Keep cool as summer heats up with movie theaters that beat the heat and won’t burn a hole in your pocketbook. Not only will your little movie-goers appreciate a break from summer camps, you’ll love the fact you just drive everyone to one spot. We’ve searched San Diego for cheap seats to make your summer sweeter and “reel” cool.

3D movie

Photo: Leah Singer

Regal Theaters: $1 Summer Movie Express
Nothing planned? Pack up and head to your local Regal theater before nap time for $1 movies all summer long. Every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the summer, you can catch second-run, family-friendly flicks that are entertaining and affordable. You’ll find favorites such as The Lego Movie, Despicable Me 2, Hotel Transylvania 2, Minions and The Peanuts Movie. Each theater offers two movie choices that play both days.

Dates: June-Aug. (check local schedule)
Times: Weds. & Thurs., 10 a.m.
Online: regmovies/summerexpress

Oceanside Place Cinemas
401 Mission Ave
Oceanside, Ca

San Marcos 18
1180 West San Marcos Blvd.
San Marcos, Ca

Mira Mesa Stadium
10733 Westview Pkwy
San Diego, Ca

Parkway Plaza
405 Parkway Plaza
El Cajon, Ca

Rancho San Diego Stadium
2951 Jamacha Road
El Cajon, Ca

CRDT-kidsmovienight-4Photo: Richard Pyrker via Flickr

Reading Cinemas: $1 Reel Kids Summer Movies
If you missed it the first time around, check out these reel cool favorites: Spongebob, Lego, Minions and more at Reading Cinemas’ summer kids series. You can grab some discount movie fare too. Check theaters for showtimes.

Dates: June 15-Aug. 11
Times: Weds. & Thurs., 10 a.m.

Town Square
4665 Clairemont Dr.
San Diego, Ca
858-274-9994
Online: reading/townsquare

Grossmont Center
5500 Grossmont Center Dr.
La Mesa, Ca
619-465-3030
Online: reading/grossmont

movie theater CRDT

Photo: James Emery via Flickr

UltraStar Cinemas: in Mission Valley
First-run flicks with buttery popcorn, and free parking? Yes, please! Centrally-located in Hazard Center, this theater has free underground parking, $6 – $8 movie prices, and typically shows one or two of the latest littles’ flicks. Not only do they have cheap seats for new films, they also have a $1 second-run summer series. Don’t forget to check out the $6 kiddies tray that comes with popcorn, drink and fruit chews.

7510 Hazard Center Dr.
San Diego, Ca
619-685-2841
Online: ultrastar/missionvalley

Photo: Davidag via Flickr

South Bay Drive-in Theater
Kick it old school at a drive-in. Not only do you get two movies for the price of one, you also can bring your own snack and beach chairs (or there is a snack bar with movie food). Pack up the car and treat your brood to the big screen.

Cost: $9/adult; $1/kiddo (5-9); free for kids under 5
Time: Varies

2170 Coronado Ave.
San Diego, CA
619-423-2727
Online: southbaydrivein.com

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Do you have a favorite place to get cheap movie seats in San Diego? Let us know in the comments below.

–Nikki Walsh