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11 June, 2005

Free list suspended

Whenever I read local cinema listings, I'm always mildly curious about the statement 'free list suspended' which seems to accompany every film shown at the mainstream cinemas in Lancaster and Morecambe.  I asked the box office staff once, and was merely (and rather rudely) told "it's not for you".

For once, my casual curiosity has lasted long enough to try a Google search and discover that UCI say that:

... the use of vouchers may be restricted in the first 3 weeks of the release of a specific film – this is what is referred to as 'Free List Suspended'.
I can't comment on multiplexes, but Lancaster's mainstream cinema, the Regal, has two screens and almost never schedules a new film for longer than a fortnight. Hence, the 'free list' is permanently suspended for everything but children's and pensioners' matinees of older films, so far as I'm aware – they might as well just say "we don't take vouchers".
Unless this is something imposed by distributors, I suppose it's just marketing: the use of multiplex-style terminology implies the Regal is playing in the big league.

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