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Cineplex Quietly Adds $1.50 Online Booking Fee for Movie Tickets

Cineplex Quietly Adds $1.50 Online Booking Fee for Movie Tickets

By Simon Hung

Cineplex movies will be slightly more expensive if you're used to buying tickets online, as the company has introduced a new online booking fee when purchasing through their website or mobile app.

The fee was first introduced as early as last week, after RedFlagDeals user Saturate noticed the additional charge when booking movie tickets on June 15. Cineplex has since acknowledged the fee publicly, telling The Canadian Press that the change was made "to further invest and evolve our digital infrastructure."

Cineplex's new online booking fee is upwards of $1.50 per ticket.

When ordering Cineplex tickets online, moviegoers will notice a new "Booking Fee" section at the bottom of the page that automatically charges a $1.50 non-refundable fee per ticket, while members of Cineplex's Scene+ loyalty program will be charged a reduced fee of $1.00 per ticket. The fee is mandatory for all tickets booked online, regardless of format or date.

The new practice is similar to Ticketmaster's wildly unpopular "convenience charge" that tacks on additional fees if you opt to order tickets online. However, Cineplex's approach is far less egregious and luckily, there are two ways to avoid the fees altogether.

  • Buy tickets in-person – Cineplex will not charge booking fees when purchasing tickets in-person at Cineplex box offices or self-serve kiosks
  • Get a CineClub membership – the fee will be waived entirely for members of Cineplex's CineClub movie subscription program, which costs $9.99 per month

This isn't the first time Cineplex has dabbled with ticket surcharges in recent years. Back in 2017, the company implemented a $1.00 reserved seating fee for highly-anticipated movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi in order to capitalize on its enormous hype, but the fees were ultimately scrapped after backlash from Canadian moviegoers.

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Source: Cineplex, with reports from The Canadian Press

39 Comments

    • So people now need to pay a fee to use buy tickets... what's next, seats will be divided by section (red, blue, white) and ticket prices will be based on seat location...

      Customer support at Cineplex is subpar anyways. Been a cineclub member since March and been to the cinema once w/ the kid. To date I have 1 available cineclub member ticket in the account
      Wrote them twice, tweeted twice... no response.
    • Report Post
    • yet another reason not to waste your time or money supporting these rip off theatres. Invest in a good big screen 4K DV surround sound setup at home to comfortably enjoy film on your own time and budget while letting these ancient theatres learn to compete or die off
    • Report Post
    • ^ I'm a CineClub member as well. Sometimes you do get some perks being a member. Last year, for the advance screening of MATRIX 4 when Keanu Reeves was at the Scotiabank Theatre for the Canadian premiere I was invited along with a guest for it. Also, they are only giving out the free tickets to the Obi-Wan Kenobi marathon screening to CineClub members. Hopefully, I'll be invited to that function as well on June 22.

      https://collider.com/obi-wan-kenobi-scr ... orah-chow/
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    • wow....booking fee? seriously?

      what's next? seat cleaning fee?
    • Report Post
    • Time to be disciplined and employ anti-ripoff tactics. Book and pay at the theatre on Tuesdays and sneak in your own snacks.
    • Report Post
    • werent you always supposed to do this???
    • Report Post
  • zod
    • I bought Thor tickets last week via the website, and I see a processing fee line at 0.00, but it I didn't have to pay a booking fee. Maybe a good thing I ordered early, or maybe it's because I paid with a gift card?

      hmm doesn't look like it. Why didn't they just increase the prices of the tickets if they needed to raise revenue. I loathe raising prices by tacking on BS surcharges.. sigh.



      A non-refundable online booking fee up to $1.50 plus tax per admission ticket will be added to online purchases made through cineplex.com or the Cineplex app, including purchases made with Scene+ point redemptions and/or certificates or vouchers. Online booking fee for Scene+ members is $1.00 per ticket and is waived for CineClub members.

      All Prices Plus Applicable Taxes. Admission pricing for unusual release patterns or special titles and for all Cineplex Events varies by performance. Actual price will be noted at checkout.

      *A No Passes restriction may apply to select movies and events. You cannot redeem passes but you may use a Gift Card, Night Out, or Admit One coupon for admission.

      Not all films may be available with captioning and described services. Please check showtime information for services available.
    • Report Post
    • LOL, you need to pay us an extra fee because we give you the honour of being allowed to buy tickets from us (& pay us!)
    • Report Post
    • Some American theatre chains are adding surcharges as well. I guess they see Ticketmaster gouging people with their fees so they feel like they might as well join in. This will also encourage people towards getting Cineclub.
    • Report Post
    • ^ I'm a CineClub member as well. Sometimes you do get some perks being a member. Last year, for the advance screening of MATRIX 4 when Keanu Reeves was at the Scotiabank Theatre for the Canadian premiere I was invited along with a guest for it. Also, they are only giving out the free tickets to the Obi-Wan Kenobi marathon screening to CineClub members. Hopefully, I'll be invited to that function as well on June 22.

      https://collider.com/obi-wan-kenobi-scr ... orah-chow/
      As per the Cineplex site, there's only 1 showing in Canada (Toronto Scotiabank) and its sold out.
      Time to be disciplined and employ anti-ripoff tactics. Book and pay at the theatre on Tuesdays and sneak in your own snacks.
      Coincidence there's a BULK BARN next to the Cineplex in South Short, QC? 😉
      yet another reason not to waste your time or money supporting these rip off theatres. Invest in a good big screen 4K DV surround sound setup at home to comfortably enjoy film on your own time and budget while letting these ancient theatres learn to compete or die off
      Normally I agree but being 2022 every news outlet and tom, dick and harry content creators out there spoil movies/shows for the sake of generating clicks without any restraint.
      Nearly impossible now to wait 45 days for a theatrical release to hit VOD w/o being spoiled.

      Well known news site spoiled Kenobi EP5 at 8am yesterday on their front page.

      The pandemic though was good for home theatre enthusiasts with the 'same day releases'. We gladly paid 30$ to watch at home.
      wow....booking fee? seriously?

      what's next? seat cleaning fee?
      or using the washroom.

      It is cleaver accounting by Cineplex. The fee is not part of the ticket sales which a % needs to be returned to the studios. They are pocketing the 1.5$ for each transaction and its just gravy for their books along w/ high concession prices.
      Why didn't they just increase the prices of the tickets if they needed to raise revenue. I loathe raising prices by tacking on BS surcharges.. sigh.
      The fee goes into Cineplex's pockets and not the Studios
    • Report Post
    • ^ I'm a CineClub member as well.
      Do you have any issues w/ the membership? The member tickets here are not adding up and trying to get a hold of Cineplex is like trying to reach the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
    • Report Post
    • Do you have any issues w/ the membership? The member tickets here are not adding up and trying to get a hold of Cineplex is like trying to reach the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
      I'll admit their guest services absolutely sucks and my advice is to be persistent and keep trying. I've had to phone, email and have tried live chat to reach them. Sooner or later you should get a reply.

      As per the Cineplex site, there's only 1 showing in Canada (Toronto Scotiabank) and its sold out.
      I suspect "sold out" really meant targeted customers and "select" CineClub members will be getting an email this week about the Obi-Wan tickets as mentioned in the article I linked. These type of events are FREE and seldom can you buy a ticket. Think about it, it's a Disney+ show we've already seen 5 episodes at home already. LOL
    • Report Post
    • I'll admit their guest services absolutely sucks and my advice is to be persistent and keep trying. I've had to phone, email and have tried live chat to reach them.\
      Where is the CHAT option? AM on the site now and can't find it
    • Report Post
    • Where is the CHAT option? AM on the site now and can't find it
      I've noticed the live CHAT doesn't show up all the time. I used it about 2 months ago.
    • Report Post
    • I bought Thor tickets last week via the website, and I see a processing fee line at 0.00, but it I didn't have to pay a booking fee. Maybe a good thing I ordered early, or maybe it's because I paid with a gift card?
      Just bought a ticket for Top Gun this afternoon using the mobile app and a gift card...processing fee = $0.00.
    • Report Post
    • Confirmed the Kenobi event is "an invite only event". Wondering why bothering listing it on the website..
    • Report Post
    • Normally I agree but being 2022 every news outlet and tom, dick and harry content creators out there spoil movies/shows for the sake of generating clicks without any restraint.
      Nearly impossible now to wait 45 days for a theatrical release to hit VOD w/o being spoiled.

      Well known news site spoiled Kenobi EP5 at 8am yesterday on their front page.

      The pandemic though was good for home theatre enthusiasts with the 'same day releases'. We gladly paid 30$ to watch at home.
      I regularly go 2-4 months if not longer waiting for 4K home releases and never run into any spoilers despite being on platforms like Reddit, Twitter and this entertainment forum almost every day. I watched popular high engagement releases like Everything Everywhere and No Way Home completely blind months after theatre release. It's never been an issue for me but I also don't follow any corny clickbaity news outlets or content creators who would do something like that, I also avoid release specific threads on here until I've watched it. It's not hard to avoid spoilers if you're just mindful of what you click and follow.
    • Report Post
    • Confirmed the Kenobi event is "an invite only event". Wondering why bothering listing it on the website..
      Still crossing my fingers that we score tickets for this Kenobi marathon screening. I'm old school and have always enjoyed STAR WARS movies at theatres with people camping out in line for tickets etc. It's about the camaraderie, the fans getting together for a fun time. Same reason we still go to ridiculous events like Comi-Con and Fan Expo. LOL My friends and myself will be quite disappointed if we don't get any tickets for this watch party.
    • Report Post
    • Interesting how this online "booking fee" keeps yo-yoing.

      I remember Cineplex charged a booking fee when online ticketing was new, then they got rid of it, and made a big point in their ads of no online fees to encourage people to book online.

      Then right before the pandemic, around 2019- early 2020, they introduced it again, but only for those screenings with reserved seats.

      Then during the pandemic, when all seats started to be reserved, they got rid of it again, and now they're reintroducing it.

      Like someone else mentioned, they closed the ticket counters at most of the cinemas, so it's an extra hassle to get someone to come open one, or wait for the popcorn counter to open up, if you don't want to use the machines outside.

      I see some other people complaining on social media that it was done in a stealth/sneaky manner, and immediately with no advance warning. At least with the scene points change, they sent an e-mail, and announced it 2 months in advance.

      They claim on social media that it's "to fund the expansion and improvements of our digital infrastructure and offerings", so it would be nice if they shared what those expansions and improvements will be to justify it according to their own reasoning, instead of the cash grab that it looks like with no improved services.

      At least, as opposed to a price hike, you can avoid it by buying the tickets in person.

      I think everyone should now try to buy the tickets in person, as much as possible, creating long lines in person, so they'll regret this poorly implemented obvious cash grab decision.
    • Report Post
    • Just found out about this today as well, very annoying and a bad move by Cineplex if they want more people going to the movies. Yes of course we all know how to pirate stuff easily at home, but...I want to support theaters and filmmakers not to mention all the people who work on them... Come on Cineplex this is dumb.

      I went today and redeemed a general admission coupon at the front counter instead of booking online.
    • Report Post
    • I never noticed an additional fee last weekend when i went to see Top Gun Maverick, perhaps it is just been stealthily and deceptively deployed since then.

      I always purchase the Costco Cineplex PASSES, then book the tickets up online on the APP.......can anyone confirm that this extra fee is or is not included when ordering this way?
    • Report Post
    • I never noticed an additional fee last weekend when i went to see Top Gun Maverick, perhaps it is just been stealthily and deceptively deployed since then.

      I always purchase the Costco Cineplex PASSES, then book the tickets up online on the APP.......can anyone confirm that this extra fee is or is not included when ordering this way?
      Just try out a test purchase and let us know.
    • Report Post
    • Thank god we have an alternative theatre chain, Landmark. Sucks though cause I enjoy watching IMAX and that's really only time I go watch movies. I watch everything else at home.
    • Report Post
    • Thank god we have an alternative theatre chain, Landmark. Sucks though cause I enjoy watching IMAX and that's really only time I go watch movies. I watch everything else at home.
      My brother and I will ONLY go to Landmark now. Went recently to Cineplex again (With the Hershey Promo), and the theater felt like a massive step down compared to our local Landmark. We love Landmark so much, we got their Landmark Extras instead. Already almost have a free ticket on that and only had the membership 2 months (We do get some snacks when we go...)
    • Report Post
    • Just booked 2 tickets for Top Gun tomorrow (we have not been to a movie theatre for 3+ years) and there's a $2.00 booking fee with Cineplex. It was supposed to be $3.00 so I thought I got a deal until I found this thread!
    • Report Post
    • Oh F Cineplex!

      The whole point to their online and app was so they could decrease the amount of frontline staff and making purchasing tickets easier for their customers. Now they want us to pay them extra after saving them staff and boosting ticket sales? F that. Fine, we'll go to the theatre and buy physical tickets upfront and if there's not enough people manning the booth then I guess they'll just see people leave and then have empty cinemas.

      I refuse to be gouged.
    • Report Post
    • I think everyone should now try to buy the tickets in person, as much as possible, creating long lines in person, so they'll regret this poorly implemented obvious cash grab decision.
      I hate this extra fee that's really a ticket price hike in disguise. But buying tickets in person typically mean terrible seats; I much prefer buying them online early so I can get good seats..

      Like someone else said though, I won't be surprised when they introduce tier pricing... And frankly it is a bit absurd that front and off center seats are the same price as great seats in the middle.

      However I'll just stop seeing movies in theater if it is just too expensive, I'm already not going as much as I used to as since getting a big TV and sound system, and with movies coming out on various platforms not long after being released, the incentives to pay a lot to see it early are low. I haven't even bothered buying movie tickets when it is anything other than seats in the middle.
    • Report Post
    • However I'll just stop seeing movies in theater if it is just too expensive, I'm already not going as much as I used to as since getting a big TV and sound system, and with movies coming out on various platforms not long after being released, the incentives to pay a lot to see it early are low. I haven't even bothered buying movie tickets when it is anything other than seats in the middle.
      Especially with Marvel movies now. Lol.... thanks to D+, it basically goes straight to streaming after it's theatrical release without any kind of cooling off period. Why pay when I can stream it in ~3mths?
    • Report Post
    • Well, Ticketmaster has been charging processing fee of $12 per ticket for long time.
      Why no one complains about it?

      I’m ok to to pay booking fee.
    • Report Post
    • Since COVID cinema finally open:
      1/ cost increased ..... before taxes were included in the price. Now they are added on.
      2/Value of Scene points markedly reduced. I used to save my points all year to help pay for opera series tickets. They only allowed a max of 5 out of 10 tickets to be covered by Scene points but it was still a big incentive. I've been attending for 12 years and encouraged another 7 people to join. Not sure how many will put up with this abuse.
      3/Cineplex only made all seats reserved as part of the deal before the original sale to Cineworld. That fell through with COVID.
      4/ CINEPLEX wanted customers online (more efficient); they cut ticket booths (cut costs) & NOW they want to abuse loyal Scene members with a booking fee??? Are they crazy?
      5/ On top of that people already paying more for VIP are being insulted with a booking fee.
      6/Seniors already on a fixed income are also being abused. Perhaps instead of a weekly movie we may change to once a month or change cinemas. Cineplex isn't the only game in town.
      I was SHOCKED to see this sudden unwarranted & unwanted additional add on cost.
      I will cease ALL online purchases until CINEPLEX wakes up to lost revenue & decreased attendance.
      Do they think their customers are morons?
    • Report Post
  • zod
    • Well, Ticketmaster has been charging processing fee of $12 per ticket for long time.
      Why no one complains about it?

      I’m ok to to pay booking fee.
      lo, what are you talking about, people have been complaining about TM fees for decades.. lol!

      I just loathe that they tried to add on a fee rather than just raise the price of the tickets. I fully understand companies like Cineplex got hit hard during the pandemic and bled money just to keep the lights on and not fold. But I always feel that companies that tack on surcharges rather than just raise their price.. it feels like a seedy to do things.
    • Report Post
    • Well, Ticketmaster has been charging processing fee of $12 per ticket for long time.
      Why no one complains about it?

      I’m ok to to pay booking fee.
      I can't wait until McDonald's online orders have a booking fee.
    • Report Post
    • Like someone else said though, I won't be surprised when they introduce tier pricing...
      I called it. Its going to happen. Not today, not tomorrow but its coming.
      It was supposed to be $3.00 so I thought I got a deal until I found this thread!
      TO be 100% honest, the 3$ service fee is enough to deter me from going to Cineplex. The alternative, Cinema Guzzo, doesn't do online sales so its more of a hassle. As a cinepass member (for now unless Cineplex fixes an on-going issue), members allegedly have the fee waived.
      Yes of course we all know how to pirate stuff easily at home, but...I want to support theaters
      During the pandemic we took advantage of all the "same day releases" and gladly paid the 25-30$ fee.
      Come on Cineplex this is dumb.
      Fail on Cineplex's part. The "fee" is just a cash grab to increase revenue however Cineplex should know the public hates the words "service fees". They should have just increased the cost of concessions by 50cents-1$ instead.
    • Report Post
    • I can't wait until McDonald's online orders have a booking fee.
      Drive-thru fee....
      Local McDonalds is a joke and everyone I know has had poor experiences. 30 minute waits, wrong orders etc
      Last time I lost it when I got home w/ the wrong order which upset the kids, I got a charge back from the Bank.
    • Report Post
    • Well, Ticketmaster has been charging processing fee of $12 per ticket for long time.
      Why no one complains about it?

      I’m ok to to pay booking fee.
      Cineplex owns their own theatres, presents the showings, and the website & app services are also operated by them.
      So why exactly do they have a processing/service fee?

      I would hardly compare that to Ticketmaster.
      And yes, we still complain about TM.
    • Report Post
    • Another reason to not go to theatres.
    • Report Post
    • Ugh... I guess i'm not surprised.
    • Report Post
    • Haven’t been to the movies since pre-covid… guess I’ll continue to stay away, at least from Cineplex. I HATE service fees more than price increases, and I don’t want garbage seats by going to theatre and buying there. Just raise prices across the board rather than this BS out of Ticketmaster playbook.
    • Report Post
    • So why exactly do they have a processing/service fee?
      A large % of movie tickets sales are returned to the studio so Cineplex barely makes anything off ticket sales alone.
      Example, the opening week of Top Gun, am guessing 85% of ticket revenue is sent to the Studio, 80% the following week etc..

      The majority of Cineplex's revenue comes from concessions, service fees and membership prices. This is why a small popcorn and small soda costs 12$
    • Report Post