Shropshire Star

Ticket price re-jig at Tenbury theatre

All card charges and box-office processing fees are off at a town's cinema and theatre – but a levy will be added for the upkeep of the venue.

The Regal in Tenbury Wells

After months of legal complications, The Regal in Tenbury Wells has announced it has scrapped the fees that it felt were unfairly penalising customers for choosing to pay a certain way.

But in order to keep the rejuvenated venue alive and thriving a small surcharge will be added to tickets for its upkeep, and bosses at The Regal wanted to be "transparent" about it, manager Adey Ramsel said.

He said: “We have decided to scrap all card and processing fees. No longer will there be any difference between paying by card or cash or online, by phone or in person.

"Any and all administration fees will be absorbed by us into our standard ticket prices. Since the Regal Trust took over in 2012, the standard ticket price was set and has not risen since.

"However five years on and our operational costs have steadily increased, as well as the requirement for us to look after The Regal and keep it to a standard where we can still attract live shows of a high calibre and give our audience the comfort and quality they expect and deserve from a much-loved cinema and theatre.

"Arts funding is dwindling by the year and The Regal has operated on local sponsorship and donations to keep afloat.

"Theatres and cinemas around the country are closing or falling into states of disrepair, and we are determined not to let this happen to The Regal.

"Many arts venues of a certain age around the country have introduced a 'restoration levy', which is a surcharge on every ticket sold which contributes to the upkeep and maintenance of the venue.

"After much debate we have decided to introduce our own restoration levy and be as upfront about it as possible.

"We will not hide the levy, nor try to disguise it. We wish to be completely transparent about what the levy is used on in visible upkeep and improvements to The Regal," he said.

“Any price increase is going to attract some criticism and to be honest we could have just announced that we were putting up our standard ticket price and left it at that.

"However, if we had done that then the majority of that price increase would go to the film studios. Our thinking is, if the local community are paying more they need to see that price difference spent here in Tenbury, hence the ‘restoration levy’ and our need to ‘add’ it to the cost of a ticket rather than throw it all in as one price," he added.

He told customers: "It is a surcharge for the sole purpose of improving your experience of the Regal. We will update you on what we intend to spend the amount raised on, be open about costs and are determined that you see improvements to the good.”