I love going to the movies. Ever since the day I was born and gifted the world with my presence it’s honestly one of my favorite things to do. To this day working at the Silvercity out in Mission while I was in high school is still one of the best jobs I ever had. Staying there all night long, eating all the leftover popcorn and hooking up our Xbox or PlayStation’s to the projectors and playing video games on the big screen until 8:30 in the morning will always be one of my fondest memories of my teenage years.
I go to the movies every couple of weeks to see the latest flick so when Covid hit, and it may seem silly to some, having theatres shut down hit me harder than most people. It’s an escapism for me to help shut off my brain for a couple hours. Whether you’re going to some Oscar worthy film with deep themes that you can have a great discussion after with your friends, or you head to see the latest Jackass movie to laugh, feel good and turn your brain off – they both serve their purpose. So yesterday when Cineplex announced going forward that each single ticket bought on their website or mobile app will come with an addition $1.50 booking fee, right as we’re in the middle of record high levels of inflation and coming out of Covid, it really left a bad taste in my mouth. I know lots of people out there that don’t go to the movies that often because it’s already expensive and this won’t help. If you’re a family of four and you add in some popcorn, drinks and a couple snacks that’s running you around $100. They claim the booking fee is for the “convenience” of booking online but to me it just feels like the easiest money grab to make up for lost profits during the pandemic.
Now here’s the rrreeeaaalll kicker… Yesterday was National Indigenous People’s Day and Cineplex pledged to donate $1 from every ticket to Imagine Native which is the worlds largest presenter of Indigenous content on the same exact same day that they installed a $1.50 booking fee for every ticket sold. I`m not a marketing whiz or a PR expert but you literally had any other day of the year to start charging people more. And I don`t want to come across as a grumpy old fist waving fart but it really comes across like a comedy of errors and makes up a lot of peoples minds by answering the question of “Do we go out to the movies or stay home tonight and stream something instead“
I`ll keep going to the movies but moves like this won`t help get butts back in the seats and to make up for all the lost time and money shouldn`t fall on the viewers wallet.