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Japanese Movie Ticket Prices Rise for the First Time in 26 Years

Japanese Movie Ticket Prices Rise for the First Time in 26 Years

The price of a movie ticket in Japan is going up for the first time in over a quarter century.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, the general admission ticket price was raised on June 1st from 1,800 yen to 1,900 yen (about $17.50), the first increase in 26 years.

The multiplex chain Toho was the first to announce the increase in March, citing factors including building costs for new cinemas, the expense of installing upgraded technologies associated with IMAX and 4D, and anti-earthquake measures. Another major chain, Tokyu Recreation, said it would follow suit. However, two of the largest chains, Aeon and United, said they were not currently considering raising their prices.

The 1,800 yen ticket was settled on in 1993 as multiplexes began spreading throughout Japan. The overall increase in moviegoers—from a low of 119.6 million in 1996 to a high of 169.2 million in 2018—offset rising costs over that same period for theater chains, preventing the need to raise prices sooner.

Moreover, a complex system of discounts and other deals often results in the full ticket price rarely being paid, with the average ticket in 2008 costing around 1,200 yen, rising to around 1,300 yen in 2017.

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