If you’re one of the many people who buy bundles of discounted Gold and Silver tickets to see movies at AMC theaters, you might think that you’re done paying for your passes when you hand over your cash at the store. In many cases, you’d be right, but regular AMC theatergoers in Southern California would be wise to bring some extra money to the cinema, as the nation’s second-largest theater chain is about to slap discount pass users with “location surcharges.”
The L.A. Times’ David Lazarus writes about AMC’s decision to start tacking on the $2 surcharge for Gold and Silver ticket users at the following SoCal theaters — AMC Burbank 16, AMC Burbank Town Center 6, AMC Burbank Town Center 8, AMC Century City 15 and AMC Santa Anita 16 — beginning in July.
For regular users of the discount passes, it’s a hit to the wallet and a kick in the gut.
“You buy these discount tickets so you can save money and keep going to their movies,” one customer tells Lazarus. “And then they do this?”
“They want me to pay twice for the same ticket,” adds another regular AMC customer. “That’s not right.”
A rep for AMC explains (but not really):
“We periodically evaluate and modify our pricing based on competition and market conditions, and the $2 surcharge for shows that begin at or after 4 p.m. is necessary at a handful of our L.A. locations.”
AMC contends that customers who use the passes will still be getting about 20% off the ticket price. Of course, at $13 for a ticket, even 20% off is still a lot of money.
So how can AMC do this? Simple… by including the following sentence in the Terms and Conditions of its discount ticket packages: “AMC reserves the right to change any surcharge fee without notice.”
So you give them $85 of your money for “10 tickets”, but you may have to hand over even more when you get there.
As Lazarus points out, at least one Regal theater in the area recently began tacking on a massive $6 location surcharge for customers trying to use discount passes there.
So just be warned that your discount pass may not be such a great discount after all, and always check in advance to see if the theater you’re going to is going to slap you in the face with a surcharge.