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Cinema prices continue to rise

High cinema prices in Switzerland may not be for everyone

(Keystone)

The price of cinema tickets in Switzerland has risen by 9.2 per cent over the past ten years, according to the Federal Statistics Office.

Wednesday’s news comes a week after the country’s price watchdog said he would be launching an investigation into why they were so high.

The Statistics Office said in its Glimpse of the Swiss cinema 2005 report that tickets now cost an average of SFr 14.37 ($11.03) compared with SFr13.16 a decade ago.

It said ticket prices in Switzerland had outstripped inflation over the same period. By comparison, a movie ticket costs around SFr8.91 in Germany.

"Ticket prices in Switzerland are the highest in Europe, and worldwide only Japan is more expensive," Umberto Tedeschi, one of the report’s authors, told swissinfo.

Foreign films

Last week price ombudsman Rudolf Strahm announced he would be investigating why it cost so much to go to the cinema in Switzerland. He said he would be particularly looking into the role played by distributors of foreign films.

Strahm said these distributors appeared to be charging Swiss cinemas more to rent out foreign films than in other European countries. He will decide in the autumn whether to take any action.

The price watchdog said, however, that it was difficult to assess how operating costs affected prices.

Responding to his comments, the Swiss Cinema and Film Rental Association (ProCinema) said last week that operating costs were to blame because Switzerland had a "different cost structure".

High prices

But Wednesday’s report revealed that high prices had failed to dim enthusiasm for the big screen.

It said more and more people were going to the cinema, owing to the wider variety and better quality of films on offer. It noted that more cinemas had been upgraded.

The Statistics Office pointed out that ticket prices had been rising steadily for 30 years. It said there were regional differences, with the French-speaking part of the country having the cheapest tickets.

The report also found that one-third of Swiss never went to the cinema and only 2.2 per cent went once a week. The most frequent cinema-goers are young people and those with a higher level of education.

swissinfo

Key facts

Average cinema ticket price in Switzerland: SFr14.37 (2005).
SFr8.91 for Germany (2003).
SFr8.97 France.
SFr9.04 Italy.
SFr10.22 Austria.
SFr10.91 Britain.
European Union: average SFr9.18.

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