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Cinema price hike - a shot in the foot?

From John Billingsley

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Surprised no one’s mentioned the recent price hikes at HB Cinema. After a couple of years of well-above-inflation rises of 50p, this year they’ve bumped it up by £1 (over 20%) to £5.50.

At a time when people are feeling a bit more squeezed, this doesn’t seem to me the canniest move for maintaining audience size, or local commitment for that matter.

I was at the demonstration a few back in Halifax, to keep the cinema open, so I’m a strong supporter - but this price hike is a bit challenging for us two price-wise, and we’ve already decided not to go to see a film three times in the past two weeks!

Children are now £4.50, too, so all in all, whether you’re going in a pair, or even more in a family, a visit to HB Cinema is now easier to pass up and choose a DVD instead (which I’d rather not do, so maybe I’ll just lose interest in cinema).

I understand they have a comments and complaints book at the cinema - I’ll be off there next time they open!

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Whilst I agree a £1 hike is a little excessive it is still cheaper than virtually every cinema in the UK.

Factor in the hassle/cost of going to Leeds/Bradford/Manchester to a cinema and it’s still a bargain.

If you want to stay at home with your 32 inch flat screen and some Spar sweets then fill your boots but it is hardly the same experience is it?

A bigger question is the programming. If An Education - a very average film for the Oxbridge set - is shown again I may scream.

From John Billingsley

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

If I could afford a 32 inch flat screen and even Spar goods I’d be happy to swallow the cinema price hike - I think you might be rather heavily stereotyping there, Paul, and it comes across a bit personally, though I know you didn’t mean it like that.

I and I’m sure most others would much rather use the HB Cinema (wish they could ensure focus right across the screen, though) but the plain choice for many will be financial. And increases of 20%+ aren’t matched by income increases by anyone at the moment, maybe not even CEOs and council officials!

For information, Bradford (Pictureville etc) tickets are certainly £6.50 (£4.50 concs) after 4.30 pm; but before 4.30, when they have a full screening programme, they’re £4.50/£3.

From Tom Standfield

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Paul, why pick on “An Education”? Having read Lynn Barber’s autobiography which inspired the film, I think if anything, Nick Hornby’s screenplay crafted a more elaborate and fascinating story. It is a great coming of age film which illustrates the stifling, narrowminded attitudes of fifties/early sixties surburbia, and why those of us growing up at that time just had to break free.

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 16 May 2010

John, my apologies if I appeared to be getting personal which as you rightly say was not my intent.

On reflection if you are both regular cinemagoers then the £1 hike times a couple of visits a week would soon add up.

I did also think that as the local Fib Dems are propping up our usless Conservative Council - who implemented this price hike - then we are getting an early taste of what the Fibservative government is going to do us.

If we had to have a rise then surely 50p would have covered increased costs??

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Tom, I take your point and as I was a toddler in the last 60s I do have a differet reference point from you.

That said I did think An Education is a made for TV film that benefits hugely from a great central performance.

My point was that for a month or so it appeared on a number of occasions when everyone who wanted to see it had probably already done so. But we had to make do with two nights for The White Ribbon which is a masterpiece.

But I should stress that on the whole the programming is good but sometimes it can be frustrating.