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