Over the last several years, the movie industry has seen its number of viewers slowly declining.
This is mainly due to the rise of digital streaming sites such as Netflix, the ease of downloading films from torrent websites and most importantly, the increase in ticket and beverage prices at the cinema.
I must admit, I almost choked when recently purchasing 2 bottles of water at the cinema and having it come to over £5 (let’s not get started on the price of popcorn or ice cream!), but the increase in film prices hasn’t helped either. The average cinema ticket in the UK comes to around £10 (not including special discounts or 2-for-1 offers), which gives you (or is supposed to give you) the pleasure of seeing the film on the big screen before anyone else can see it on their home TV when the DVD or Blu Ray comes out, or when it is shown on on public television.
The future wasn’t looking particularly good for the movie industry.
But now, 2 cinema chains in the UK are trying to combat this slump by introducing an “all you can watch” membership, for a fairly reasonable cost.
We’ll start by looking at Odeon’s latest offering, the “Limitless” membership. With prices starting at £17.99 a month, that’s a reason to smile for movie fans as they can effectively watch any film they want, as many times as they want, for the price of 2 cinema tickets. Sounds prefect to me. This base cost covers every Odeon cinema in the UK except for those situated in London. To get the same experience there, you need to cough up an extra £2 a month, bringing the monthly cost to just £19.99. The only exception to this membership is the BFI IMAX and The Lounge at Whiteleys, which are not included. Unfortunately, you do still have to pay for “luxury” upgrades such as 3D movies, Premier seating, Premium viewings etc, but it helps cushion the blow if you are an avid movie watcher.
The other contender in this battle for viewers is Cineworld with their “Unlimited” membership. This works in a similar fashion to the Odeon package, but is only £16.90 a month for non-London screens and £19.90 if you want access to London’s screens. Again you have to pay for luxuries (although for some screenings, Unlimited members are available to upgrade to VIP seating for free), but with the Cineworld membership, you also gain discounts on food and drink (10%) along with 25% discount in certain restaurants (normally area specific). At the moment, if you introduce a friend to the Cineworld Unlimited membership, you both receive an extra month free on top of your existing membership, so if you have a lot of movie mad friends, now might be the time to sign up and get recruiting to increase your membership for free.
There are obviously limitations of the cards. Only the registered person can use the card and you can’t book tickets for films that clash (so there’s no getting a ticket for you to see the latest action film, while your other half sees that new romantic comedy at the same time). You can also only book a few tickets in advance, to help clamp down on seats being “taken” but noone being there. Overall, both of these offers are great deals when you consider the price of a cinema ticket these days.
Meerkat Movies (through Compare The Market) is another offer which has replaced the now discontinued Orange Wednesdays, offering 2-for-1 cinema tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for customers who have used their website to purchase things like car or home insurance. While this does help to cushion the blow, but still leaves your pockets burning if you rack up enough films in a month.
So, if you are into your movies and have an Odeon or Cineworld nearby, it might be worth checking out these deals and help turn around this industry, before we don’t have any cinemas left to go to and we are left with a totally digital realm!