Great cinema should be for everyone

14th February 2019

You Choose Stamp

We are delighted to announce a new pricing structure is being rolled out for our regular film programme from March 2019. Pay What You Can asks people to make the choice about what you can afford to pay for your ticket with three options available - £4.50, £6.50 and £8.50.

‘We believe that great cinema should be for everyone. We want people to be able to choose Macrobert Arts Centre for their cinema experience and realise that price can be an important part of that choice. At the same time, as a registered charity we rely on our audience’s loyalty to be able to offer a varied, independent film programme alongside the latest blockbusters.’ (Julie Ellen, Artistic Director).

The Pay What You Can model was tested during the Central Scotland Documentary Festival, which is curated and presented by Macrobert Arts Centre, and received lots of positive feedback from Festival audiences, directors and distributors.

‘We are really proud to be rolling out Pay What You Can, inviting our audience to make a choice about what they can afford to pay for a great cinema experience. Those who can afford to pay more will be helping make sure that everyone is able to access great films, right here in Stirling.’ (Julie Ellen, Artistic Director).

The new pricing structure will take effect from Friday 1 March, will apply every day of the week and cover all films in the regular film. 

Other elements of our programme may also carry a You Choose: Pay What You Can model, with three different price point for you to choose from. 

Not sure which price band to choose? Here's a bit more info that might help...

How do I know what to pay?
We’re asking customers to choose the price that’s right for their circumstances. That might vary from person to person, but also from day to day. You might pay different rates depending on how far away the next pay day is, or based on how excited you are about the film, or depending on the time of day you come. If you’re coming with a family you might choose to pay different rates for the adults and children. You might just pick the mid-rate and pay that each time.  Whatever you choose – don’t worry. No-one’s judging.

But if I choose to pay more I couldn’t afford to come as frequently
Then pay less. We’d love as many people as possible to enjoy great film with us, as often as possible. We care far more about that, than about the specific amount you choose to pay each time you visit. When you can pay more, please do so, but when you can’t - come anyway!

What’s the point in my paying more?
As a registered charity, we invest all of the income we make back into creative provision for the people of Central Scotland. That includes great film and live performance, participatory activity, and all kinds of engagement across the region. Those who can pay more help us to do all this, as well as to keep the lowest band of ticket pricing really affordable.

Won’t people take advantage?
We hope not. We tested the Pay What You Can pricing structure throughout our Central Scotland Documentary Festival in October 2018, offering audiences the choice to pay £2, £5 or £8 for their tickets. The distribution of choice across the three ticket bands was 29% (£2), 39% (£5), and 32% (£8). Customers typically made thoughtfully considered choices about what they paid, and we received really positive feedback about the increased accessibility of film choices.

Are the lower prices concession rates? Do I qualify?
No, and yes. All price bands are open to absolutely everyone, and there’s no need to prove (or explain) why you chose your price band. No-one will ask about, or question, your choice. None of the rates are ‘concessions’ or ‘premiums’.

I think I could afford to pay more, I just don’t want to.
That’s okay. We all make different kinds of decision about what we choose to spend our money on. We want you to come to Macrobert, and see great films. If paying £4.50 is what enables you to do that, then do it. If – over time – you love it, then maybe pay more next time. Or become a Friend. Or make a donation. Pay whatever you can – the clue’s in the name!

Why don’t you just stick to ordinary pricing?
There are a couple of reasons. The main one is that we passionately believe that great cinema should be for everyone, and that no-one should be prohibited from attending for reasons of cost. We will always work as hard as we can to sustain our audiences, make our provision sustainable, and reach as many people as possible. Pay What You Can reflects this ethos, and (we hope) enables us to achieve all these goals. When we tested the idea at Central Scotland Documentary Festival, it reassured us that our audience would help us make this work. Pragmatically, we also know that cost is an important factor in shaping people’s decisions about where to go to the cinema, and we want to encourage as many people as possible to choose us.


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