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Canadian exhibitor Cineplex has joined its U.S. peers in introducing a surcharge for the convenience of booking movies online.
With the exhibition sector facing a slow recovery from the pandemic, Cineplex patrons will be charged a $1.50 booking fee for movie ticket purchases using the company’s mobile app or website. The new online booking fee will not apply to tickets bought at theater box offices, ticketing kiosks, or for food and drink purchases.
“We are deeply committed to keeping movie-going as affordable as possible, while also looking to continue to improve on our guest experience. As one of Canada’s leading entertainment and media companies, we need to further invest and evolve our digital infrastructure, so we have implemented a booking fee of $1.50 for ticket purchases made online and on our mobile app,” Cineplex spokesperson Sarah Van Lange told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday in a statement.
Cineplex cites the prevalence of online booking fees elsewhere in the global industry and earlier for other ticketed entertainment like concerts and live theater and sporting events.
Members of Cineplex’s Scene+ loyalty program will pay a $1.00 per ticket charge when booking a ticket online, and the company’s CineClub subscription movie ticket program will waive booking fees for its members.
In the U.S., chains like AMC Theatres already have surcharges on online movie purchases, in part to encourage patrons to sign up for subscription ticket programs.
In March, AMC Theatres also introduced surge pricing and a charge in North America — ranging from $1 to $1.50 — for tickets to see The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.
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