When money is tight but you need your cinema fix, there's still plenty of options
If you love cinema too much to wait for films to come out on Netflix, don't worry: Edinburgh and Glasgow have plenty of independent cinemas which offer a unique place to kick back and shovel down some popcorn. Most of the big chains operate across both cities too, and there are plenty of deals for students to take advantage of, for when you just can't wait to see that new Star Wars, or when Mamma Mia 3 is inevitably pushed out.
The Filmhouse on Lothian Road is Edinburgh's best-known independent cinema, and it's an absolute jewel in the city's film-loving crown. It's home to regular festivals and special seasons, and has a good mix of blockbusters and indie features on the bill. Student membership is just £5, and gets you £1.50 off future ticket purchases, plus 10% off DVDs, merchandise, snacks and drinks. There's also a £2 screening every Tuesday as part of See You Next Tuesday, their weekly screening for student members. Elsewhere in the city, the Dominion is an art deco-style hub in the heart of Morningside, which screens big hitters and the occasional old classic. If you're feeling fancy, you can also rent out the entire place for private parties. And while it's not technically an indie cinema (since it's run by The Picturehouse) The Cameo has all the hallmarks of a film lovers hotspot, with comfy old seats and a selection of modern classics (and classic classics) on the reel. A student membership gets you two free tickets that can be used at all regional Picturehouse Cinemas, and up to £2 off tickets at all Picturehouse Cinemas.
Glasgow Film Theatre is the city's original independent cinema. It's also home to Glasgow Film Festival, the Glasgow Youth Film Festival and the Glasgow Short Film Festival, and like the Filmhouse, it hosts regular innovative seasons. If you join their free 15–25 Card scheme, you can get standard GFT tickets for just £5.50. You'll also earn loyalty points for every pound you spend on cinema tickets and get special offers by email. The Grosvenor Cinema in the West End screens the latest films plus a selection of old classics. Student tickets are just £7, too.
Both cities have the Vue (Ocean Terminal and Omnicentre in Edinburgh; The Fort in Glasgow). These guys operate a Super Monday deal, where you can get a promo code and activate big discounts on big films. If you get a Cineworld unlimited card (Fountainpark in Edinburgh; The Forge and Silverburn in Glasgow), you pay just £17.90 per month to see any film as many times as you like (terms and exclusions apply). So, if you go the cinema quite regularly, this deal could end up saving you a bundle. Or, if Odeon is your cinema of choice and you happened to get your student home insurance through comparethemarket.com, you can take advantage of Meercat Movies. Every week, you can get one voucher code to use on a Tuesday or Wednesday at any Odeon cinema (Lothian Road and Westside Plaza in Edinburgh, and Springfield Quay in Glasgow).