I don’t write many personal editorials as I focus on film reviews but I felt forced to write this blog following the recent news about changes to my local cinema’s pricing policy. I can be seen two to three times a week at the Odeon close to the docks in Preston, Lancashire. I’ve been able to feed my habit because of regular two for £10 promotions, Film Fan Mondays (25% discounts), Bargain Tuesdays (£4.50 per ticket) and the points earned as a holder of a Odeon Premiere Club card.
However, it was announced on Friday (20th March) that a new nationwide deal has been struck between cinema chains and an insurance comparison website (Compare the Market) to offer two-for-one tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This takes over from a previous two-for-one deal that used to take place on Wednesday’s only – sponsored by the Orange mobile network. Following this announcement Odeon has decided to ditch its Film Fan Mondays and Bargain Tuesdays.
In order to enjoy the two-for-one offer there’s a catch – you have to buy an insurance product through the Compare the Market website to qualify. In simple words it’s a means of drumming up extra business. I don’t use this website and have no plans to be forced to use it for the sake of some cinema tickets. It is certainly of no use to those of us who find ourselves going to the cinema on our own to watch films few others would e.g. Trash 2014.
It is unclear at this stage whether there are going to be any ongoing promotions alongside this new deal. It creates a great deal of uncertainty around the future of my cinema going. I can’t justify the expense of paying £9-£10 a ticket three times a week. Taking into account the number of times my wife joins me we’re talking an easy £2,000 a year plus any drinks and snacks. I have ten vouchers left for tickets and almost enough Odeon points for four free tickets. That should keep me going for a few weeks but beyond that I’m not sure what the future is.
Cinemas wonder why audience numbers are falling – it’s simple, £10 for a ticket is not good value for money. When they do the Bargain Tuesdays loads of people turn up and tens of thousands of the cheap voucher codes are bought online. To be blunt if a cinema chain had the balls to drop its prices to somewhere near the £6 mark they would attract a lot of extra punters.
My current plan is to use up my existing voucher codes and points and reassess the situation. Hopefully there’ll be be plenty more offers to come otherwise I’ll have to reappraise my film going. The back up plan is to turn my blog into a DVD review site watching films old and new. If I continue to attract views I’ll persevere with this as I just like watching films full stop. I hope I’m being pessimistic and the world sees sense. Moan over it’s almost time for bed, ‘stay classy’.