Seniors at the Movies

(Photo: David Thompson)

Our local movie house in suburban London charges £11.90 for a regular ticket, and even seniors pay £8.90 (over $13).  But there is a special for seniors (ages 60+):  Every Tuesday they show a recent movie (e.g., Lincoln is showing on May 21) and charge only £3 ($4.60).  Moreover, you get “free tea, coffee and biscuits!” Such a deal—so how can they make money off this, or is it just altruism by the theater owners toward us old folks?

The movie costs no extra rental, and the only variable costs are the wages of the one or two workers who sell the tickets and make the eats.  The fixed costs—of the movie rental, the theater and heating/electricity, are irrelevant for the owner’s decision.  I should think that, if they can sell even 20 tickets, they will increase their profits.


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  1. Clint says:

    The price of the ticket means almost nothing to the theater owner, since they recieve almost no revenue from it.
    Here is an extreme example. The drive-in movie theater (yes they still exist down south) in my city it costs 5$ per person to see a brand new movie. Although buying a beer (yes they sell beer at the drive in) costs 6$ per bottle. My tab for seeing Iron Man 3 was 36$ in beer but 10$ in ticket sales. If you do the math, the owner would break even if they gave away the ticket for free but made the requirement that you had to buy 2 beers while watching a movie.

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