Company memo says change made in reaction to minimum wage increase

Toronto (CUP)—As of Oct. 1, Cineplex theatres effectively raised ticket prices by 22 to 51 cents per ticket.

In a company memo that was circulated online, the reason given for the increase was to compete with the recent rise in minimum wage in Ontario from $11.25 to $11.40 per hour for adults and $10.55 to $10.70 for students.

Cineplex is especially vulnerable to this kind of increase, since 89 per cent of its 13,000 employees make minimum wage.

However, Cineplex spokesperson Sarah Van Lange also stated that minimum wage increases are not the only reasons for the rising prices. She explains that prices must remain competitive to supply operating costs, real estate, and locations of theatres in urban and rural areas.

Because of this new price surge, members of the industry are worried that patrons may choose to find a cheaper theatre, buy tickets but skip out on concessions, or not attend the movies at all.

In the past, the rise of ticket prices has resulted in a boost in the company’s revenue. In 2012, the rise of ticket prices helped the company double their profits at the box office.

In the Financial Post, RBC capital markets analyst Haran Posner stated that Cineplex would be able to increase revenue substantially if the company were to make a slight increase to ticket prices for new release films on weekends, where the company makes 70 per cent of their revenue.