Fleeced is the word: Wokingham borough council’s plan for £33 cinema ticket … for 38-year-old film Grease


FILM FANS have said you’re the one we don’t want after a £33 cinema ticket went on sale.

Wokingham Borough Council has announced plans for a special outdoor screening of popular film Grease early next month and are hoping to attract more than 400 cinemagoers for the event which will include a live band and an American style diner.

But with cinema tickets costing up to £32.75, and Dinton’s standard car parking charges of £6 for four hours on top of it, there’s little summer loving for the plans to screen the 38-year-old film –especially as the film is also being screened at Wellington College for a cheaper £13.85.

Organisers admit that the showing, on Friday, August 5, is a trial designed to help pay for the maintenance of the Hurst park. If it’s popular, it will lead to more events.

Unlike the Wellington College screening, Dinton will provide entertainment before the film starts, courtesy of four-piece vintage band The Milkshakers.

A council spokesperson explained: “The event at Dinton is a full evening of entertainment for the family themed around the 1950s as opposed to just a cinema showing. We will have live music from a four piece vintage band, and dancing on the chequered dance floor before the screening of the film.

“Catering and other facilities will be open during the evening.

“Rather than relying on sponsorship and donations The Countryside Service are running this event on a ticket sale basis and paying for the upfront costs to ensure customers receive a high quality and enjoyable evening out in return. Any additional profit will be put back into the activities and facilities at Dinton to ensure we continue to maintain the facilities to the high standards that they already are and invest in improvements for the residents of the Borough to enjoy.”

However, with ticket prices costing up to £32.75 for a premium ticket, which includes deckchair hire, popcorn or a hot dog, or £25 for standard prices – and car parking fees to pay on top – not everyone is happy with the charging plans.

One person, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’ve seen Grease lots of times, but I didn’t think £33 is right.”

Another woman said that part of the experience of going to the cinema is to have “a comfortable seat indoors – it’s part of what you come for.”

She added: “I certainly wouldn’t pay much more than a tenner.”

A man, who also didn’t wish to be named, said: “It’s definitely not worth £33. I don’t get it. You don’t get the full cinematic experience [with outdoor cinema]. Other people do it for free in other parts of Berkshire.”

This is not the only showing of Grease in the region over the coming weeks.

Cult Screens will be at Wellington College for three nights in August. The Martian is shown on Thursday, August 11, Labyrinth is on Friday, August 12 and Grease will be seen on Saturday, August 13. Ticket prices cost from £13.85-£17.60 including a booking fee and seating options are deckchairs, cushions or beanbags.

Wokingham Open Air Cinema will be returning over the weekend of Friday, August 19 to Sunday, August, showing The Italian Job, Wall-E and The Princess Bride. Entry is free, although donations are welcomed.

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