York cinema prices are ‘madness’! Dad’s angry blast goes viral

The Vue multiplex at Clifton Moor, York. Photograph © Google Street View
4 Apr 2016 @ 5.06 pm
| Family, News

When York dad Dean McQuade bought this portion of nachos with cheese at Vue Cinema, it left him with a bad taste in his mouth.

Dean's picture of his portion of nachos
Dean’s picture of his portion of nachos
But instead of swallowing down his anger at the £5.50 price, he decided to take on the multiplex chain.

And his blast at the “madness” of the cost of taking his family to the cinema at Clifton Moor has gone viral – and even appeared on a national newspaper website.

In his Facebook post to Vue Cinemas, Dean wrote:

I’m no penny pincher & after being at work all week, when it gets to the weekend I want to do something with my kids.

But come on Vue, £5.50 for these, £5.50!!! There must be more than £5 profit in that!

Put that with the ticket prices a drink & some sweets for them you’re looking at £70. That means a man of 25 on national minimum wage has to graft 10 hrs to take 2 kids to the cinema for 1.5hrs on his day off. Madness.

Since he posted his complaint on Saturday afternoon (April 2) it has received more than 7,000 times and attracted more than 400 comments.

It even led to the story appearing in the Mail Online.

Cinemas charge premium prices

Dean and his family. Photograph: Dean McQuade
Dean and his family. His daughters are holding a picture of their baby son who they lost after he was born extremely prematurely. Photograph: Dean McQuade

Dean is married with three children aged six, five and six months. He told YorkMix said that he takes his family to the cinema to see most of the new children’s films. This time it was Kung Fu Panda 3.

He runs his own business, Crystal Clean Windows.

“I’ve recently taken on a member of staff he earns more than minimum wage but not a great deal more,” Dean said.

“He also has kids so was thinking how long he’d have to work to do what we did that’s why I posted.”

His post drew a response from Vue Cinemas, who wrote:

It is a generally well-reported fact that the majority of the money taken at the box office goes to the film maker/distributor; therefore in order to make cinemas a viable business all cinemas charge premium prices for the food and drinks sold.

The spokeswoman added: “Please note that you are able to bring your own food and drink into the cinema rather than purchasing from our confectionary stands. This is with the exception of hot food or alcohol.”

Dean wasn’t massively impressed. He said: “Vue’s response is probably a template that’s already set up for things like this.

“In their response they say people can bring there own food so if that helps others that’s good.”

‘Costs an absolute fortune’

The film that Dean and his children went to see – Kung Fu Panda 3
The film that Dean and his children went to see – Kung Fu Panda 3

Dean’s post attracted a lot of support from other cinemagoers who felt they were being ripped off…

I asked for a small Diet Coke and small popcorn the other night then got charged £9.90! Jesus!!!

– Jake Bullet

People would go so much more if it was affordable.

I spent a brief time living in South Korea… We visited the cinema on a regular basis. Never cost more than £20 our money for a family of 4 with hotdogs, popcorn, drinks etc

– Nikki Ellis Brown

It’s not as good but Reel cinema is miles cheaper. I look my lad last week for bvs 13 quid me and me boy 8 quid for a drink and pix of mix lol

– Dean Sally Croft

Vue cinemas – don’t you realise that if you didn’t charge extortionate prices for the sweets and drinks and charged the same prices as the supermarkets then most people would buy them from you rather than nipping to the local shop/supermarket to get them on the way to you?

– Karley Walker-Turner

We are a family of 5 and it costs an absolute fortune for us all to go together! Yes they do a kids club on a weekend morning but they are all the old films that the kids have seen already!

– Alison Taylor

Tell me about it I took my three boys to the cinema with my husband got a family ticket 2 kids and 2 adults and had to pay for the third child £35! That’s not including the food which came to £30! £65 to take my kids to the cinema.

– Nicola Burnett

Vue at Clifton Moor is a poor experience these days. Rip off food and drink and the seats are way past their best, really uncomfortable.

Whole place is a bit grubby and really needs a revamp. Can see this closing when the one up at Monks Cross opens.

– Mal Bulmer

12 thoughts on “York cinema prices are ‘madness’! Dad’s angry blast goes viral

  1. It isn’t a case of food is available around the corner but food and drink is so publisised that children will want it regardless of the cost same as the new Sugar cost and junk food promotion. Why promote unhealthy food at such extreme prices? If you are like me from the old days when it was ok to eat juck food as a treat it should not cost you through the nose to get it. Going to the pictures/cinema’s was always a treat never mind the extra’s. Stop ripping us off!!!!!!

  2. If you go to the Facebook Page of Cinem@ Multi-Venue Movie Screenings you will see listings of great movie shows in accessible, affordable venues throughout York . Many screenings have special ” family ticket ” deals – for example Disney Cinderella at Christmas was £8.50 for 2 adults and 3 children all-in ! Popcorn is £1.00 a tub . Come to the Bank Holiday “Cycle-In” Cinema on April 30th – fantastic community cinema screening of “Star Wars – The Force Awakens . All tickets £5 – details on facebook in the next few days . – Thanks – The Cinem@ Team .

  3. Can’t understand why anyone buys food there. Tesco and home bargains are round the corner and decent snacks cost literally a fraction of the price. Aside from the lack of parking, the one on blossom street in the old odeon building is far better value.

  4. I remember when it was warner bros and that was expensive to but at least you got a decent portion for your money

  5. Prices are appalling at cinemas, we always go to the local supermarket or shop to get snacks and drinks because I refuse to pay their prices. Wouldn’t they still make the same profits if they charged half the price from double the amount of customers because more people would go!!!

  6. Most cinemas and venues are the same, a total rip off. Something needs to be done about it.

  7. I used to work at a Vue cinema, and was informed that 40% of the ticket sales go to the cinema, while the other 60% goes to the distributer. The food doesn’t need to be that expensive, as proven by smaller independent cinemas. Also, if the staff were trained properly to offer the right deals, this should have only cost him £40 for the family all inclusive package they offer.

  8. As parents we must support the smaller, or more independent cinemas to make a stand against this. I go to Reel on Blossom St in York which is a fraction of the price. Kids don’t care where they see a movie, it’s about the being together and the film. I avoid Vue at all costs..I work too hard for my money!

  9. I recently visited the vue at Clifton moor
    And it’s a absolute disgrace how they price the sweets etc , a certain packet of
    Chocolate buttons priced at £3.99!!
    These can be purchased for 99p!!
    Almost everywhere, I know about MARGINS! But people will not pay it in principle once again corporate greed
    Prevails in the greedy world that is

  10. You are all very welcome to attend ‘The Ritz’ cinema in Thirsk where we show films 362 nights of the year at 7.30pm (occasionally we show additional matinees also). Adult tickets cost £5 per head, concessions are £4 and all entries are £4 on Monday evenings. The cinema is run by volunteers. This week we are showing “Hail! Caesar” – hope to see you here soon!

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