In summertime, the high price of movies can drop to zero

Monday, July 14, 2014
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Children are bussed in to the free movie at BowTie Cinema in downtown Schenectady on Wednesday morning.
Children are bussed in to the free movie at BowTie Cinema in downtown Schenectady on Wednesday morning.

— If you’re nursing a sunburn, a movie theater will treat you right. A dark, cool place to forget the blazing summer for a few hours? Yes, please.

Perhaps the biggest impediment to family theater trips — the ticket price — drops to zero at 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings during the “Free Kids Summer Film Series” at Bow Tie Cinemas.

The program’s eighth year kicked off with “The Croods 3D” last month. This Tuesday and Wednesday, it’s “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and next is “Ice Age: Continental Drift.” Talk about cooling off.

Two of Bow Tie’s upstate locations participate in the summer film series: Movieland 6, right in downtown Schenectady, and Wilton Mall Cinemas & BTX, off Route 50 in Wilton.

Contrary to the title, “Free Kids Summer Film Series” isn't just free for kids. Adults can get their kick out of the animated films too. All they need to get in free is a kid, age 16 or younger. The G and PG ratings mean the selected films are clearly geared towards a younger crowd, but adults can enjoy the beautiful animation and cleverly disguised adult references dropped like crumbs throughout the movies.

Free movies tend to attract longer lines than regular-priced movies, so keep in mind that seating is not unlimited and tickets are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting at 9 a.m. Whenever possible, Bow Tie Cinemas uses extra auditoriums to accommodate the crowd. Still, theaters are seated to maximum capacity on most mornings, said Joe Masher, chief operating officer at Bow Tie Cinemas.

You might want to pull out of the driveway especially early on rainy days, when other smart parents will be thinking the same thing you’re thinking.

Even if you’re driving a minivan, parking shouldn’t be a hassle. Customers get free access to Broadway Garage near Movieland 6 in Schenectady, and on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning, there’s wide-open terrain at the Wilton Mall parking lot.

The schedule is subject to change, but as of now it looks like this:

Tuesday and Wednesday: “Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs” (PG)

July 22, 23: “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (PG)

July 29, 39: “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” (PG)

Aug. 5, 6: “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” (G)

Aug. 12, 13: “Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG)

Aug. 19, 20: “Rio 2” (G)

To check for changes, visit

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