Be A ‘Disgruntled Moviegoer’ To Scam Free Tickets

Be A ‘Disgruntled Moviegoer’ To Scam Free Tickets

These days, a trip to the cinema can cost up to $30 per person — and that’s if you go easy on the snack bar and veto 3-D. For those sick of paying exorbitant ticket prices, here’s an almost foolproof ploy to score two movie screenings for the price of one. (Note: Some “acting” may be required.)

Narky moviegoer picture from Shutterstock

After the movie has ended, make a beeline to the ticket booth and demand to see the manager. As soon as they appear, launch into a bitter tirade about how the movie was ruined by a gaggle of rowdy, obnoxious teenagers.

This can either be entirely fabricated or based on a “half-truth”. (i.e. — The screening was almost certainly interrupted by talking teens at some point: it’s what they do.) If you’re not good at thinking on your feet, make a mental note of a few random teens so you can provide physical descriptions if prompted: vague responses are obviously best avoided.

It’s important to act as huffy and indignant as possible; preferably on the verge of shouting with your temper rising visibly the longer the conversation goes on for. You want to give the impression that you could blow at any minute; especially if restitution isn’t offered.

Nine times out of ten, the manager will comp you and your guests free tickets on the spot — it’s the quickest and most painless way to defuse the situation. You now have six months to plan a second, free trip to the cinema with your mates.

Naturally, this scam tends to only work once or twice per cinema. With that said, you can usually tease a few extra freebies by pulling off the same trick at different times of the day: this increases the odds of dealing with a different manager who won’t recognise your complaining face.

Lifehacker’s Evil Week highlights the dark side of life hacking. How you use that knowledge is up to you.


  • Umm.. this is fraud! I would suggest that you take this down or I will making a complaint to the police that you are inciting crime or at the least civil misdemeanour.

    • It’s a ridiculous suggestion, and anyone that follows it is an idiot, but your “threat” to call the police is a complete overreaction.

    • I feel like it could be on the border of fraud, but one interpretation is that the person is lying to themselves about whether or not the movie was ruined.
      I’m not a lawyer so I don’t really know for sure.

      The fact that at the end of the article they specifically mention “this scam” is a bit of a giveaway that it’s unscrupulous.

      That being said, I really doubt that the rozzers would do anything about it, what with it happening in internet land.

    • It’s clearly stated at the beginning of Evil week: “Throughout the week, we’ll be highlighting all the things you shouldn’t do: the life hacks that can make life better for you and worse for others. That doesn’t mean that we’re advocating everyone acting like a total jerk all the time.”

      I agree, needs a disclaimer at the bottom, but basically. Shut up, you’re wrong, and they’ve disclaimed already that they do not advocate to do this.

    • They regularly write articles about the best way to illegally download media but this is where you draw the line?

    • You clearly don’t understand what evil week entails and you are too thick to realize this article is a joke.

  • How does anyone manage to spend $30 for a ticket? Telstra thanks tickets are $11, optus movie rewards are $10, Red Energy Rewards tickets are $10.50 excluding postage. Why not recommend this means of discounting your movie expense rather than a dodgy scam?

      • Bupa, RACV, NRMA, etc. I realise that not everyone will be a customer but the point is you can find a means of getting movies for half the price in most cases if you just look around. If all else fails there’s Australian Movie Voucher (google it) which has books of 10 for $13.25 each ex postage.

      • my local cinema its only $10 for a ticket (8 for seniors) and the roxy cinema in nowra is is less than 15

      • You can simply buy a $2 optus sim, sign up for Yes Rewards, and ditch the sim. They don’t require you to be a current/active customer.

  • Great, and then when you’re done ripping off the cinema why not treat yourself to a free Lexus by asking the dealership for a test drive and just not returning it.

  • Great, so this is basically encouraging customers to lie and get angry with staff. I’m sure cinema staff have enough to deal with like cleaning up people’s vial mess that they leave behind, let alone dealing with lying idiots who are just trying to score a free ticket.

    FYI- if you dont want to pay for a movie ticket, there’s other ways of doing it which involves something called “the internet”. You also get to watch it in the comfort of your own home as a free added extra!

      • It doesn’t really make much difference. This is more or less the comment section for every Evil Week article they’ve ever ran, regardless of how they frame the article.
        On the plus side most of these articles are either super obvious, impractical, intentionally dumb or baiting the reader into doing something embrassing. I mean really, does anyone willing to humiliate themselves by lying to score free tickets to the next Transformers really need the tip of ‘be as huffy as possible’? =P

        • Agreed! Anyone who would actually be willing to do this has thought of it long before the article was written.

    • As part of “Evil Week” then, will you be posting things like

      1: How to Pickpocket someone without them noticing
      2: How to use MAC Spoofing to get a client fired for your illegal browsing
      3: How to siphon fuel when you spot an open petrol door
      4: What weapons are not technically illegal for you to conceal in public
      5: Where to make money by selling your company’s business secrets
      6: Ten expensive items to claim on your tax return that are hard to prove you didn’t buy
      7: Top untraceable ways to start a building fire
      8: Turn down a shouted lunch with your office colleagues to go through their wallets
      9: Top torrenting sites, and what you can do with the viruses that you get from them
      10: How to collect on centrelink disability pension without being disabled

      Formerly in evil week, I have seen:
      “Plane Evil: Top 10 Ways To Annoy Fellow Airline Passengers”
      Which is BRILLIANT.
      It’s a thinly veiled exposition on ‘easily avoidable things that annoy everyone else on flights’.

      This, however, is something else.
      Your ending line of “Lifehacker’s Evil Week highlights the dark side of life hacking. How you use that knowledge is up to you.” doesn’t save you from the fact that the whole article is written in imperatives.

  • @ Stephen Young

    Perhaps, if you complain loudly enough, Chris Jager will give you two extra free Lifehacker memberships.

  • Genius! This is sooo evil! XD Not that I’m ever going to use this method, but I just love the idea. *EVIL LAUGH*

    • I’ve got .. … ..
      2 Tickets to paradise.. I’ve got
      2 tickets to PAAARRAADDIIISSSEEEEE!!!!

      Thanks Giz/Lifehacker 😉

  • This is a terrible tip. Better off rummaging through the trash and taking all the coke bottle labels to then buy hoyts tickets from the coke rewards site. 10 labels per ticket.

  • The people crying “fraud” in their comments are probably just venting their frustration at the slow download of the torrent they’ve just found on The Pirate Bay.

    • There is a difference between “taking advantage of existing deals” and “lying to get free things you don’t deserve”

  • It’s only $30 if you go to one of the huge chains. Go to an small, independent cinema and pay $6 a person.

    • I wish we had one near me. I’ve got 3 Village Cinemas within a 30m range and that’s about it 🙁

  • Its Evil Week every week at the cinemas when you spend $20 or more just to go see a movie in an average cinema seat, and pay for way overpriced popcorn and drinks, only to then go to one of the dirtiest toilets human kind has ever seen.

  • This might seem like a victimless crime but it’s essentially the same as copying DVDs. Someone has paid for this and your refusal to pay for entertainment means less money in the system, less money for the creators, lower budgets for future films and a worse end product. Also, if I saw I film with someone who did this, I wouldn’t be hanging out with them in future.

    Particularly in a time when everyone has access to cheap movies. From Student tickets at about 10-12 dollars, pensioners discounts, Tuesday discounts, entertainment book vouchers and burger and movie deals at grill’d and similar deals in other places. if going to the movies is too expensive for you, maybe you should just not go. Or wait until Tuesday for cheap tickets.
    I took my girlfriend to a Saturday night movie which cost us $22 all up just because we’re Telstra customers.
    Maybe you should be making a list of cheaper avenues for buying tickets rather than suggesting that people could scan their way into a refund.

    • Jump through hurdles to get a reasonable price ( + data information ) why not just make it $11 and I’d triple my movie going.
      P.s try not to fill your kitchen with a dollar worth of popcorn kernels

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