Film enthusiasts have sought special promotions and discounts at Qatar's multiplexes, saying such initiatives would benefit cinema operators as well as viewers.
The country is currently home to 60-odd screens and several more are likely to open in the coming years. However, viewer numbers are not always high, especially on weekdays, it is learnt.
According to a report carried in Gulf Times a few months ago, a "huge rise is expected in the number of cinemas across Qatar by early-2018, with the country scheduled to see no fewer than 200 screens across nearly 23 locations".
The primary concern among many film buffs is the ticket price, which they feel is on the higher side. By offering promotions such as "buy one ticket, get one free" and lower rates on weekdays, the cinema operators will give many people the opportunity to catch their favourite stars on the big screen and also see a rise in footfall and business, they feel.
A large number of expatriates are unable to go to cinemas - at least on a regular basis - as they cannot afford to buy tickets for QR35 or more, according to some residents.
While the multiplexes generally see high footfall on weekends, the situation is quite different on weekdays, the residents point out, saying it's not just the busy schedule of people that is to blame for the relatively low occupancy levels. The ticket rates are also a factor, they claim.
Lower ticket rates on weekdays and special offers can help address this concern and, in turn, benefit both the operators and viewers, the residents argue.
"There are places where ticket prices vary on weekdays and weekends. They also differ depending on the show and time of the day (morning shows are usually the cheapest) as well as the scale of a film (blockbuster, low-budget, etc). Such measures can be tried out here as well. A flat ticket rate for all seven days and all shows can be a deterrent for some people," said a resident who visits a cinema "once in a while".
Film-goers feel reduced rates and special offers on weekdays will have a "big, positive impact" on the revenues of multiplexes as such initiatives will help attract bigger audiences.
One resident said it is difficult for many people to visit a multiplex "more than once in a month or even 45 days" at the prevailing rates. "If a family of four, such as mine, goes to see a film in a multiplex, we will end up paying QR175 or more if we buy food there," he said.
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