Cineplex adds $1.50 booking fee to movie tickets bought online or via app
Charge won't apply to tickets bought at box office or via loyalty program Scene+
Moviegoers could be paying a little extra to see a film at a Cineplex theatre this summer.
Canada's largest film exhibitor said it has introduced a $1.50 booking fee that applies to each ticket purchased through its mobile app and website.
The move comes as the company said it needs "to further invest and evolve our digital infrastructure."
However, not everyone will have to pay the new service charge.
Cineplex Inc. says purchases made in-person at the box office, ticket kiosks, or concession stands will not be subject to the fee, while members of the Scene Plus rewards program will pay a reduced $1 per ticket.
Subscribers to CineClub, the company's monthly subscription program, will have the fee waived entirely.
Service charges are a long-standing practice in the entertainment industry where concerts, live theatre and sporting events all add some form of a "convenience fee" to collect more revenue.
When Cineplex introduced online ticket sales years ago, it charged a similar processing fee for each ticket. Eventually it eliminated the charge around the same time it began encouraging moviegoers to buy tickets in advance instead of waiting in line at the box office.
More recently, Cineplex has dabbled in other upcharge experiments that included an extra $2 for "prime seats" at a few of its busier theatres. It also tacked on an extra $1 to reserve seats at showings of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017.
In the United States, most of the largest theatre chains already charge a fee for online ticket purchases.
Earlier this year U.S. chain AMC Theatres went a step further when it began testing "variable pricing" for tickets to the anticipated DC Comics movie The Batman. The new cost added around $1.50 US to each ticket in some cities.