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Canberra's cinema (price) war

Palace Electric duty manager, Rob Lees,24 of Campbell in one of the new cinemas that will open to the public tonight.

Palace Electric duty manager, Rob Lees,24 of Campbell in one of the new cinemas that will open to the public tonight. Photo: Melissa Adams

The cinematic competition in Canberra is set to become more intense than the Academy Awards ceremony this Australia Day long weekend.

Gone are the days of the Candy Bar teaming with mountains of buttery popcorn and syrupy soft drinks, from Thursday local movie lovers will be able to watch the latest blockbusters, international films or cheesy rom-coms with Australian cheese platters, French Champagne and triple chocolate sundaes topped with Chantilly cream.

The long awaited Palace Cinema in New Acton has opened for business and for Civic’s long standing Dendy Cinema, it means ticketing war – John Wayne style.

Healthy choice, extra virgin olive oil popcorn will be served to movie goers at Palace Electric in New Acton.

Healthy choice, extra virgin olive oil popcorn will be served to movie goers at Palace Electric in New Acton. Photo: Facebook/Palace Electric

Upon first glance at both entertainment venues websites, the two state-of-the-art complexes offer similar screenings and showing times.

Dendy, the home of the Canberra International Film Festival, boasts seven screens, two Premium Class cinemas and over 1100 seats meanwhile Palace Electric’s brand new $5 million fit out includes eight licensed theatres and a Prosecco bar which serves olive oil popcorn, gourmet choc tops and barista made coffee.

While Dendy’s Reel Mums program will see mothers with small children flocking back to the cinema in February, Palace Electric will on offer a similar program titled “Babes in Arms”.

Coinciding with its competitor's opening, Dendy in Canberra is also offering "mates rates this long weekend", and is discounting ticket prices from the normal $18 to $13 each for a 2D movie.

The first major event on Palace’s calendar will be hosting the Lavazza Italian Film Festival in early February and will, like Dendy, screen performances from international ballet and opera companies including the Royal Opera.

The Canberra Times has compared the basic costs involved for a couple wishing to see the Oscar nominated Silver Linings Playbook this Australia Day long weekend:

Dendy:

2 x adult tickets to Silver Linings Playbook (January 26, 6.30pm, 122 minutes) - $26 (normally $36)

Online booking fee - $1

Parking - $2

Cinema goers are encouraged to park at the Canberra Centre which is $2 flat fee until midnight.

Total - $29

Palace Electric:

2 x adult tickets to Silver Linings Playbook (January 26, 7.10pm, 122 minutes) - $37 ($27 for Palace Electric Movie Club members)

Online booking fee - $1

Parking - $3

Palace patrons will receive a 50 per cent discount on parking fees at the Nishi New Acton car park. According to the Palace Electric website Acton Park and London Circuit car parks are a five minute walk from the cinema and 30 designated bicycle spots are also available.

Total - $41

Both Dendy and Palace Electric have movie club memberships available offering discounts and special offers.

19 comments

  • Do either of these cinemas has a seniors price as well as cheap Tuesday like other capital cities $41 dollars for two to go to the movies is a bit rich.

    Commenter
    amro
    Date and time
    January 24, 2013, 7:44AM
    • Yep Dendy has cheap tues palace has cheap monday apparently.

      Commenter
      Lea1
      Date and time
      January 24, 2013, 9:15AM
  • Article is really misleading. Dendy tickets are on special for Australian Day (at Club Dendy rates) but normally $18 ea ($36 for 2) and the booking fee is $1 per ticket. Also parking in the Canberra Centre is only $2 flat on Sundays and Public Holidays. Other days it'll cost you $10 for three hours.

    Commenter
    Getitright
    Date and time
    January 24, 2013, 8:48AM
    • Agreed. Jenna you need to change the date?? This article really isn't fair if that is the case. The films at Palace are much better, the leg room is great, and it has a completely different atmosphere.

      Commenter
      Lea1
      Date and time
      January 24, 2013, 9:12AM
  • I'm keen to at least try Palace but at those prices I won't be going often. I'll drive out to Tuggers or watch Hoyts movies on Tuesday and pay half that.

    Commenter
    Nigel J
    Date and time
    January 24, 2013, 8:50AM
    • wow. This would be big news...in 1963. Cinema wars? Just shows how out of date Canberra really is...whats next? a woolies or coles at the Canberra Centre? I can see the headline now "Supermarkets battle for supremacy". This has been the norm in the rest of Australia since the 80's...

      Commenter
      The Chairman
      Date and time
      January 24, 2013, 8:59AM
      • Big enough for you to read it and take the time to comment.

        Commenter
        rusta
        Location
        the berra
        Date and time
        January 24, 2013, 10:22AM
    • Parking at Dendy is never as little as just $2. The last movie I saw there was The Hobbit and parking - on the car-park level adjacent to the cinema - was $10. I know The Hobbit is quite long but this has happened a couple of times before with other films.

      So if these two are going to have some sort of cinema rivalry, offering parking incentives to their customers would be a good place to start.

      Commenter
      yumq
      Location
      Reid
      Date and time
      January 24, 2013, 9:04AM
      • I do agree yumq but unfortunately, the car parks are privately owned... Or so I heard. Pretty hard for the cinemas to strike a deal with them if that's the case. Not sure they'd be keen on dropping prices for movie goers when they're likely to get the same people to pay full price anyway...

        Commenter
        rusta
        Location
        the berra
        Date and time
        January 24, 2013, 10:45AM
      • Or you could just walk the 50 metres and park for free?! Those massive carparks on London Cct are only pay during the day.

        Commenter
        Nigel P
        Date and time
        January 24, 2013, 3:01PM

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