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Bargain seats unchained for movie lovers

Palace Electric duty manager Rob Lees in one of the new cinemas.

Palace Electric duty manager Rob Lees in one of the new cinemas. Photo: Melissa Adams MLA

For devoted movie-goers in Canberra, it apparently pays to belong.

The Palace Electric cinema in New Acton's Nishi building opened on Thursday. The cinema chain reported that more than 1200 Canberrans had already joined its movie club.

"We had people waiting to try our Lavazza coffee at 9am," Palace Cinemas national marketing manager Stephanie Zeccola said of the plush eight-screen cinema's first day of screenings, which included Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and Les Misé´rables with Hugh Jackman.

''Canberrans have been so receptive to the cinema experience we are providing,'' Ms Zeccola said.

As Fairfax Media reported on Thursday, existing Canberra cinema operator Dendy has cut its ticket prices this weekend - just as its new competitor opens for business.

Responding to the report's comparison of online booking prices for screenings at the two cinemas this Saturday, Palace Cinema spokesman said its movie club offered discount ticket prices similar to the ''mates rates'' discount that Dendy Cinemas is offering over the Australia Day long weekend.

Palace Movie Club members, who pay an annual fee of $19, or $28 for two years, get $14.50 tickets for themselves and a guest, a $4 a ticket saving on the regular adult price.

Canberra Dendy publicity manager Jemma Johnson said tickets over the long weekend had been discounted to the Club Dendy membership rate, with adults charged $13 for 2D screenings.

Adult tickets for 2D movies at Dendy usually started at $18.

Ms Johnson said an annual Club Dendy membership could be purchased this weekend for an extra $5.

"While everyone will gain the Club Dendy pricing this weekend, you will only become a member if you pay $5. The regular rate for adults to become a member for one year is $18," she said.

Club memberships at both cinemas include exclusive preview screenings and other discounts.

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