Regal Entertainment Group is raising the price of movie tickets today at its theaters in Fresno and Visalia.
The biggest increase is for IMAX tickets at Edwards Fresno Stadium 22 at River Park. Adult general admission will rise to $17.50 from $15.75, with senior and children tickets increasing to $14 from $12.25. That means it would cost a family of four -- two adults and two children -- $63 to get in the door.
In addition, it will cost more to attend a movie shown in a digital 3-D theater. At Edwards, general admission to those theaters will cost $15 instead of $13.75.
These higher ticket prices are significant because most major theatrical releases -- including "Avatar," "Alice in Wonderland," and today's release of "How To Train Your Dragon" -- are in high-tech formats to enhance the viewing experience. The film industry plans to greatly increase the number of releases in IMAX and digital 3-D this year, and these formats could eventually become the norm.
Most tickets will cost 25 cents or 50 cents more.
General admission at the Edwards cinema will increase to $11 from $10.75. The matinee price is rising to $8 from $7.75, while child and senior tickets increase to $7.50 from $7.25.
At Manchester Signature 16 the increase on general admission tickets is 25 cents to $10.50. At UA Broadway Faire 10 tickets prices rise 50 cents to $10.50.
All ticket prices will go up 25 cents at the company's Visalia cinemas, Regal Sequoia Mall 12 and the Regal Visalia Stadium 10.
Dick Westerling, Regal Entertainment Group's senior vice president of marketing and advertising, didn't return telephone calls regarding the change.
Movie fans outside Edwards on Thursday afternoon had mixed feelings about the increase. Some said they will continue to go to the movies because it's their main source of entertainment and would only reconsider if a much larger increase is added. Others said they are going to be more selective.
"We try to go to as many kids movies as we can, but we may now have to start waiting until the movie comes out on DVD," says April Barnett, a Merced mother of a 3-year-old and 6-month-old.
Moviegoers upset by the decision have other options. Ticket prices will remain $3 at the UA Clovis Towne Center 8, a Regal theater complex that shows movies after they have been released for several weeks.
SR Entertainment Group, owners of the Sierra Vista Cinemas 16, has no plans to increase its ticket prices. General admission tickets at the Clovis theater complex will remain $10.25. Matinee tickets are $7.25 and senior and child tickets are $6.75.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at email@example.com or (559) 441-6355. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.