7 cheap, family-friendly summer movie programs

  • Tabatha Wharton
10:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 11, 2017 What To Do
Staff Writer
“The Muppets Take Manhattan.” FILE PHOTO

There’s nothing quite like the magic of going to the movies, especially for kids. Summer is the perfect time to take a break from the heat for a couple of hours. 

However, catching a flick isn’t the cheapest activity, so we’ve rounded up the area programs, events and discounts to bring family fun to the silver screen ... sometimes for free.


Staff Writer
Victoria Theatre/FILE

Bringing classic movies back to the beautiful Historic Victoria Theatre on Thursday mornings, the Family Series of films are $3 a ticket. This summer’s offerings include The NeverEnding Story (July 13)The Muppets Take Manhattan(July 20) and the original Flipper (July 27). Tickets are available day of the show, or you can purchase passbooks through Ticket Center Stage (which are good for all of the Cool Film Series, not just the family shows).

>> MORE: This summer’s VTA Cool Film Series is full of can’t-miss blockbusters


The Historic Plaza Theatre, located on 33 S. Main St. in downtown Miamisburg, December 9, 2016. Photo credit: Tom Gilliam

The historic Plaza Theatre in Miamisburg is in the throes of a revitalization, and the awesomeness just keeps on coming. This summer, in partnership with ThinkTV, the Plaza will be offering FREE family-friendly shows on nearly every Saturday in June and July. This is a great chance to visit the theater, and spend some quality time with your littles and their favorite PBSKids characters. Up next? “Wild Kratts — Predator Power” shows at noon on Saturday, July 15, and “Curious George Red Planet Monkey” and “Wild Kratts Koala Ballon” on Saturday, July 29. Find more events on the theater’s Facebook page.

>> RELATED: Check out the historic theater you didn’t know existed

3.) The Greene Town Center Family Movie Night

Peter Wine for MediaMoments.com
As soon as it opened, there were lines to the vendors during the 3rd Annual The Taste of The Greene in the Town Square at The Greene in Beavercreek, Thursday, August 13, 2009.

This once-monthly Friday night event brings an inflatable screen to the center of the outdoor shopping center for family fun. Just remember to bring your own chairs or blankets. Brought to you by Dayton Children’s, the event is in partnership with PROJECT: READ, and patrons are asked to please bring a gently new or used book(s) to donate the night of the movie. Mark your calendars for “Moana” on Aug. 4. The movie begins at dusk.

>> Cool off at these area spray parks all summer long

4.) Movie Night at Austin Landing

The Park at Austin Landing’s Food Truck Frenzy will include six vendors and live music. STAFF

The area’s other outdoor shopping destination is also offering a FREE Friday night movie event throughout the summer. Visitors are encouraged to come early, dress for the weather, and bring your own chairs and concessions (or pick some up from one of the many eateries on site). You can order carryout pizza from Dewey’s and popcorn from Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop. Movies will be at the park at Austin Landing beginning at 9:15 p.m.

More info: website

>> Check out these area art galleries this summer for a change of pace

5.) Cinemark

Lisa Powell
Cinemark is in the midst of a $1 million project to its Huber Heights 16 movie theatre that will be completed by the end of the month. LISA POWELL / STAFF

The parent company behind theaters in Beavercreek, Huber Heights, and West Carrollton offers a couple of different ways to save money on the latest releases. Their Early Bird program offers discounts for the first matinee showtime of the day that starts before 1 PM (restrictions apply) and they offer a Discount Day once a week (days and prices vary by theater). Check with your preferred theater for the specifics.

>> RELATED: Your guide to area drive-in movie theaters (yes, we still have them!)

6.) Regal Movie Theaters Fairfield Commons

Theare exterior at Fairfield Commons, Beavercreek. Regal Entertainment Group's upcoming 14-screen movie theater at the Village at Austin Landing will give the area more competition in a movie theater industry that last year made $10.2 billion ticket sales and improved 19.6 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with 2011. Industry leaders say technology updates and theater placement are important in competition, which can hurt smaller theaters. Take, for example, the site of the former Showcase Cinemas Cross Pointe, which closed around the time The Greene opened and has been since razed.

All day on Tuesday, tickets are only $6.20, and everyday before noon tickets are $5.75. Check their website for showtimes and other restrictions.

>> RELATED: We’ve got 20 FREE (and fun!) things to do with the kids this summer

7.) Danbarry Dollar Saver

Danbarry Cinemas in Middletown on June 27, 2007. (FILE PHOTO)

If you don’t know about these area gems, then you’ve been missing out. With locations in both Dayton and Huber Heights, this cash-only theater already corners the market on cheap movies. With added promotions for discount days, senior citizen days, and last-day movies, it’s worth checking out.

Know of more family-friendly movie steals & deals? Email us at contact@dayton.com!