April 28, 2023
HONG KONG – Long lines were seen outside Hong Kong’s cinemas as sales for Saturday’s Cinema Day opened on Thursday. Moviegoers will enjoy a fixed price of HK$30 ($3.82) per ticket for movies on Saturday as part of the citywide Happy Hong Kong campaign that aims to bring joy to the community and lift morale.
According to reports of local media, crowds of people had lined up to get tickets at cinemas before sales began at 11 am.
Hong Kong resident Erica Tam Yuet-fong, an office worker who tried to buy tickets for herself and her friends, said she started logging on to two cinema websites, namely the wmoov.com and vgv.com.hk, at around 1pm without any success
Ted, an employee at Movie Movie Pacific Place in Admiralty, said the peak time for ticket sales was 11 am through 2 pm, which coincided with the lunch break for those working. By 4 pm, the line for tickets had thinned out.
He said tickets for the morning and afternoon films on Saturday were almost sold out, as these are the most popular times. By 4 pm, the cinema had only a few walk-in customers.
The online ticket platforms of major movie theaters began crashing in the morning because of the rush of people trying to log on. Many residents said they could not log on to websites and notices showed that there were thousands of people waiting in line ahead of them.
Hong Kong resident Erica Tam Yuet-fong, an office worker who tried to buy tickets for herself and her friends, said she started logging on to two cinema websites, namely the wmoov.com and vgv.com.hk, at around 1pm without any success.
She expected that buying tickets online would give her an advantage as she could check out the ticketing situation for theaters in different regions through different sites at the same time.
“But I also didn’t expect to have to wait for hours to buy movie tickets online, which dampened my desire to participate,” Tam added.
Jessica Shi Jiayi, a student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University who eventually bought a ticket for Saturday, said she logged on to Emperor Cinemas website on her cellphone and computer at 11 am, but the website showed thousands of people ahead of her. Network problems forced her to log out twice.
She tried to log in again on her cellphone using the Emperor Cinemas app and bought the ticket after about 30 minutes.
When she bought a ticket at 11:32 am for the morning show, there were still many seats available, but when she checked in again at 3:30 pm, the show was nearly a sellout.
Each person is allowed to purchase up to four movie tickets for Cinema Day, which aims at encouraging residents to watch movies – a popular entertainment in pre-COVID days.
In addition to Cinema Day, three gourmet marketplaces will be held through June as part of the citywide campaign. The first will be held this weekend at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.
Other events in the campaign include the Harbour Chill Carnival, to be organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. The carnival, featuring music and performances, will take place at the Wan Chai harborfront area for five weekends from July 8 through Aug 6.