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Reminder: Curtain closing on cheaper French cinema tickets

Going to the cinema remains a hugely popular activity in France, and there are numerous ways to save money on tickets

Independent cinemas are often cheaper than chains Pic: Elena Dijour / Shutterstock

Going to watch a film can be an expensive night out these days – and that is before the popcorn and other extras. 

Fortunately, there are certain times in the year when you can catch the latest releases at smaller prices. 

One of these is the Fête du Cinéma, which runs from July 2 to 5. 

Over four days, from Sunday to Wednesday, every cinema will have the same ticket price: just €5. 

That is €1 more than in previous years as cinemas deal with rising costs, not least to electricity prices, but it is still less than the average ticket (€7.50) and much less than typical tickets in most large cinema chains. 

Cinemas previously lowered all their tickets to €5 during the Printemps du Cinéma, which took place between March 19 and 21. 

Both festivals occur annually, as does the Festival cinéma Télérama

Every January, you can catch the best films from the previous years – this year, 16 films were screened in 450 art-house cinemas for €4. 

There are also local festivals to be found in certain areas, such as Ciné Cool in the Grand Est region (tickets at €4.50 in participating cinemas, usually in August). 

There are also deals to be had outside of these specific periods. 

Cinemas often offer discounts for students and those under the age of 26 or over 65, and they might lower prices on certain days of the week or at certain times of day. 

At UGC cinemas, you can save around €5 by choosing a morning screening. 

Another discount offered by large chains, but also some independent cinemas, is when you pay for multiple tickets at once. 

Pathé, for example, offers five screenings for €44, or €8.80 per film. 

The card is valid for three months and in any of the group’s cinemas. 

Dedicated cinephiles could save money with an unlimited subscription – at UGC, this costs €21.90 per month. 

Ultimately, one of the most reliable ways to save money on cinema tickets is to favour independent cinemas, which are numerous in France. 

There are 2,000 cinemas nationwide, more than double than in the UK, for example. 

People in France go to the cinema more often than any other European country, too. 

Around 19 million tickets were sold in April, the first time since cinemas reopened that audience numbers have surpassed their pre-Covid levels.

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