there are ways around this excessively burdensome cost Here are some clever ways to save big bucks on your entertainment needs.
The website Ticket Bounty answers their own question. Are you paying too much for movie tickets? Their answer. "Yes, you are."
I saw Gone Girl last week (which at the date of writing this article is a recent release on the top most people's must seek lists) and paid only $10 instead of the usual $20 because I bought my tickets through Ticket Bounty.
It's pretty easy. You join up (it's free) and then when there is a movie you want to see check whether it is on their website. It often is and then purchase your tickets.
You end up with a confirmation that you print off and then show at the Box Office (and you can often use the faster queue - the one that says for Tickets Purchased online).
They swap your piece of paper (if you forget your ticket, just quote your confirmation number from your phone) and they give you your movie tickets.
Ticket Bounty is a growing concern that sells tickets cheaply when a cinema thinks they won't be totally full. A bit like the airlines selling different priced seats. Everyone sits in the same plane or in this case cinema but doesn't pay the same price for the same experience.
Sometimes the ticket are as low as $5, and sometimes up to $15 but never the $20 or so dollars cinemas try to impose.
And you can often get the movies you want even on Friday and Saturday nights.
At the moment they also have a special where they are offering a $5 refund on their already cheap prices when you first use their service.
I would love to see these guys (a group of movie buffs) go nationwide but at the moment they are mainly in Victoria and Adelaide.
Melbourne cinemas include Nova (most people love going here) Cameo in Belgrave which also has a summer outside cinema and the Classic Cinemas, in Elsternwick.
There is a processing fee which at present is $1 per ticket that seems quite reasonable. If you want to sign up click here.
Most Days of the Week
Most cinemas also have their heavily discounted days of the week when they sell tickets much cheaper. This varies between cinemas and isn't just Tuesdays as some people suspect. For which days of the week are the cheapest click here. One of my firm favorites is Nova on a Monday where certain sessions are only $6 a ticket. Click here.
As the name suggests here is your chance to get tickets totally on the house. Producers, venues, artists give complimentary or reduced price tickets to ON-THE-HOUSE to help promote their productions figuring, I guess, that word of mouth is the best advertising.
But there are levels of membership and freebies.
If you want to join as a Bronze member it is totally free to join. Although with this lower level of membership there is usually a booking fee of $5.98 per transaction (not per ticket.) You could for example book a $35 show by paying only the ON THE HOUSE ADMIN FEE of $5.98 saving yourself $29.50!
Or sometimes the tickets are heavily reduced. For example at the moment the site has tickets for the Russian National Dance company Kostroma. The full price of these tickets is $77.00 - $100.00 but with Bronze free membership you can get tickets for as low as $35.
Shows include art house movies, repertory groups, musicals, cabaret, Shakespearean classics, experimental theatre, magic shows, lectures, chamber music, renowned dance troupes, improvisation and comedy clubs.
But if you go a notch up there is a Gold Membership which costs about $50 a year. If you are a dedicated theatre goer this would certainly be worth your while. If you are a Gold member then there is generally no booking fee. For example a play that would normally cost $76 the tickets would by $0, for the Jewish International Film Festival again the tickets would be $0. Where it really gets worth your while is for shows such as TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil where the tickets are normally almost $200 and there is the possibility of getting them On the House (but remember for this class of show you have paid the yearly membership fee.)
The Bronze free membership is definitely worth getting. The Gold membership may depend on how many shows you see a year and the chance of your getting free tickets to some of these more extravagant and upmarket shows. Here I suggest you look carefully at the website.The most frequently asked question click here.
If you still have questions shoot them an email or even phone Irena with your questions 0403947836.
Also, because sponsors are trying to get the word out you are required to rate an event (this is anonymous) before you can book future tickets. Although this can be as simple as a star entry.
Most people have heard about Halftix but simply forget to check it out when they are thinking of going to a show.
There is a misconception that you can't get into really top shows using this system. But the truth is that you can.
A friend and her daughter took a punt and went in and bought tickets to Wicked when it was on.
I guess this just shows that if you don't try and get in too early for certain shows and are willing to wait till interest peters off slightly that you might still be able to see the show you want a a much better price.
Halftix sells tickets usually on the day of any given performance (except Saturday, when they also sell for Sunday as well.)
Be forewarned they only take cash. If you want to take pot luck the guys in there are great at giving advice on what to see and do.
Because its not just theatre tickets. They sell tickets to music events, opera, dance, loads of comedy, the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Comedy Festival and even the basketball.
You sometimes even get half price tickets to theatre restaurants (always a bit of fun) and tourist style bus tours.
Half-tix is in the Melbourne Town Hall, entrance off Swanston St, Melbourne (100 Swanston Street)
Telephone: 61 3 9650 9420
Trick is to go in early check out Half-tix and then go and get some dinner before your show. There hours are:
Tues to Thurs 11am – 6pm
Fri 11am – 6.30pm
Sat 10am – 4pm
Mon 10am – 2pm
They do keep a website but you can't book online. It's first in best seated. Here is today's listing.
And just because a show isn't on the list doesn't necessarily mean there aren't tickets available. Some theatre companies aren't keen on broadcasting the fact that they don't have a full house. But there might be a ticket available so it is always worth asking when you go into Half-tix.
Lasttix Facebook. Yes 40% off Ben and Jerry Outside Cinema tickets if you happen to get some of the last tix
TIX is a private club of over 700,000 members that enjoy access to the best ticket deals in Australia. While it might sound exclusive it's not. Membership is totally free and customised to your interests.
You can also just browse the website but some of the exceptional offers don't appear on the website (only on newsletters) due to the promoters request.
Similarly Smartix don't advertise their offers online but they do send out newsletters. Members (and again membership is free) receive their offers via email and simply click on the "book now" button if they want to purchase tickets. They are then directed to a private and dedicated booking page on the ticket supplier's website (eg. Ticketek, ticketmaster, qpac, arts centre etc.), that is exclusive for Smarttix members. People can then buy their tickets at a discounted price. While you can't see their present deals without registering you can see their past offers and this has included shows such as Jersey Boys and even King Kong. For more information click here.
Roundup of the Best Advice
While it all gets a bit confusing all these Smartix, Lasttix, Halfix and so on; the remember is that it is worth bookmarking this article and doing a bit of a search whenever a film or a show or even a concert comes up that you want to see. Then try some of the links and see if you can get your nights' entertainment at a much discounted price. But whatever you do don't ever pay full price again.