Saving money almost always means spending less, but being thrifty is also about knowing when to spot value.

How much would it cost to fly to London and see Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet or Sienna Miller in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? How much would you spend on a weekend in New York to attend the Metropolitan Opera or a Broadway show?

Those high-flying weekends may not be in your budget, but you can still see some of the world’s most talented stars in iconic roles for nearly the same price as a movie. And you can do it without leaving town.

Cheap Theater Tickets for the Whole Family

Fathom Events broadcasts live performances of theater, opera, and ballet year-round in local cinemas nationwide. You can see everything from the Bolshoi Ballet to Broadway shows — often in the movie theater at your local mall — with tickets that range from $20 to $30.

Some shows are live, while others are live-to-tape or delayed due to time differences. But what you can count on is value, especially since tickets to in-person live shows can cost anywhere from $60 to $1,000. And that’s before you pay to park or have a bite to eat.

These cheap theater tickets let you see some of the most important performing arts in the world for a low price.

Plus, you can bring kids without breaking the bank or risking a meltdown at a live performance. “For moms on a budget, this makes it affordable to take children,” says Kymberli Frueh, Fathom’s vice president of programming. These broadcasts provide a way for audiences of all ages to see shows that may never tour, making the shows “affordable and accessible for all,” she adds. All you have to do is type your zip code into Fathom’s website, and you’ll find the closest movie theater to you.

This App Makes Managing Your Finances Easy — Start Budgeting Today >>

Among the international productions coming soon to movie theaters are Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Feb 22) and Hamlet (March 8) presented by London’s National Theatre.

Cheap Ballet and Opera

Fathom also has a season-long partnership with Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet, whose upcoming productions include The Flames of Paris (March 4) and Giselle (April 8).

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Opera will be performing Puccini’s La Bohème live from New York City on Feb 24 and 28. Keep in mind that opera fans are savvy about ticket buying, so if you’re interested, snap up your tickets early. “The Met Opera is really our flagship entity, so we have built recurring audiences,” said Frueh.

Fathom has found that full-length story ballets like Swan Lake and Giselle do the best among its in-cinema audience because the dedicated fans “like to see different versions,” Frueh says. London and Broadway shows like Newsies make it into the lineup, too.

Finding What People Love

“We certainly listen to our fans. We take to heart what people want,” Frueh says. “I look and see what’s trending and what has a limited run, what is iconic.”

Save on Your Travel Expenses — Get Prices From a Leading Provider >>

She says that Fathom chooses what to present by tracking popular shows that will attract audiences nationwide. And while there are free arts broadcasts on television, the collective experience of watching the shows in a movie theater brings fans together. “You walk out feeling a part of a community,” she adds. “You are there with like-minded fans. It connects the world.”

Preview image: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Young Vic Theatre in LondonPhoto courtesy of Fathom