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Cheap Summer Movies: Bargain Family Films Around Seattle

Matinees and movie discounts around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

Published on: June 02, 2022

Happy kids in a movie theater watch a movie during cheap summer movie specials around Seattle

“When I was a kid, a ticket to the movies cost only ... [insert small amount of money].” So goes the familiar tale told by grandparents to kids the world over.

The reason movie ticket prices are used to benchmark how much times have changed is because a trip to the movie theater continues to be a treat after so many decades — a timeless outing in the always-changing world of entertainment.

Despite the allure of video games and the latest social media app, sitting in the dark, air-conditioned cave of a movie theater has never gone out of style. This summer, you and your family can once again enjoy this big-screen tradition, at some very retro prices.

One note: Do carefully confirm on each theater’s website the time and ticket price for the movie you want to see — and, new this year at nearly every theater — buy your tickets online.

Regal Summer Movie Express, various Puget Sound locations: $2 midday matinees

Well, inflation has struck and Regal’s $1 summer movies are now $2. But they’re still a great deal. Regal Entertainment Group runs a weekday family matinee series all summer long, taking place June 21–Aug. 31 in 2022. Tickets cost $2 for select showings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The same movies will play at all participating locations in the Puget Sound area, which include Regal theaters in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Tukwila, Lynnwood, Issaquah, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Lakewood and other locations. Note: Check the Regal website for exact dates and locations; some Regal theaters in the area do not participate in Summer Movie Express.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse, Bellevue and Olympia: $1.50 morning matinees

The Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse series consists of a different G- or PG-rated movie showing each week for eight weeks. Tickets cost $1.50 for adults and children, and you must purchase them online, in advance. The two participating theaters in our area are Cinemark Lincoln Square and Century Olympia. As an added bonus, get $1 off kids’ snack packs or a small popcorn and small drink combo during Summer Movie Clubhouse showtimes. Showings are Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
Details: Cinemark Lincoln Square, 700 Bellevue Way N.E., Suite 310, Bellevue; 425-450-9100. Century Olympia, 625 Black Lake Blvd. S.W., Olympia; 360-943-0769

North Bend Theatre summer matinees, North Bend: free

North Bend Theater and Si View Metro Parks partner up to offer free summer matinees for kids each week of summer break, June 29–Aug. 26. Check the website for series schedule and show times.
Details: 125 Bendigo Blvd. N., North Bend; 425-888-1232

Blue Mouse Theatre, Tacoma: $6–$8 matinees

A century-old independent movie theater, the Blue Mouse has appealing prices with matinee tickets $8 for adults and $6 for children. Evening showings still offer a pretty good deal — $10 tickets for adults and $8 tickets for kids. Showings are Friday through Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., and matinees are on Saturday and Sunday at 3:45 p.m. Blue Mouse plays a mix of family, art-house, independent and mainstream movies, so check the listings online before you go.
Details: 2611 N. Proctor St., Tacoma; 253-752-9500 

Crest Cinema Center, Shoreline: $6 Monday & Tuesday screenings; $7 afternoon matinees

Shoreline’s beloved discount theater has long offered a chance to catch the movies you meant to see before they leave the big screen. All showings on Monday and Tuesday are a mere $6. Regular matinees, which are midday showings Wednesday through Sunday, are $7. Evening tickets are $9. Check the schedule and book tickets online. (Bonus for adults: The Crest now serves beer and wine.)
Details: 16505 5th Ave. N.E., Shoreline; 206-363-6339

Majestic Bay Theatres, Seattle: $6 Tuesday screenings

Ballard’s longtime neighborhood movie house continues its $6 Tuesdays special, where tickets for all screenings and all ages cost just $6. 
Details: 2044 N.W. Market St., Seattle; 206-781-2229

The Edmonds Theater, Edmonds: $7 matinees and children’s tickets

While it’s a tad pricier than other bargains on this list, the independent Edmonds Theater — in a restored vintage building — plays first-run movies on its single screen for less than you’ll pay at the cineplex. Matinees are $7. For evening showings, general admission is $9; children ages 12 and younger pay $7. Check showtimes on Facebook and buy tix at the box office 30 minutes beforehand (you can also visit the box office to buy for future showings, too).
Details: 415 Main St., Edmonds. 425-778-4554 (showtimes); 425-672-9366 (office)

Ark Lodge Cinema, Seattle: $11 for all showings

This one is also not a huge saving over regular multi-plex prices, but it’s a bit less expensive and you get to support Columbia City’s vintage independent theater. There is a senior rate for $9. Ark Lodge is currently screening movies Thursday through Sunday. Book tickets online.
Details: 4816 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; 206-972-4763

More ways to enjoy family movies

Editor’s note: This article was originally published several years ago and updated most recently for 2022.

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