Friday, May 30, 2014

Totally Texas -- Summer movies, kid-friendly prices

I love movies. Nothing beats a movie outing, with no phones, texts or tweets to distract family members from the experience. But the cost can get crazy. In the interest of keeping your kids and your budget happy, here are my annual suggestions for family-friendly movies at bargain prices. Sometimes, even free.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 100 S. Central Expressway (Central and Beltline) in Richardson, airs a free kid-friendly movie at 10:30 a.m. every weekday from now through September 5 in its Kids Camp series. This Friday, it’s “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.” Next Monday, “Megaminds” opens. For a complete schedule, see A few caveats--children must be accompanied by an adult (age 18 or older). No babies allowed (the cinema requires children to be at least age three to see “Cloudy,” at least age six to see “Megaminds.” Age limits are specified in the schedule. And come early--seating is first come, first served, and for totally free movies, you know the theater will fill fast!

Also in the totally free category: family movie matinees at the Dallas Public Library’s Central Branch, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, most Saturdays and Sundays. Start time is 2 p.m., on the library’s second floor. For specifics on what’s showing each weekend, call 214-670-1671.

Want more free movies? Check out the Nasher Sculpture Center’s “Till Midnight” celebrations, third Fridays of each month, June through September. Show times are 9-11 in the sculpture garden, address, Dallas. Movies include “The Way Way Back,” “Bringing Up Baby,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and September’s “The Great Gatsby.” Movie showings are included in third Friday free admissions to the Nasher, 2001 Flora Street, Dallas. For details and other “Till Midnight” events, see

Nearly free are the Dallas pools’ Dive-In Movies, beginning June 13 with “Monster University” at Kidd Springs Pool, followed by “Frozen” at Tietze Pool June 27, “Iron
Man 3” at Samuell Grand Pool July 18, and “Despicable Me 2” at Walnut Hill Pool August 8. Movies start at 8:30 p.m., ending at approximately 11 p.m. Admission is free with a paid pool admission, $1 for ages 11 and younger, $2 for ages 12 and older. For more information see “program guide” at

Also nearly free: the Childrens Summer Series at Studio Movie Grill, 11170 N. Central Expressway (Central at Royal Lane) in Dallas. The series airs a different movie each week, at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, June 2 through August 22. Tickets $2 each, regardless of age. These also sell out fast.  For information, see (Note: the movie listed at the site for today, May 30, is only available at the movie chain’s Georgia locations.)

Cinemark Discount Theatres show inexpensive movies month in and month out, always with several selections for the under-teen crowd. Discount Theatres in the Dallas area are located at 4040 S. Shiloh Road (near LBJ Freeway and Northwest Highway) in Garland, 1818 Coit Road (Coit and Park) in Plano, and 420 Oakbend (across from Vista Ridge Mall) in Lewisville. Ticket prices vary, typically $1.25 to $1.50 for 2D movies. See for prices and show times.

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