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Cinema wars in Norwich as ticket prices are cut by nearly half

PUBLISHED: 12:04 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:00 14 February 2019

Prices have been slashed at major cinemas in Norwich
Photo : Steve Adams

Prices have been slashed at major cinemas in Norwich Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

Cinemas in Norwich are battling to the bottom as the city’s largest entertainers slash ticket prices in an attempt to compete with streaming services like Netflix.

Odeon in Norwich has axed ticket prices by nearly a half – putting tickets at just over £5. Vue has also responded by offering adult tickets for as little as £4.99 for the past year.

The news comes just a few weeks after Hollywood Cinemas announced it had collapsed and was shutting its outlets in Norwich, Dereham and Great Yarmouth with immediate effect.

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Administrators have confirmed there has been some interest from buyers but that the firm is not likely to be sold as a going concern.

Film premier of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa at Hollywood Cinema, Anglia Square, Norwich, which has now closed
Photo: Steve AdamsFilm premier of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa at Hollywood Cinema, Anglia Square, Norwich, which has now closed Photo: Steve Adams

However. Odeon insisted that the price cuts were not in reaction to a downturn in the entertainment industry, saying: “There are many factors that influence our ticket prices, including ticket type, time of day, type of film, location, and other costs.

“Our overall aim is to give our guests the best possible experience at great value, with all prices clearly listed in our cinemas and online.

“We offer lots of choice including Odeon Limitless for our most regular guests along with regular promotions and deals including participating in Meerkat Movies and other partner deals and loyalty offers.”

But there remains clear pressures on the cinemas. At this year’s Bafta awards the Netflix-funded Mexican film Roma scooped the best picture gong – but it was barely shown in cinemas.

Holyywood Cinemas boss Trevor Wicks and Marilyn Monroe lookalikeHolyywood Cinemas boss Trevor Wicks and Marilyn Monroe lookalike

Instead a limited released was aimed at building anticipation for it’s release on Netflix in mid-December.

Professor of business management at UEA Ratula Chakarborty said: “Cinemas are struggling at a time when consumers are finding more convenient ways to watch movies from the comfort of their own homes.

“Nationally, cinema attendance was up last year but box office revenue fell, with average ticket prices declining by around 4% to £7.20.

“The worry for the industry is that cinema attendance will sharply decline in the coming years as people choose instead to watch on-demand movies at home through the convenience of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services, while making use of their own home cinemas as large-screen TVs become ever more affordable.

“Unless cinemas can find a way to compete more effectively with these home comforts then inevitably more cinemas will close down in the coming years.”

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