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TOPIC: Ticket prices..

Re: Ticket prices.. 09 Aug 2007 11:51 #15727

  • slapintheface
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1 st of all this topic was for 1st run and not to put down 2nd run..

The point i was trying to make is that mom and pops are better than the big guys often and should get the same ticket price..
\I will always get the same for my ticket price as my major competition not a penny less....
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Re: Ticket prices.. 09 Aug 2007 12:29 #15728

  • Cinemateer
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Roxy said, "Wouldn't it be even better to see a film of any run at a 'restored beauty' for only $3.00 or $4.00." I personally don't think so. I would assume there is something wrong, or there's a "catch" if I paid $3 to see any movie at a theater this elegant. Obviously it's working for the Roxy, but I think this is a special case. At first glance at a theater like the Roxy (I've visited your website a few times by the way, and think it's absolutely gorgeous!), you would automatically assume it's first run and has a high admission price just by looking at it, yet it's second run and has low admission prices. It also depends on the area- the same business plan wouldn't survive in a large city. If you could pick the Roxy up and place it in downtown New York, it would have to be first run with a $10 admission fee because that's what New Yorkers would expect to, and willingly, pay.

It's the "you get what you pay for" mentality. People pay more for a stadium box seat than the nosebleed section. They pay more for front row seats to a concert.

Years of marketing research has shown that people have no problem paying more for something they PERCEIVE to get a good value for. I also have a Christmas tree delivery business and I charge $120 for the same tree that would sell for $30 on a roadside lot just because we deliver and set it up for the customer... and business was up 350% from the year before. There is a single-screen in downtown Seattle called the "Cinerama" that has been restored by Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) and even though they have the highest admission price in Seattle, they always have the longest lines. Again, it's PERCEIVED value- the theater is an icon, but they use the same equipment and serve the same popcorn everyone else does and people happily stand in long lines in the rain to have the honor of seeing a movie there.

People SAY they would visit a theater more often if the prices were lower, but I totally disagree. Would they go twice as often if the admission was $3 instead of $6? I would bet, no. As Slapintheface pointed out, ticket prices have increased in the past 2 years, but so has attendance.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Ticket prices.. 10 Aug 2007 08:16 #15729

  • Narrow Gauge
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I agree with Roxy. Twenty years of my own experience and hundred of conversations with patrons who have driven 30 or 40 miles to my theater because the prices were less is all the evidence I need.
The average moviegoer feels that they are being taken advantage of by the high price of the tickets at the chains. Go to the different posts on cinematreasures or hometheater forums for more proof. A number of years ago a survey showed movie tickets at the top for "poor value" right next to lawyer fees.
I hope the big chains never wake up to what the public thinks-for it lets small independents like me to continue to thrive.
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Re: Ticket prices.. 10 Aug 2007 08:49 #15730

  • slapintheface
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1 have seen about 800 - 900 movies never one time did i pick the theater by price ..
This is what i look for when choosing.
1..auditorium and or screen size
2.close to my house
3.how clean is the theater
4. do they have good popcorn

Thats how i choose in that order....
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Re: Ticket prices.. 10 Aug 2007 10:25 #15731

  • rodeojack
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but they use the same equipment and serve the same popcorn everyone else does

Well I'd agree with most of that, but the Cinerama is a fairly unique example.

When Paul Allen restored the Cinerama, he had the original velvet seat covers replicated and installed. It has up-to-date auditorium lighting (including a starscape), but they still kept the original '60s vintage art deco fixtures. The balance between updating the facility while maintaining the feel it had in the '60s is remarkable.

The Cinerama is pretty special in the technical department, too. Even with the upgrades I have at my place, they've beat me cold.

The main 35/70mm machine is a Kinoton... the expensive one. They also have a Christie machine AND one of the original vintage Norelcos (though it hasn't been used in a while). The center booth also is used when projecting Cinerama, and has one of the 3 machines necessary for that process. At one time, they also had a digital projector squeezed in there... and it's not all that big a booth.

They have both hard-wired and cat-5 audio links to the speaker systems, AND a completely separate (and original) sound system for Cinerama.

$10 to see a movie there? Yes... in a heartbeat. There's no other place in Seattle where you can still see such a huge screen, even in 35mm, CURTAINED.

What's also amazing about their ticket lines is that the Cinerama is no longer in the "beautiful" part of Seattle, is a huge single-screen theatre, yet still draws great crowds.
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Re: Ticket prices.. 10 Aug 2007 10:34 #15732

  • rodeojack
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I guess I'd have to admit to being suspicious of deep discounts. $2 and $3 ticket prices, in these days of $8+ might make me wonder.

There's good reason to argue for parity, and I can't argue "Slap's" reasoning. Almost any independent can outdo a chain at the same game, so why not charge the same? I will say that the chains have built some pretty nice theatres around here lately... but most of them clearly don't have the commitment to long-term maintenance and technical upkeep that you and I would see as strong points. Also, many of them have 6-10 registers at the snack bar, but usually only one or two cashiers... and I'd have to say for good reason. $8 for a bucket of popcorn even goes beyond my ability to rationalize.

Still, I don't think charging somewhere between one or two dollars less is all that unreasonable. It wouldn't trip my internal "maybe it's not worth it" alarm, while allowing the owner the opportunity to use price point as a promotional incentive. We're running $8.50 in our market, and I charge $7.50. The national average is still less than that.

Another point is that I've seen people pocket that extra buck or two, only to spend it at the snack bar, where my daughter argues that we probably need MORE registers... a nice problem to have, if you're going to have one.
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