SMOKE SCREEN How cinemas charge you almost DOUBLE to see the same film at screens a few miles apart

Investigation by The Sun Online finds some cinemas charging nearly twice as much as nearby branches of the same chain

08 October 2018 - 08:51

CINEMA chains are charging families almost double to see the same film at screens just miles apart, The Sun Online can reveal today.

Tickets for a family of four to visit Cineworld, Vue or Odeon can cost as little as £15 or as much as £65 depending on where you live.

And ticket prices vary wildly within the same areas.

Our investigation found two adult and two child tickets to see Johnny English Strikes Again costs £46 between 12pm and 2pm at the Vue in Watford, Herts, this Saturday.

But it's just £27 at the Vue in Harrow, London 11 miles away.

Meanwhile at Cineworld you’ll pay just £26.80 in Loughborough, Leics, but in Nottingham 12 miles away it’s almost half as much again at £41.60.

 Two adult and two child tickets to see Johnny English Strikes Again at the Vue in Watford, Herts, this Saturday costs £46  - but it costs just £27 at this Vue in Harrow 11 miles away
 
Two adult and two child tickets to see Johnny English Strikes Again at the Vue in Watford, Herts, this Saturday costs £46  - but it costs just £27 at this Vue in Harrow 11 miles away
 Cineworld charge just £26.80 in Loughborough, but in Nottingham 12 miles away it’s half as much again. Pictured: Cineworld Bracknell
 
Cineworld charge just £26.80 in Loughborough, but in Nottingham 12 miles away it’s half as much again. Pictured: Cineworld Bracknell

And Odeon fans in Maidstone, Kent, could save £15 by driving 45 minutes to Canterbury, where the cinema costs £31 instead of £46.50.

Peter Jones, who started a petition to get the Vue in Carmarthen, South Wales to cut its £38 price to match Cardiff's £19, said: “I understand rents vary but a chicken from Tesco or a car from Ford isn't twice or triple the price depending where you buy it.

"It's outrageous that the same businesses are charging some customers so much more than others just a few miles down the road."

Of course you need to weigh up the time and expense of travelling versus the gain made in cinema ticket prices.

 Odeon’s branch in Uxbridge charges nearly twice as much as Odeon Bracknell 18 miles away. Pictured: Odeon Gateshead
 
Odeon’s branch in Uxbridge charges nearly twice as much as Odeon Bracknell 18 miles away. Pictured: Odeon Gateshead

Unsurprisingly, the most expensive screens were found to be in London, with Vue topping the chart at £64 in Leicester Square or £58 in Finchley Road.

Cineworld in Leicester Square costs £56, while the Odeon in Richmond will hit your wallet nearly as hard at £54.

A trip to the movies is much cheaper in parts of the north-east and Wales. The same tickets will cost just £15 at the Odeon in Darlington, County Durham.

In Cardiff it will be £18.80 at Cineworld and £19 at Vue.

The five most expensive places to go to the cinema (outside London)

Uxbridge Odeon £50

Epsom Odeon £49

Salisbury Odeon £48

Crawley Cineworld £48

Liverpool Odeon £47

Cinema prices in Greater London range from £45 to £64

It means Odeon charges more than 3.6 times as much in London than in Darlington, while the Vue is 3.4 times as much in London as in Cardiff.

Meanwhile, Cineworld costs 2.8 times less in Cardiff than in Richmond.

There are also big differences between the chains, even if their cinemas are close to each other.

Film fans in Bracknell, Berks, who don’t fancy £38.20 for Cineworld tickets can save a tenner by walking just four minutes across town to pay £27 at the Odeon for the same film on the same day.

Odeon Norwich, Norfolk will set you back £45.50 but it’s practically half price just half a mile away at the Vue, where tickets are just £22.96.

The five cheapest places to go to the cinema

Darlington Odeon £15

Cardiff Cineworld £18.80

Cardiff Vue £19

Loughborough Odeon £19

Weston-super-Mare Odeon £19.00

Cineworld said prices reflected a range of factors including rent and running costs unique to each cinema.

Odeon said a family ticket would be cheaper than buying two adult and two child tickets and that prices were influenced by factors including “ticket type, time of day, type of film, location, local property rent and other costs.”

Vue did not respond to The Sun.

It comes after The Sun Online reported this summer that prices at pub chain Wetherspoons can vary by as much as 60 per cent based on where you drink.

The chain charges £10.20 for a sex on the beach cocktail at the Montague Pike in Soho, London, but if you walk six minutes down the road to another branch - The Moon Under Water, near Leicester Square - the same drink costs just £6.50.

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