From Best Free Stuff Guide
Free movie screenings allow movie-goers to see the latest films before they are officially released in theaters. Many of these screenings are set up by the filmmakers to get feedback on the film, and are usually held in cities like Los Angeles and New York City. Other screenings are for promotional purposes only, with the intention being to generate word of mouth.
|Offered by||Film studios for research and promotional purposes|
|Locations||Local movie theaters, screenings rooms|
|Where to obtain passes||FilmMetro, Gofobo, The Screening Exchange, Movie View, etc.|
|Limitations||Those attending cannot be affiliated with the film industry or press|
|Coupon required?||Screening pass is required|
About Movie Screenings
There are four main types of movie screenings, two of which are offered free of charge to the general public. These are:
- Research screenings are the most widely attended, and are held by movie studios prior to a film's release. Research screenings give the filmmakers and studio executives a chance to get an audience's reaction, including input and ideas about the movie. At the beginning of these screenings, the audience is usually given a questionnaire to fill out after the movie. This questionnaire asks viewers to rank aspects of the movie as bad, good, very good, great, etc. Additional questions that may be asked include the viewer's favorite and least favorite scenes, and whether they would recommend the movie to friends.
- Promotional screenings are usually offered as part of the film's promotional and marketing campaign. They are designed to generate word of mouth, and do not involve questionnaires. Audience members may be interviewed on camera following the screening, and positive reactions might be used in ad campaigns.
The other two types of screenings are not for the general public. Press screenings are held for the press so they can write reviews of the film for various online and print publications. Movie premieres are red carpet screenings, usually attended by the actors, producers, directors, and their guests.
Free Movie Screenings
Free movie screening passes are easy to obtain, especially for those who live or plan on visiting cities like Los Angeles and New York City. Screenings are most prominent in these cities because they are where many of the studios and their executives reside.
Throughout the week, and especially on weekends, representatives for movie screening companies will hand out passes for that week's screenings. Each pass is good for two people. Those receiving the passes will be asked to call a number or fill out information online, including their name and their guest's name, their race, age, etc.
Some of the best ways to find out about these screenings and obtain passes include:
Local Movie Theaters
Local movie theaters sometimes have free movie screening information at special booths set up at the theater. These screenings are typically to promote the film rather than gather research. These theaters are also the place where representatives will hand out passes. Some of the theaters where these passes are frequently handed out in Los Angeles include the Burbank Media Center in Burbank, Century City AMC in Century City, and The Grove in West Hollywood.
Movie screening reps will sometimes hand out passes in tourist spots. In Los Angeles, this includes places like Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame between Highland and LaBrea, the Hollywood Farmer's Market, held each Sunday, and the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
Websites like Advancescreenings.com and Film Metro offer information on upcoming screenings around U.S. cities.
Media Publications Movie screenings are sometimes published in local media publications. In Los Angeles, complimentary screenings are promoted in the LA Weekly, while in New York City screenings are published in The Village Voice. Screenings that are held in other cities also promote the free films in local media.
Free Movie Passes