Going to the Movies in Mexico

In the two years that I’ve lived in Mexico, I’ve never gone to the movies. It’s not that I don’t like movies – I love them. I just prefer watching them in the comfort of my own home where I have access to a refrigerator full of snacks and I can pause the action whenever I have to go to the bathroom.

That all changed this week when a good friend from Florida visited us. When I asked him what he wanted to do while he was in Mexico, he responded that he wanted to see the movie Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I know, I couldn’t believe it either.

Although I would have preferred to go to the beach, I always try to accommodate the wishes of our guests. So, if you think about it, I’m kind of like Mr. Roarke on that old TV show Fantasy Island.

I’m sure I just lost the younger readers by referencing a show that was cancelled in 1984. I’m really showing my age here.

Movie Time

I chose the Cinemex theater in Playa del Carmen because they were showing the movie we wanted in both English and Spanish. There were fewer showing times for the English version and it was subtitled in Spanish.

Some of the other movies didn’t have an English option. For example, Fast and Furious 8 was only being shown in Spanish. If you don’t speak Spanish but you’re really good at reading lips, this might still be a viable option for you.

Obviously I’m kidding with the whole lip reading thing. But seriously, if you plan on living in Mexico, you should really make an effort to learn the language. It’ll be worth it — trust me.


I stopped going to the movies in the U.S. because the prices were getting ridiculous. Between the tickets and the concession stand, the experience usually set me back about $30-$40 USD. That just doesn’t pass the thrifty test.

That certainly isn’t the case here in Mexico. Two adult tickets to the movie only cost us $84 pesos or $4.46 USD. At that price, I could afford to see a movie several times a week.

The concessions were also reasonably priced — well, reasonably priced considering it’s a theater and that’s where the majority of the profits come from. Here are some examples:

Nachos: $49 pesos ($2.60 USD)

Hot Dog: $45 pesos ($2.39 USD)

Large popcorn + large drink + candy bar: $117 pesos ($6.22 USD)

The whole experience, including tickets and food, ended up costing less than $15 USD. That’s not bad at all.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie-going experience in Mexico and I think I’ll go back soon. It was a nice break from the heat of the day and it definitely passed the thrifty test.

Just in case you were wondering, I did eventually take my friend to the beach.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

21 Comments on "Going to the Movies in Mexico"

  1. Mexicans love movies are more polite and more fun than audiences here I find. Also try a tasty snack. Jicama cut like fries with lime and tajin or chilli powder Had it Manu times in mexican theatres

  2. We love the movie theaters in Mexico. From the super comfy seats, wide aisles & prices, it’s the best! I feel safe too.

  3. Carolyn Richardson | May 14, 2017 at 11:15 am |

    Since San Felipe, about 120 miles south of the border along the turquoise and calm Sea of Cortez, has no cinema–i do live in a large gated community (El Dorado Ranch) that has many amenities and activities over and above what the greater community also offers. When it comes to thrift, EDR can’t be beat. We see first run or not long ago released movies usually twice a week–for no cost. Yep, free. We can enjoy dinner or drinks just before or during the movie. For on honest to goodness theater experience with stadium seating, however, we have to go across the border to El Centro, CA, a 2 hour drive. I’ll take free any day, and feel blessed living in my adopted home of San Felipe! Less expensive overall than many other expat Baja communities, gorgeous weather much of the time–enough so, that the motto for San Felipe is “no bad days”. People here–native and expats alike–are friendly and outgoing, helpful. Easy accessibility to the States without being a border town. A full time resident now for 2 years, after coming here off and on for vacations, it is now home and I love this Village by the Sea.

  4. We go to the movies regularly in Mexico and find that foreign (English language) movies about half the showings are in English with Spanish subtitles. We saw Fast and Furious in English, but as it gets further from the release date they show fewer times per day and often only in Spanish.
    Kids movies are always in Spanish. We saw Guardians of the Galaxy in Puebla and we’re in Mexico City this week and plan to go see the new King Arthur movie, both showing in English. It’s so cheap, we go to the movies more here than we did in the U.S.

  5. You gotta go to Cinemex on Mondays, 2 evening tickets, lg popcorn and 2 lg drinks $120 pesos )))

  6. As a Mexican living in the US, I miss my movie theaters. Top quality facilities at very cheap prices. Where I’m from, Monterrey, most adult movies are shown in English with subtitles.

    Not sure if there’s a VIP theater in Playa, if there is I encourage you to visit you’ll enjoy even better food and couch style seats.

    Saludos from NC!

  7. Edith Henneberg | May 14, 2017 at 11:46 am |

    Are a lot of movies available in English?

  8. Excellent post, I learned the exact same thing-in your exact same theatre even in Playa when I was living there, $2.50 to go the movies??? How is this even possible, how badly are we getting horse f*cked back home with the prices there? Somebody is making a ton of money off American movie goers.

  9. Russ Huber | May 14, 2017 at 1:25 pm |

    We have two movie theatres in Ajijic. One is really nice…newer. Same low prices. Films in English and Spanish.
    I just cannot stand the smell of the buttered popcorn….I know it is not real butter! My mind can only imagine.

  10. Ethel aka Fran | May 14, 2017 at 5:55 pm |

    You are so right about the cost of going to the movies in the USA. I stopped going and the last movie I saw was “The King’s Speech.” The prices you mentioned sound like a lot less than when I was a teenager. That was a looooong time ago!!

  11. Janine MacIntyre | May 14, 2017 at 8:32 pm |

    In Mazatlan, Tuesdays are HALF PRICE! The Platino theatre at the Galerias mall is an upscale theatre with reclining leather seats, in-seat food and drink ordering and blankets. We went on Tuesday and it cost $120 pesos for three of us! They also have a 4D theatre at the Cinemex at the same mall where the seats move along with the action, with wind and water. Lots of fun! I LOVE going to the movies in Mexico!

  12. Like you, we prefer to watch movies at home for the same reason, but for those prices it just might be worth it.

  13. Boss the plane…the plane!! There now who’s dating themselves. But wow is that ever inexpensive for a movie. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to movies in theatre here in But I know it’s not that cheap. Glad you had a good experience and got to the beach too.

  14. Yes I went yesterday to escape the heat too! Try Cinoplolis at Plaza Amarecanas. More options and you can take food or beer inside.

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