Gofobo.com: The Full Scoop on Your New Best Friend, or Making Crappy Lives Sweeter One Free Movie at a Time
Movie fans on a budget will appreciate the service provided by the good people of Gofobo.com, a movie info site known mostly for providing free sneak previews of upcoming Hollywood fare. While some similar sites offer screenings in only a few select cities, or in one particular region, Gofobo is pretty much nationwide, so be sure to check regularly for screenings in your area. After a few months using the site fairly regularly, I have amassed some choice intel for you lucky, freewheelin’ hippies, so sit tight and take notes.
Once you create a free Gofobo account, check the SCREENINGS page for upcoming events in your town. Occasionally you will click on an upcoming screening and they will automatically allow you to reserve passes, EASY PEASY, but more often it will ask for an RSVP code to be entered for that particular screening. If you have that RSVP code (obtainable through radio/TV stations and pretty much any business giving them away as a promotion of some sort; TIP: a well-chosen Google Alert will help you discover some of these as they pop up), just enter it on that screening’s page, or on the home page. BOOM. Then you’re on that particular screening’s processing page, where you request either one or two passes. Next, you’ll download a PDF file which contains two separate printable passes, one saying your name and one saying GUEST OF your name (although they give you an option to only reserve one pass, good news for the sad, lonely bastards out there). You’ll need to print them out—HELLO, printer at work—and that’s pretty much it. Just be sure to show up at least an hour before show time (usually scheduled for 7pm, but with the occasional 10am or 9pm screening), because free movies draw people like crazy, and as with all sneak previews these shows are overbooked to ensure the fullest possible house. Also good to know: most screenings start seating a full 40-45 minutes before show time.
The studio-provided security inside the theater for these screenings runs from (barely there) to Full-On Gestapo Thuggery, depending on the studio hosting the screening, so when the black-blazered private security guards tell you that cell phones are not allowed to be on, whatsoever, inside the theater, I suggest you listen. I drew the ire of one of these dark, forbidding wraiths at a screening of Machete when I was trying to text YOU, KIMBERLY, with directions to the screening, and believe me, I WILL NEVER MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. (Consider me = scarred, permanently.) And be sure to check at the box office before you line up—some theaters require you to pick up an actual ticket, in addition to your printed passes, at the box office. Show them your passes to get the free ticket, but keep your passes with you—there will be someone scanning a code on your passes at the door to the theater. The scanning of passes makes duplicate copies of passes impossible to use, so don’t bother trying to make extra copies for your loser, freeloadin’ pals—it’ll only end up in tears (your pals) and grumbly grunts (thug wraiths).
The secret to getting these free screening passes is plain old OCD persistence. You might luck into an available screening by chance, sure, but if you’re serious about getting those suckers, I would suggest visiting Gofobo.com daily (or, like OCD me, MULTIPLE TIMES daily), plus any one of several blogs out there (Google ‘em up with “Gofobo RSVP codes”) that post RSVP codes or tweet updates that send you to the secret Gofobo pages that are still accepting reservations sans code.
Here’s my personal Gofobo take (read ‘em and weep) for the last couple months: Machete (awesome!), Easy A (not so awesome!), Never Let Me Go (insidiously creepy lady-friendly sci-fi), Conviction (well done albeit super conventional inspirational real-life drama, etc.), Megamind (I LOVED this thing), Due Date (a fun but mean-natured comedy kinda stunted by a horribly unpleasant protagonist), and then next week is Morning Glory and UNSTOPPABLE! (which shouldn’t really be in all caps with an exclamation mark, but hell, the urge to do so is simply UNSTOPPABLE!). The hot ticket coming up after that is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Pt. 1, so forget everything you’ve just learned until I’ve had a chance to secure that sucker.