Peckhamplex: Rising costs push up ‘cheapest cinema’ ticket price

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Peckhamplex describes itself as “probably London’s cheapest cinema”

  • Author, Jess Warren
  • Role, BBC News
At a glance

  • Peckhamplex has been selling cinema tickets for £4.99 for 13 years
  • The award-winning venue has been hit by rising operating costs
  • Director Simone Brown said the cinema had “reluctantly” increased admission prices by £1

An award-winning south-east London cinema has “reluctantly” raised its prices for the first time in 13 years due to the rising costs of running it.

Peckhamplex, which describes itself as “probably London’s cheapest cinema”, was well-known for its basic ticket price – which remained at £4.99 no matter what day or time.

The Rye Lane institution increased this to £5.99 on Friday.

Director Simone Brown said operating costs had “risen very substantially” since 2010.

“It has always been our policy to pay our employees over the living wage,” Ms Brown said.

“Reluctantly therefore we are increasing our basic price by £1 to £5.99, which applies all day every day.

“This will help us to continue to provide a wide range of films at affordable prices.”

The six-screen independent cinema, which has been operating for more than 25 years, has been regularly recommended by Time Out London.

Earlier this year it hosted the UK premiere of rom-com Rye Lane, which is set in Peckham and neighbouring areas.

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Phil De Semlyen, Time Out’s global film editor, said south Londoners “swear by” Peckhamplex.

“It is a genuinely unique cinema: a high street indie multiplex where you can see the latest big movies for just over a fiver,” he told BBC London.

“It’s no frills and great value, but it’s also comfy, welcoming and the people who work there and run the place are hugely passionate about movies.

“It occupies a unique place in the city’s heart too, with locals-made-good like John Boyega and Rye Lane director Vivian Oparah among its regulars.”

Preston Benson, managing director of art hub Peckham Levels, described the cinema as an “integral part of Peckham’s cultural offering”.

“As their neighbour, we understand only too well how rising costs and the cost-of-living crisis has resulted in them having to make the difficult decision to increase their ticket prices,” he said.

Increased pressure on cinemas

The UK Cinema Association, which represents venues across the country, explained that cinemas had seen a “massive increase” in operating costs over the last 18 months.

Chief executive Phil Clapp said: “As buildings that need to be lit and heated or cooled throughout their hours of operation, and which also rely on sophisticated audio-visual equipment to entertain audiences, most venues have been hit particularly hard by the spike in energy prices, while at the same time as experiencing a range of other increased costs whether around other supplies or in staffing.

“It is sadly inevitable that some will have no option but to pass some of those increased costs on to customers if they are to remain viable.”

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