The cheapest way to get to Hollywood

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 06:53 20/01/2013

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A trip to the movies can cost from $35 for a 3D screening in a reclining seat with food and drink service at the push of a button, to just $9.50 for a standard seat at a 2D movie.

The cheapest ticket in New Zealand can be purchased in the Auckland suburb of Highland Park, according to a price review of the three big multiplex chains - Event Cinemas, Reading Cinemas and Hoyts.

The most expensive can be purchased in the Auckland suburb of Albany. The cheapest and the most expensive ticket are both sold by Event Cinemas.

Christchurch is home to the cheapest and the most expensive tickets in the South Island. Reading Cinemas in Shirley charges $10 for a 2D ticket, while a 3D ticket at the Hoyts Northlands costs $21.50, including special glasses.

Hoyts spokesman Matthew Garelli said ticket prices are set individually for each cinema.

"It is a bit tricky and a lot of it is driven by competition. It is really based on how those businesses trade. We make the prices low for price discriminating markets to get people going to the cinema more often," he said.

Reading Cinemas managing director Wayne Smith said the $10 ticket in Christchurch was designed to attract people back after the earthquakes.

"It is a marketing initiative, to be honest. Christchurch has experienced some very difficult times and we were no exception to the rule," he said.

"We decided to offer a price that is attractive to people and is suitable for the market. It is quite a unique situation in Christchurch. Our business is now back to what it was before the earthquakes. In terms of the number of people through the door, we are back to pre-quake levels."

A $35 ticket at the Event Cinema in Albany, Auckland, buys you access to a special lounge, large La-Z-Boy-style seating in a small screening room, a call button if you need food and drink during the film and, of course, a 3D movie. Hoyts offers a similar premium ticket called La Premiere for about $32.

Event Cinemas operations general manager Carmen Switzer said the $9.50 ticket at Highland Park was an "anomaly".

"That pricing has been in place for a very short time, about three months," she said. "That cinema is closing. We are giving everybody a chance to come back and see us before we shut up shop."

Switzer compared the Gold Class ticket to business class on an aeroplane. "It's our absolute premium offering. It is like flying business class when you have access to somewhere like the Koru Lounge and sit in a different section of the plane. It is a really high-end experience."

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- Sunday Star Times

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