Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas hiked the average price of tickets by more than 40% since screens reopened as Covid-19 restrictions eased.
Cineworld has a cinema at the LNER Community Stadium, and Picturehouse runs City Screen off Coney Street.
The pricing revelation comes as Cineworld said the first six months of the year saw UK admissions hit just 2.6 million, down from 9.6 million in the same period in 2020, with box office sales down 61.9% to £21.8 million, despite the hike in ticket prices.
Announcing its results to the stock exchange, the company said the average ticket price rise “was driven by a mix of customer behaviour and timing of film releases”.
It added: “The decrease in admissions was due to the impact of the temporary closure of our cinemas for significant periods during the six months ended June 30 2021 and June 30 2020, as well as a lack of major film releases as distributors delayed the release of major titles due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Cineworld and the sector more widely has been one of the hardest hit in the economy, with studios delaying release dates or bringing out movies straight to streaming services.
Screens were one of the last places to reopen fully following Covid restrictions, with customers only allowed back, in reduced numbers, from May.
Cineworld also revealed the top performing movies of the year so far were Peter Rabbit 2, A Quiet Place Part II and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It grossing just £35.6 million.
That was significantly down on the £74.7 million made by the biggest films in the first half of 2020, with movie studios holding back major releases until more clarity on the pandemic was known.
Julie Palmer, partner at insolvency expert Begbies Traynor, said continued restrictions and a lack of willing on the part of cinemagoers means that cinemas are lagging behind in the economic recovery and will have to start thinking of different ways to recover.
She added: “Recently it has felt as if Cineworld, and others in the sector, were pinning their hopes too tightly to the release of summer blockbuster films but these are not for everyone.
“The pandemic has stalled the pipeline of many lower-budget films creating a dearth of range.”