Hands up who’s missed being able to watch the latest films on the big screen?

Streaming services and DVDs were great in lockdown, but they can’t match the feeling of settling down in a cinema seat with a tub of popcorn as the lights go down and the credits start to roll. And it’s even better if you don’t have to pay for your seats.

This weekend your National Lottery ticket unlocks fun stuff near you. National Lottery players can book a free pair of cinema tickets to a film of your choice (subject to terms and conditions) during National Lottery Cinema Weekend. The offer, in partnership with BFI (British Film Institute), lets you book using any ticket from any National Lottery game bought online or in-store from January 1, 2019.

Tickets – which you can book here from Tuesday 15th June – will be valid at selected Cineworld, Odeon, Vue, and independent cinemas right across the UK, giving you a huge choice of venues.

Book your free tickets from tomorrow at NationalLotteryUnlocked.com!

The offer is valid this Saturday and Sunday, so you could take a friend or a family member for a cut-price trip to see Emma Stone’s latest hit Cruella, or brand-new Brit flick After Love, starring Joanna Scanlan.

To redeem your tickets, all you need is your National Lottery ticket (Lotto, EuroMillions, Set For Life), Instant Win Game ticket or scratchcard bought online or in-store from January 1, 2019. Tickets must be pre-booked and can be claimed at NationalLotteryUnlocked.com.

National Lottery Cinema Weekend is a big thank-you to the players who raise £30 million for good causes every week*.

Thanks to National Lottery players, brilliant projects spanning the arts, community, film, heritage and sport have made, and continue to make, a huge difference to local communities across the UK.

You’ve also helped to fund Oscar and Bafta-winning British films including Rocks and The King’s Speech, along with much-loved hits such as Billy Elliot and The Last King of Scotland.

You might not know it, but you’ve also been supporting the next generation of film talent, helping young people into the industry and protecting the future of British film by enabling greater opportunities for a diverse generation of talented individuals to work in a dynamic and thriving film industry.

So here’s to you, the players. Have a bargain blockbuster weekend, with a little bit of extra cash to stock up on the popcorn!

"It’s an incredible offer", says After Love star Joanna Scanlan

While we’ve all been watching films on our tablets and TVs for the past year, The Thick of It star Joanna Scanlan believes there’s nothing quite like the big screen.

And with cinemas now reopening, the Bafta-nominated actress can’t wait to enjoy the magic of the movies herself.

“Going to the cinema is a lovely experience,” she says. “It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in another world.”

Her passion for the big screen is the reason she’s backing the National Lottery Cinema Weekend. “It’s an incredible offer,” she says.

For the weekend of June 19-20, National Lottery players can use any ticket bought online or in retail from January 1, 2019 to book a free pair of cinema tickets.

One film you could see is After Love, which tells the story of Mary (played by Joanna) who discovers her late husband had a secret life.

Joanna says, “National Lottery funding for British film is crucial. It’s backed over 600 films, which have won 15 Oscars and over 100 Baftas. Without the funding my film wouldn’t have happened.”

Joanna – whose next role is Ma Larkin in the ITV remake of The Darling Buds of May – has loved going to the cinema since she was a small child.

“My mother says that when she took me to see The Sound of Music when I was six, I moved out of my seat and sat on a step in the aisle so I could see it properly,” she recalls. “I’d still do it today if I was allowed to!”

* Based on figures from April 2020-March 2021.

Use any retail or online National Lottery ticket, scratchcard or Instant Win Game ticket purchased from 1 January 2019 for a pair of free cinema tickets redeemable only on 19th or 20th June 2021. Online registration required. Cinema tickets are subject to availability. Selected cinemas only. Full Ts&Cs apply. Players must be 18+.