How To Attend Movie Premieres In New York City & Beyond

Picture this: luscious dresses, glamorous makeup and hairstyles, and A-list celebrities walking down star-studded red carpets, and you watch enviously as this scene unfolds from your (cozy) couch. In a city like New York, known for its robust film industry, screenings and premieres are the order of the day and are frequently hosted. If you’ve ever wondered how to attend film screenings in NYC and beyond, you might be surprised to learn that there are multiple ways to do it (beyond global stardom).

Basically, premieres or screenings are a way to promote an upcoming film before it’s released to the mainstream masses. That means there are usually canapés and cocktails for members of the press, cast and crew, their friends and family, and celebrities or influencers. While many of these events are often exclusive and invitation-only, there are select avenues that film fans can attend and watch live, or at least watch the film before its official release. Here are some options that will get you bookmarked right away.

1. Volunteer at film festivals

As your love of film and media extends to the inner workings of the industry, consider volunteering at film festivals and gaining first-hand experience. Not only will this give you exclusive access to screenings and premieres, but you’ll likely be invited to other industry events where you can network with filmmakers and entertainment professionals. Unlike some of the other options on this list that sometimes require pre-paid tickets, volunteering is a way to discover your passion for free.

2. Check your credit card rewards

Everyone has a credit card, but did you know that your credit card can do more than just cover your Uber meal order or retail purchases? There are several credit cards on the market, so do your independent research before applying for one. Some offer the ability to access pre-sale tickets to in-demand events such as concerts, theatrical productions, trendy restaurants, as well as virtual and special events such as premieres and screenings in select cities. Typically, cardholders receive information about the most popular event listings straight to their inbox and can sign up for a limited time.

Other credit card programs offer the opportunity to gain experience Sundance Film Festival (the largest film festival in the United States). This year’s celebrations will be in-person for the first week and virtual for the second week. Cardholders can access private screenings of select films, get inside information on film panels, and experience other behind-the-scenes benefits. Better yet, if you’re really looking forward to meeting a celebrity in person, some credit card benefits include VIP packages for some events, including celebrity meet-ups and VIP access or priority entry to select events. The next time you sign up for a credit card, make sure you refresh the entertainment benefits before submitting your application.

3. VIP Concierge

If you’re the kind of person who’s always on the go and not limited to one city, you need to sign up VIP concierge STAT. You will receive an email with information about exclusive events (such as fashion weeks and galas) in different parts of the world and the associated costs of attending. If you decide to enroll in their membership program, you’ll get even more exclusive access to events like movie premieres, awards ceremonies and opening balls from Hollywood to London. Although membership costs are high, it unlocks access to high-quality, ultra-exclusive events worldwide. Or just keep an eye on your email for updates on upcoming events tailored to your interests, aka film screenings and premieres.

4 gofobos

If you don’t have to shell out a few thousand dollars for exclusive access, you should download it Gofobo app, a tool used by many film studios to distribute enhanced passes and promotional screenings. First you need to sign up for Gofobo, which is a quick and easy process, and then sign up for the newsletters and email updates that list information about upcoming movie releases and times. Normally tickets are allocated on a first come, first served basis, so reserve them as soon as possible. Two free tickets are available at many screenings, so grab your Hinge date or a friend (and the popcorn, of course). Remember to arrive at least 30 to 60 minutes before a film starts, as screenings fill up quickly and it’s worth getting there early to make sure you have a seat.

5. Pre-Shows

If you’re just traveling through New York (or any other city) be sure to stop by pre-screenings to see what happens that day. Simply search by movie, city, zip code or point of sale (e.g. Netflix). After making your selection, you will be directed to a link to “redeem” your code (or in other words register for the screening directly on the studio’s screening website) and the location of the screening. This site also shares information about radio and newspaper competitions where pre-sale tickets are awarded. So if Lady Luck is on your side, you might be able to win some free giveaways. Most of these options are first come, first served, so act fast.

6. Listen to your local radio station for giveaways

I know, I know, who still listens to the radio these days? Proposing this option might seem strange, especially in a city like New York, where subway commuters live instead of drivers. Despite this, local radio stations like New York’s power 105.1, hold competitions and promotions, sometimes including pre-sale tickets to cinema screenings. Keep your eyes and ears peeled to snag these perks.

If all else fails, you can always show up early for a screening in the hopes of getting in, but in the city known as the ‘concrete jungle’ we recommend always having a Plan A.

Culture Edition Stylecaster Chase Sapphire

Photo: Weston Wells. Design: Sasha Purdy/STYLECASTER. How To Attend Movie Premieres In New York City & Beyond

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