Sunday, March 29, 2009

What it costs at "the pictures"

The Young Victoria is as good as a film about people writing letters to each other can be. Even if it were Citizen Kane I'd be spending most of its running time thinking about how much I'd just shelled out for four adults (two of them being sixteen) to get in.
I know these are West End prices but still. God knows what it would have cost if I'd taken the "premium" option.


  1. And that being one of the many reasons I don't go to the pictures any more, along with the priceyness of even a local London fleapit; people talking during the film, patrons using mobile phones, and eating offensively-odoured snacks.

  2. I have not been to the pictures since 1996. I prefer to figuratively tear up ten pound notes by attending football matches.

  3. And to think: for the same price as one ticket - probably less - in a few months you will be able to own a copy of the film itself. After which you can watch it as many times as you like, hopefully in a decent print and on a half decent screen/sound system, and never have to worry about it being ruined by various members of the Great British Public. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the cinema is no longer the best place to see a film.

  4. having paid the same amout for the most cramped seat I've had in ages just across the square the other night (I know tall people get no sympathy). I am seriously considering knocking on the head central london cinema. Having said that theatre seats are just as bad.
    word verification says it all "ponci"

  5. But, with theatre, you can't just wait for the DVD.

  6. I suppose it’s all relative.
    I used to go to football, Liverpool in the ’70s/early ’80s when I lived there . I remember one night going to Anfield for a European game and they’d put the prices up for that particular game (probably by about 50p). We were so peeved by this we turned on our heels and went to the pictures in town instead. My point is going to the match and going to the pictures cost about the same.

  7. Didn't they do some research recently at Man Utd? The average age of fans at the Stretford End used to be 17. Now it's 47. Something like that. Anyway, it's the price that's done that.

  8. My son decided, prior to todays grand prix, that he fancied a trip to Silverstone for the GP this year. General admission appears to be £119 each! (no seat etc) We are not going.

    We also have tickets to see Harlequins v Leinster in what promises to be an awesome Heinekin quarter final. Price? £35 each, seated.

    Wonder why rugby crowds are growing?

  9. Is it really £13.50 to see a film in the West End? I am astounded. A month's subscription to LoveFilm costs less.

  10. I'll put my head above the parapet and defend filmgoing - not West End prices, mind.
    I'm a member of PictureHouse cinemas - and my £30 a year gets three free tickets and £2 off the usual price, plus free previews now and then. Despite the odd inconvenience, most audience members are as quiet as I can stand, and you can't beat the big screen.
    I'd suggest (donning my snob hat) that audiences get louder and more fidgety with the likes of Marley and Me than my kind of thing - I dimly recall (with a shudder) being dragged to Titanic by the good lady and being shocked at how many people treated it like a video in the corner of the living room. Maybe that's why blockbusters are so blimming loud.

  11. And can I just add an observation - as I do regularly go to the cinema - the recession and the prices don't seem to be stopping people going.

    Trips to my local Odeon are always marked by huge, snaking queues at the box office (I always book online for this reason, and, guess what, have to pay an extra £1.50 for the huge inconvenience to Odeon Cinemas). For some reason, people will pay those prices. And then talk during the film!

    On a related note: I too went to the Odeon to see Young Victoria. Pretty dull story, actually, but also, rather dull to look at. After five minutes I became convinced that there was something up with the picture, so I went out and alerted the staff (as I am wont to do), and they walkie-talkied the projection room. It seemed to improve, then descended back into muddy brown for the duration.

    On arriving home, still niggled, I watched a trailer online and realised, yes, the picture had been faulty. I wrote a courteous by detailed letter to the manager (because try getting through to one on the phone), and I received two free tickets in recompense a few days later. No compliments slip. No accompanying letter of apology. No nothing. Just the tickets. As if to say: Fuck you, smartarse. I hope you choke on them.

    Customer service not required, it seems, in the money-printing world of cinema exhibition.

    Sorry, long post.

  12. Anonymous12:19 pm

    Since getting my 'big' telly and a blu-ray player, I haven't given the cinema a second thought. Crank up the surround sound, turn out the lights, microwave some popcorn and off you go. More than happy to wait for the disc of a new film to appear.

  13. Hi David,

    Writing from Oz here, $13.50 is what it costs to the cinema here in ozzie dollars! The Dalston Rio though a short while from your office is pretty cheap and a great cinema though