£4 Budget Cinema Ticket for Unwaged or Low Income

The one thing the team want you to know

We don’t want people to break the habit of coming to the cinema because they can’t afford it. It is widely proven that engagement with the arts alleviates anxiety, depression and stress, boosting feelings of wellbeing, and building communities. We introduced a £4 Budget ticket in a trial period in the last quarter of 2022. We sold 242 tickets and welcomed 53 people to the cinema for the first time with this price. Plymouth Live named PAC as one of Plymouth’s kindest businesses for this initiative. We’d love the chance to make it a permanent offer and develop it further.

Project description

PAC has introduced a Budget cinema ticket price of £4 for Unwaged and Low Income (Full price £9). Anybody can purchase these, we do not ask for proof of income. We understand that financially struggles are detrimental to dignity and self-confidence. We trust and respect our audience and are non-judgemental about anyone who purchases a ticket at this price.

We have trialled the Budget tickets, and the media attention, as well as the boost to ticket sales, proves that there is a need for them. Our social media posts about the new price are our most “liked” ever, with comments like “Thank you, this is a great initiative” from Cllr Jemima Laing and “I really appreciate the concession prices otherwise I just wouldn’t be able to see such a range of films” from customers.

People can no longer afford the things they used to enjoy, such as the occasional trip to the cinema. This is concerning, because it is widely proven that engagement with the arts alleviates anxiety, depression and stress, and provides a huge boost to mental health and wellbeing – as people explore new ideas, emotions, and briefly escape from their day to day difficulties. The best way to watch a film is to make it an event and see it on the big screen, with an audience. It provides an immersive, social experience without phones or other distractions that can’t be attained at home.

The cost of living crisis has caused an epidemic of loneliness, with a recent study from Eden Project Communities reporting that 1 in 8 people are enduring loneliness, viewing social and leisure activities as a luxury that they can no longer afford. At PAC, our staff and volunteers are always friendly, and visitors often comment that they regard the venue as a safe space to visit alone. There’ll always be someone to chat with, and a community to feel part of.

We sold 242 £4 tickets in the last quarter of 2022. We welcomed 53 new visitors using this ticket price. Each ticket is a £5 discount on the full price (£9). This cost PAC £1,210. £5000 would fund this scheme and allow us to grow it in the coming year.

Cinemas, especially independent cinemas, are struggling, with significant closures over the last few months. PAC is no exception: we are fighting hard to survive and need to increase audiences.

Funding needed £5000

What group or groups of people will the project be working with and why?

Here at Plymouth Arts Cinema we work hard to be accessible to all sorts of different groups, and embed ourselves into the community as much as possible. With this offer we will be working with culture lovers in Plymouth who may be unwaged or “working poor” and who fall through the gaps of many other initiatives to alleviate cost of living issues.
We work with a lot of different groups, and reduce ticket prices for these, but wanted to have a price point for people who might not necessarily fit into any of these groups but may be on a tight budget. We trust and respect our audience, and are non judgemental about anyone who wants to purchase a ticket at this price, so do not ask people to prove their income level.
What sets us apart from the multiplexes and other cinema chains is that they don’t engage with the community. We work with other arts organisations in Plymouth to screen local interest films and support local artists and filmmakers. We welcome speakers and local organisations (e.g. environmental) to introduce films, which builds a filmmaking ecology in the city.
Communities we engage with:
– Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council Women’s Network – video
– Fotonow + Plymouth Youth Justice Team project
– Relaxed screenings once a month. Working with Plymouth Autism Spectrum Service and Age UK. Tickets £4
– Bringing in Baby -Tickets £4

What areas will the project be working in?City wide

Plymouth as a whole, but we will target lower income areas in our online advertising.

What is the group or organisations track record? Track record:
Been delivering for many years

How new is the idea? Experimentation:
Established for a few months


Salaries & peoples time 0%

Project costs 0%

Event/hire/rent 0%

IT spend 0%

Core costs 100%

Capital 0%

Organisations involved

Plymouth Arts Cinema

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