January 10, 2011


I have just attended a screening of Tron Legacy in 3D at your Courtenay Central multiplex. This will be my last visit. This has nothing to do with the film, which I actually quite enjoyed. No, it has to do with the outrageous ticket price, which I did not enjoy.

Now, why have I got myself in such a tizzy over a cinema ticket price? Lord knows, people have always complained about them and they've always been too expensive for everyone. But it’s something we, as patrons, have become accustomed to (those of us that still come out to the cinema). Sure, 3D has been great for a new experience at the cinema but it's even better for jacking up ticket prices. Again, it seems to be something we've just all become used to. What really got me though, was that I (rather foolishly) tried to use a $5 dollar off voucher at this particular trip to your multiplex. Except, silly me, I didn't read the fine print: not valid for 3D films. Now, I'll clarify: I had this voucher as I am a member of your Reel Club "loyalty" program and, as a frequent cinemagoer (102 films in the past year), I even had two.

In fact, for 3D films at Reading Cinemas NO discounts are available. And tickets are (currently) $19.30. This may have stood when 3D was new but Readings, I am here to tell you: you are no longer the only game in town. The Embassy cinema is just up the road, and they have a new digital 3D projection system. Their projectionists are also well trained, and know and love their job. I know where I would rather go. But it's not just the Embassy (or Event Cinemas in the Hutt). Even smaller, more boutique cinemas such as The Empire or The Lighthouse are now also equipped with 3D capable cinema screens. All of these cinemas offer discounts (such as Student and Child ticket prices) - heck, they'll give you a discount if you bring your own 3D glasses

Criminey, I don’t even mind if their ticket prices are more expensive than yours Reading Cinemas! It’s the experience that I appreciate. Every visit to your multiplex, we are bombarded with your slogan to “Experience the difference”. Well the difference, Reading, is that you are cheap and tacky. Your ticket prices are exorbitant, your staff disinterested and your cinemas terrible (for example Cinema 1, when not full of bodies, echoes. Horribly).

I’m not some whinging nutjob. I am someone who still enjoys watching a movie the way they were meant to be seen – in a cinema. But, as I am obviously only dollars to you, I shall take myself (and my dollars) elsewhere; somewhere I can have a better cinema-going experience all round.


Andy James
Movie fan


  1. Readings don't do child or student prices??

    3D films here are normal price (£7.90) + £2.10, + glasses (80p) if you don't have them. So it's pretty close, or even pricier if you convert it (£10 = $21 at last currency check).

    With our unlimited cards (£13.50/month) we pay £1.50 each for a 3D film. Totally worth it, and Readings would probably have a similar system if they weren't so money hungry.

  2. Also, The Lighthouse has always been super expensive, so I'm glad they offer glasses discounts..

  3. Reading have one price, and one price only, for 3D films.

    And again, damn you and your Unlimited cards!

  4. Andy, this article in The Hollywood Reporter is timely for your discussion.

  5. I remember being excited when Reading came to town - decent seats, bigger screens for all our favourite multiplex fare - and I was glad to see the demise of the terrible Mid City complex. Yet over the years (and it has been a slow process), they have picked away at that goodwill so that I now look for every other option available before I choose to see a film at the Reading complex. Yes prices will continue to rise, but you would hope that the experience of going to the flicks might improve with it - not so. I have made the mistake of putting my hand down the side of my seat in their cinemas and blimey - there's popcorn down there that would excite archaeologists. As for their move to have a couple of cinemas set aside for less mainstream films - that's a joke, given what they have been screening. In 2011, I'll be voting with my ample cineass and fiding somewhere else to enjoy films.