Cineplex is adding a $1.50 reservation fee to movie tickets purchased online or through the app
Moviegoers might pay a little extra to see a movie at a Cineplex theater this summer.
Canada’s largest film exhibitor said it introduced a $1.50 reservation fee that applies to every ticket purchased through its mobile app and website.
The move comes as the company said it needs to “invest more and scale our digital infrastructure.”
However, not everyone will have to pay the new service fee.
Cineplex Inc. says purchases made in person at the box office, ticket kiosks or concession stands will not be subject to the fee, while members of the Scene Plus rewards program will pay a $1 discount per ticket.
Subscribers to CineClub, the company’s monthly subscription program, will see the fee waived entirely.
Service fees are a long-standing practice in the entertainment industry where concerts, live theater and sporting events all add some form of “convenience fee” to collect more revenue.
When Cineplex launched online ticket sales years ago, it charged a similar processing fee for each ticket. Eventually, it eliminated fees around the same time it began encouraging moviegoers to purchase tickets in advance instead of waiting in line at the box office.
More recently, Cineplex embarked on other surcharge experiments that included a $2 surcharge for “premium seats” at a few of its busiest theaters. It also added an additional $1 to reserve seats at screenings of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017.
In the United States, most of the biggest cinema chains already charge a fee for buying tickets online.
Earlier this year, US chain AMC Theaters went a step further when it began testing “variable pricing” for tickets to the anticipated DC Comics movie. The Batman. The new cost added approximately US$1.50 to each ticket in some cities.