This Frugal Lady’s Worst Nightmare: R.I.P. Free Movie Tuesday

I interrupt the weeks of silence The Cheerful Times has been experiencing (so many final projects, yikes!) to bring you breaking, heartbreaking news: As of May 28th, Free Movie Tuesdays will no longer exist for Optimum Rewards customers.


My reaction to this news was as follows:

  • No.
  • NO.
  • This is a joke, right?

As a college student with tight funds, and as a person who has always been thrifty and resourceful with her money, this news came as a blow. I make my schedule around Free Movie Tuesday. It allows me to see the latest movies that everyone buzzes about without breaking the bank. My boyfriend and I rely on Free Movie Tuesday to provide us with a quality date night once a week on a limited budget. Since we both attend different universities, we count down the days until our breaks not only matched up with each other, but also match up with this special day of the week.

We have these Tuesdays down to a science:

  1. When luck is on our side, we pick the movie we want to go to by viewing showtimes and ratings presented in movie apps like Rotten Tomatoes.
  2. On Monday, in order to ensure that we get the two free tickets that his Optimum subscription allows (Free Movie Tuesday is very popular and often “sells” out), we trek to one of the two Clearview Cinemas that is within ten minutes of our houses and make an advanced purchase.
  3. Tuesday night we go out to dinner, always making sure to build in time to arrive at the theater at least 30 minutes in advance. You need to fight to the death with other Optimum Rewards customers for the best seats.
  4. Movie time!
  5. Repeat.

What are we supposed to do now? Movies tickets for adults are up to, what… $11? Who even has that kind of money anymore, just to watch a movie once and then have to pay even more later on to own it? There are some things it makes sense to shell out extra cash for, and spending it to see a movie in a theater is very hard to justify. An IMAX, maybe. The bigger screens provided by the nicer AMCs, sure, every once in a while. A regular, run-of-the-mill movie theater? Sorry, I’m saving up to afford post-grad life!

Clearview Cinemas and ex-parent company Cablevision, I am not mad at you. I understand that when a good deal comes your way, sometimes it makes sense to take it. It is Bow Tie Cinemas, the company that bought Clearview in order to become the largest movie chain in the metropolitan New York area, that is the deserving party of this rant fest. What were you thinking? Congratulations on your new acquisition, but why would you take away such a successful and well-liked weekly event? This not only is unfair to Optimum Rewards holders, but also to the Optimum company. Not having the lure of free movie tickets will give them less edge over the currently competitive industry of cable, phone, and internet providers. For example, I love the Verizon FiOS service that my family currently has at home (the Verizon e-mail does need a lot of work, though… It’s archaic). However, when I move out in a few years, I was planning on putting my FiOS love aside for Optimum solely because of Free Movie Tuesday. Sure, the announcement says that Optimum is currently working on new movie deals that its customers can take advantage of, but come on. Nothing beats free movies.

As a parting note, here are 11 other things you can do with $11:

  1. Order a burrito combo at your favorite local Mexican restaurant (3 Chicas in Wyckoff, NJ is my personal go-to)
  2. Buy approximately five earring sets from Forever 21
  3. Rent nine DVDs from RedBox at your local grocery store
  4. Buy a pair of shoes at Payless during BOGO, and use the $11 to cover your half-off pair on a good day
  5. Buy 10 items at your local dollar store (remember to include tax!)
  6. Pop some tags at the thrift shop, and come out rockin’ flannel zebra jammies AND a built-in onesie with the socks
  7. Buy the first book of the Game of Thrones series for your Kindle
  8. Take advantage of Meredith Corporation’s Mother’s Day magazine subscription sale, and subscribe to both Better Homes and Gardens and FITNESS together for a whole year.
  9. Buy a tiara on sale at Icing, because you are a beautiful princess (yes, I do have a sale tiara from Icing… and yes, I am a beautiful princess)
  10. Buy Robin Hood: Men In Tights on Barnes & Noble’s website
  11. Be 11 dollars richer

There you have it. I hope Bow Tie Cinemas reconsiders its decision to exclude Free Movie Tuesdays in the future. Until then, I am open to recommendations for awesome new low-cost date ideas.



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