A person eating popcorn in a movie theater.

How to Buy Movie Tickets Online

Buy Movie Tickets

Going to the movie theater is one of the most beloved great American pastimes. Thankfully, you can buy movie tickets online. This has made it easier than ever to catch the next Blockbuster film. However, sometimes when you buy movie tickets, it can be confusing and difficult to navigate, especially when using third-party ticket sites. Following our tips to buying movie tickets online should help your experience go smoother, so you can enjoy your experience from start to finish.

Where to Shop

You can purchase tickets online through a venue’s website or third-party ticket websites, such as Fandango or Third-party ticket sellers have contracts with various movie theater companies to sell tickets by proxy. As a result, they will usually have tickets available for multiple movie theaters in one area.

When you buy movie tickets through a venue there are some advantages, such as earning extra points on a membership club card for that theater. You might also be supporting a small business when you purchase directly from the venue website, especially if you live in a town with historic movie theaters. Theaters usually make a much higher profit margin when tickets are purchased on their website rather than through a third party's.

Purchasing your online movie tickets through sites such as Fandango also has many advantages. The biggest is comparing which movies are playing, at what times and days and ticket prices between competing theaters in your area. Your options are open and easily accessible on sites such as Fandango or Many of these sites will also sell and accept their own gift cards that can be used to purchase movie tickets anywhere, so you can visit a different theater every time!

What You Need to Buy Movie Tickets Online

To buy movie tickets online, you will need to have an idea of the day and time you want to go, where you want to see the movie and what movie you want to watch.

Sometimes you might not be able to answer these questions until you are browsing the ticket website. However, these three questions are the first things you must figure out to select your tickets.

Some movie theaters will allow you to choose your seats ahead of time. This practice is becoming more common since the COVID-19 pandemic to control social distancing. However, some theaters started seat selection long before the pandemic to enhance their customer’s experience by making sure they can always control where they sit, even if they are late getting to the movie.

You might also be asked about food and beverage selections before the payment screen if you see a movie at a dinner-and-a-movie show. Most online retailers will accept all major credit cards, PayPal, or gift cards as payment after choosing your movie, theater, time, date and seats.

Depending on which movie you are trying to see, tickets might sell out fast. Having your payment information stored in your Chrome browser or having an account made with your payment info on the retailer’s website can help ensure that you get your tickets processed fast! Make sure you log in and have your payment info ready the minute tickets are released.

How to Get Discounts on Movie Tickets Online

Join a Membership

If you are looking to score free movie tickets online or get discounts at your favorite movie theater, the first thing you should do is sign up for a membership card. These free cards allow members to accumulate points towards earning free movie tickets, candy, popcorn and more. Members of movie clubs will also get alerted when there are new movies being released, special discount days or times, movie theater events and even sneak peeks and member-only exclusive content and discounts.

Watch for Theater Discount Days

Earning free movie tickets through membership card points is super exciting. However, most theaters also offer special days where you can get steep discounts on even the most popular movies topping the charts. Most theaters offer lower prices during weekdays, afternoons, or large groups with special reservations. Some theaters also have certain days of the week where ticket prices are ultra-low, or you can get free refills on popcorn and soda!

Exclusive Demographic Discounts

If you belong to a special demographic, such as students, seniors, active military personnel or first responders, some movie theaters will also offer exclusive discounts no matter what day or time you want to go to the movies.

Buying movie tickets online is the fastest and most efficient way to secure your tickets to the next Blockbuster movie near you. Make sure you use the tips you have learned in this guide to help you with your next online movie-ticket-buying experience!