/ Travel & Leisure

Do cinema ticket prices ruin your film-going experience?

A row of red seats in a cinema

Are you put off going to the cinema due to the cost? Elicka is. She’s a student currently doing work experience at Which? – read why she won’t be watching the latest release on the silver screen.

I’ve always loved going to the cinema. It’s the perfect place to escape for a few hours, relax and watch Vin Diesel in yet another car race.

That’s why I’m gutted I can’t afford to go anymore. Why? For me, the tickets are far too expensive.

Prices have rocketed so much in the past few years. A few years ago I could purchase a ticket at my local cinema for £5.50, but now I have to grit my teeth, smile and hand over £10.79. All the while I’ll be trying to dismiss the thought I’ll be able to download the film or buy the DVD for the same price six months later.

The cost of going to the cinema

When my friends and I used to chat about what to do together at the weekend, someone would always suggest going to the cinema. Easy, enjoyable, and affordable; we could purchase the ticket with whatever money we’d earned that week and still have spare change for snacks. Now, going to the cinema is something that’s only mumbled with guilty reluctance. And recent stats show we’re not alone in this either.

Figures from the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association in 2014 showed that ticket prices have risen by 26% in the past seven years, and even now they continue to creep higher and higher. I know that my own family goes less often because of this, so I’m sure many others have also learned to think twice before proposing an evening out.

We might approach a Leicester Square cinema with excitement and enthusiasm, but that soon turns to a dazed look when we see the £55 receipt for two adults and two children. And remember, this is the receipt before you’ve bought popcorn and ice cream (don’t think your kids will let you go without!).

At the end of the day, I have to wonder whether it’s really worth it. Going to see the latest Fast and Furious release represents a huge chunk of my money, but just 137 minutes of entertainment.

Have higher ticket prices meant you’ve made fewer trips to the cinema? Do you think the joy of going to the cinema is actually worth the cost? Personally, I think I’d rather just wait for the DVD release.

This is a guest post by , student and currently doing work experience at Which?


Its worth remembering that the film distributor takes about 40% of the ticket price – it doesnt all go the cinema !

Lynn says:
16 April 2015

Yes and just think those poor millionaire actors really need the money, lol.


Last time I went to the cinema was something like 15 years. I took my daughter and we saw 2 films. I can still remember thinking I’ve got better sound on my TV at home, I haven’t been back since.

And no I don’t miss the people talking/eating or generally not actually watching the film.

A bluray and a pizza all washed down with a nice cup of tea wins every time for me. With the added bonus of being able to switch on subtitles or pause/ rewind it should the need arise.


Hi Elicka, It’s certainly bothered me in the past – The prices are extortionate! I’ve thought about registering to one of those cinema memberships where you can go whenever, for like £15 per month…but can I really justify the monthly cost and make the most use from it…

Martyn says:
16 April 2015

The price was annoying but as i was using the “Orange Wednesday” option and splitting it between 2 people it wasn’t too bad. now that Orange Wednesday has been discontinued i will not be going as often

Gillian Reid says:
16 April 2015

Compare the Meercat deal is good and apparently a single trip GB travel insurance can be had for less than £2 so you can buy one get one free same as Orange Wednesday 🙂


They may well removing the travel insurance as a way to get the offer, since its now been very well publicised

Marcia K says:
16 April 2015

Our local Welwyn Garden City cinema is much more affordable than the larger chains, although we do have to pay for parking. I look out for special offers and sometimes get free tickets to preview screenings from ShowFilmFirst. I don’t buy popcorn, sweets or drinks at the cinema’s extortionate prices either!


I used to go to the cinema quite a lot but not anymore. This is indeed because of the ticket price, but also like William says because of people talking and generally not watching the film. Last time I went someone had their smartphone on throughout and the light was very bright and distracted from the screen! They obviously could afford to waste money. Now unless I think a film is extra special and worth paying £10+ for, I’ll simply wait until it comes on the telly.

When it does come on the telly, the add-on is that I can check the Radio times and see what they think of it and decide if I want to give it a go or not. I used to watch Barry Norman, whose opinion I trusted and who was my guide to cinema releases, in Film [year] assiduously for years until he moved to Sky. (I still enjoy reading his critiques in the Radio Times) For a start he appeared to always be more interested in the subject than in himself, which I don’t believe is the case with the people who followed in his footsteps on BBC. But that’s another subject.