University of Stirling cinema asks customers to pay just what they can afford

University of Stirling cinema asks customers to pay just what they can afford

More people can look forward to an affordable night at the cinema thanks to the Macrobert Arts Centre at the University of Stirling, which will introduce a pay-what-you-can pricing structure in March.

From March 1, customers can pay £4.50, £6.50 or £8.50 depending on what they can afford. Cinema staff have reassured the public that no one will question or ask for justification of the amount customers pay. It will apply to all movies showing, every day of the week.

Pricing guidance by the centre reads: “You might pay different rates depending on how far away the next pay day is, or based on how excited you are about the film, or depending on the time of day you come.

“If you’re coming with a family you might choose to pay different rates for the adults and children. You might just pick the mid-rate and pay that each time. Whatever you choose – don’t worry. No-one’s judging.”

It is hoped that visitors who can afford it will pay the higher price to subsidise those with less disposable income, meaning more locals can see the latest films.

The payment model was successfully tested during the Central Scotland Documentary Festival last October, when the centre received “really positive feedback” about their efforts to make cinema more accessible.

At that point, customers could pay £2, £5 or £8. The majority of people (39 per cent) chose to pay the middle rate, followed by the most expensive (32 per cent), and the fewest people paid the minimum amount (29 per cent).

Julie Ellen, artistic director on site, said: “We believe that great cinema should be for everyone.

“We want people to be able to choose Macrobert Arts Centre for their cinema experience and realise that price can be an important part of that choice. At the same time, as a registered charity we rely on our audience’s loyalty to be able to offer a varied, independent film programme alongside the latest blockbusters.”

The average cinema ticket price in the UK cost £7.22 last year, though this had dropped from £7.49 in 2017 – the first price drop in 17 years. Industry experts think this is because rising ticket prices have forced swathes of the country to rely on discounts like Meerkat Movies or unlimited membership cards.

Source: The Big Issue

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