I’m going to preface this by saying that going to the movies has become an expensive hobby for me. As someone who goes to see movies on a near-weekly basis, the ticket admission prices really add up and this is coming from someone who has all but stopped ordering concessions to save money on each trip. That’s why I am not at all happy to read the news that Cineplex Entertainment, Canada’s largest cinema chain, has decided to hike ticket prices between 22 and 51 cents, citing the need to pay employees an increased minimum wage as the main reason,
I try not to use foul language in my writing, but I am going ahead and saying that Cineplex raising ticket prices in order to pay its severely underpaid employees is complete fucking bullshit! This is a cinema company that has tried for years to gouge moviegoers by forcing them to go to premium priced screenings, with it being increasingly difficult to finding films being sold at the general admission price of $12.99. Well, now that admission price is going to be $13.50 at Toronto’s largest cinemas and while the increase may not appear to be that much, it does make all the difference for someone like me on a fixed income, who has to budget for the films that they see each month.
Perhaps this is just a sign of the times. People are not seeing movies as often anymore, usually because they consider the ticket prices too expensive. Ironically, it seems the response by Cineplex is to make movies even more expensive to go to, using the thinly veiled excuse that the increase in minimum wage is to blame. While many employees of cinemas are teenagers, I do find it sad that Cineplex can’t seem to pay them more than minimum wage, especially since Cineplex has been apparently doing quite well financially.
This price increase actually makes it all the more important for people to go out and support Toronto’s independent cinemas and counter the Cineplex monopoly. Cinemas such as the Carlton or the Royal currently charge only $10 for admission, which make them both great alternatives to the Cineplex machine. Even though its days are likely numbered, I will continue to support the Humber Cinema for as long as I can, especially since it will retain its $13 admission price.
While I am indeed quite angry at this news of Cineplex increasing their ticket prices, I will admit that I probably will still end up seeing films at Cineplex cinemas, since there is often no other alternative. I just hope that Cineplex knows that not everyone is a hardcore cinephile like myself and they are most definitely going to lose customers due to this price hike.