Free Movie Screenings: Tips on Getting Tickets (Canada)

This may come as a shock to some because of the staggering quality of this blog, but I don’t actually get paid to do this. Nor do I get sent screening passes to see movies two days before they come out. I haven’t hit the peak of the blog-o-sphere yet that hand-wringing executives send me boatloads of freebies in the hopes that my highly-esteemed opinion will be a positive one. I have to live on my wits and my ability to procure free movie screening tickets to keep this ship afloat.

And now, for the benefit of everyone who reads this blog, I’m going to give you the secrets to seeing free movies, before they come out…legally.

1) Live in a city

The most obvious, but important rule of free movie screenings (in Canada) is this: live in a city. Specifically Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal (and sometimes Halifax). If you had to chose one of these cities to live in, it would be Toronto. It has the most free movie screenings of any of the other cities, plus it gets films that the other cities don’t (I’ve seen multiple mentions of the Jesse Eisenberg flick 30 Minutes or Less screening in Toronto, but haven’t heard it being screened anywhere else). In general though, if you don’t live if one of the above cities, you won’t have as much luck getting free movies.

2) Read the Newspaper

It’s a simple one, but easily overlooked. Most newspapers have contests giving away two free passes to movie screenings. You can enter online, and it usually involves giving your full name and e-mail address. That’s about it. The competition for these contests isn’t that fierce either – my girlfriend and I entered one to see Friends with Benefits and we both ended up winning double passes.

3) Read Movie Blogs

There’s one movie blog that I occasionally contribute to called Criticize This! that has weekly contests for readers. Whether it be a Blu-ray collection, DVD, poster, or free screening, this is a good place to go. I don’t enter the contests (it seems like a conflict of interest to me) but my friends who have entered have managed to snag a free screening or two.

4) “Like” Film Companies on Facebook

Put your Facebook account to good use and like Warner Brothers Studios Canada and Walt Disney Studios Canada. Warner Bros. tends to have a monthly giveaway for a free screening, and it hasn’t been hard for me to get passes (I saw Arthur, Horrible Bosses, and Crazy, Stupid, Love thanks to liking them on Facebook) and I just recently liked Walt Disney and managed to see The Help six days before it’s general release. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

5) Watch the Freebie forum on

This one is a little tricky because you have to constantly be on the lookout for free screening posts on the Freebie section of forums. Generally what happens is a kind user will post a link to a free screening and it directs the user to enter their e-mail address and how many tickets they want (up to a max of four) to a screening. And then it sends the passes directly to your e-mail account. No contest needed. Of course, thirty minutes after one of these posts the screening is sold out, so you have to be quick. I recommend Bookmarking the Freebie forum and checking it periodically throughout the day – free screening posts tend to go up between 3 PM – 5 PM.

Anyway, those are the tips I’ve been using this year to see free films and they’ve been pretty successful for me thus far. Here’s the list of movies I’ve seen for free this year:


Crazy Stupid Love

The Help

Friends with Benefits

Meet Monica Velour

Red Riding Hood


Horrible Bosses

Win Win


Fright Night 3D

The Debt



The Ides of March

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas


One Response to Free Movie Screenings: Tips on Getting Tickets (Canada)

  1. Brandon Leonard says:

    There is another way to get free movies. Cineplex has these things called VIP cards, that give the owner of the card unlimited pairs of tickets for a year.
    Head Office Employee’s get them for free. Ocassionally Cineplex gives them away. I recently acquired one at a golf tournament. The card says that it’s retail value is between $1500-$7500. Depends how often you go to the movies. Anyway, I would like to sell my extra one. Email me at of you are interested, and I can give you more details.

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