Fancy a cheap trip to the cinema? Move to Cardiff

A trip to the pictures can cost 300% more depending on where you live

A trip to the cinema could be four times as much depending on where you live, with a ticket for the same film up to £12 more in some parts of the country compared to others, according to a new study by money-saving website

The study, which looked at prices across the Vue, Odeon and Cineworld chains, compared the cost of a standard ticket for upcoming blockbuster X-Men: Apocalypse on the same day and time in nine cities around the UK*. This revealed a huge disparity in prices, often between cinemas in the same chain.

Of the cinemas reviewed, the cheapest place to purchase an adult ticket is at Vue Cardiff Stadium Plaza at £4, whilst the same ticket at the chain’s London West End cinema on Leicester Square will set you back £15.99; an increase of almost 300%. In a comparison, outside of London, Manchester comes out as the most expensive place to purchase an adult ticket at £12, 200% than in the Welsh capital.

Out of the three big chains, all had some differences in prices between locations – with Vue having the biggest disparity between the cheapest and most expensive cinemas (300%), Odeon showing a 127% increase between it’s locations and Cineworld appearing to be the best value for customers, with ‘only’ a 42% difference between its most expensive cinema in London (£13.60) and it’s cheapest in Birmingham (£9.60).

Whilst it is possible to catch a good deal in some locations with a student, child or senior ticket, others don’t offer any discount at all. A student ticket at the Cineworld in Cardiff is 62% cheaper than an adult ticket, whilst the already cheap Vue in Cardiff is the same price regardless of the variety of ticket you purchase. In what can be considered a confusing pricing structure for consumers, London Tottenham Court Road offers one of the more expensive adult tickets at £15, yet is the cheaper of the other tickets priced at £8.50.

When looking at the costs within the same location, the results may come as a surprise to many. Depending on which chain you go to, an adult ticket in Cardiff can see an increase of 143%, while you can expect a 63% increase within Bristol and 61% in Edinburgh. Of the cinemas compared in London, a five-minute walk (from Covent Garden to Leicester Square) can increase the cost of a ticket by 39%.

As a family, there are sometimes considerable cost savings to be made, however these can differ drastically within the same location. Calculating the collective admission cost of two adults and two children, the family ticket at Vue Leicester Square will save you £6.40, whereas the Odeon Leicester Square ticket will save you £17 – the total cost difference between them is £23.16.

Shane Forster, UK Country Manager stated, “The cinema is no longer regarded as a cheap evening out. Whilst some variation in costs across the UK in costs is to be expected consumers don’t expect a 300% increase – this is just not comparative to the cost of living.

What’s even more concerning is that there is such a big variation within the same city and chain of cinema. The key is to check before you head out of the door, and see if there are any deals to be had by purchasing tickets beforehand online, bearing in mind booking fees and additional expense when you arrive, such as snacks, 3D viewings and seat upgrades.”

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Fancy a cheap trip to the cinema? Move to Cardiff Infographic