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UNIVERSAL PICTURES ENDS EXPERIMENTAL HALF-PRICE TICKET POLICY

 UNIVERSAL PICTURES ENDS EXPERIMENTAL HALF-PRICE TICKET POLICY
 UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Half-Price Tuesdays" policy initiated by Universal Pictures last February is being withdrawn with great reluctance, despite its proven success with such national exhibition chains as Cineplex Odeon Corp. and Carmike Cinemas, it was announced today by Thomas P. Pollock, chairman of the Motion Picture Group of MCA Inc., and Fred Mound, president of Universal Pictures Distribution.
 "Although the policy was a success for Universal and our exhibition partners, it simply could not be sustained without the support of other distributors," said Pollock. "The inescapable fact is that people are not coming to movies during the midweek period. By refusing to join us in confronting this problem, other distributors are not only short- changing the public, they are short-changing their industry as well."
 Allen Karp, president of Cineplex Odeon Corp., credited the half- price policy for a dramatic increase in box office on Tuesdays. "During the month of March alone, Tuesday admissions for Universal releases in our theaters rose by an average 219 percent over non-participating theaters," said Karp. "Box office during the balance of the week was not affected -- thus demonstrating that the increase on Tuesdays was truly incremental."
 Karp further noted that a similar program in Canada has received wide support from theater owners, and has enjoyed overwhelming success in building midweek theater attendance.
 Michael Patrick, president of Carmike Cinemas, expressed regret that the experiment is ending. "In our circuit, the half-price Tuesdays gained a great deal of momentum in a very short time," said Patrick. "We hope that there will be broader support for this kind of program in the future, since there is certainly public demand for it."
 Pollack stated that Universal Pictures is prepared to offer its support to initiatives by other distributors and exhibitors designed to increase midweek box office. "When distributors and exhibitors cooperate on behalf of the public, the rewards can be immense," said Pollock.
 Instituted last February, the half-price ticket policy was made available for all Tuesday adult admissions for such first-run Universal releases as "Fried Green Tomatoes," "American Me," "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot" and "Beethoven."
 -0- 4/9/92
 /CONTACT: Alan Sutton of Universal Pictures, 818-777-4598/ CO: Universal Pictures ST: California IN: ENT SU:


DM-KJ -- LA025 -- 7016 04/09/92 18:40 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 9, 1992
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