Senior Cinema 2024: who can go to theatres for 2 euros?

Jun 10, 2024 | Current affairs, Featured, Interview, Portada, Post, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

People aged 65 and over can go to the cinema one day a week for just 2 euros thanks to the second edition of Cine Sénior, a government initiative to support the sector and facilitate access to culture.

Following the good results recorded in 2023, the second edition of Cine Sénior, a programme promoted by the Government to enable people aged 65 and over to go to the cinema one day a week at a reduced price of 2 euros, began on 30 April. Cine Sénior 2024 began with 420 exhibition venues throughout Spain, with a total of more than 3,000 screens. This edition will run until 31 December 2024.

TDB keeps you informed. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Senior Cinema 2024

What does the Cine Sénior programme consist of?
The programme offers a direct subsidy to cinema owners to cover part of the price of tickets purchased by people aged 65 and over. In this way, citizens in this age group can access the screening of any of the films programmed in the ordinary sessions of the beneficiary cinema for the price of 2 euros, one day a week (generally on Tuesdays).

With what objectives was Cine Sénior created?
The programme responds to the need to establish a public policy to encourage attendance at cinemas, in the context of changing audiovisual consumption habits and following the impact of the crisis caused in the sector by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time the initiative was devised, cinemas had lost 40% of their audience by 2019, and older people were taking the longest to return to cinema attendance in cinemas.

Faced with this situation, in May 2023 the Council of Ministers instructed the Ministry of Culture and Sport to develop a public aid programme to promote access to cinemas for people over 65 years of age. The objective was twofold: on the one hand, to contribute to the viability of cinemas, which play a crucial cultural, social and economic role for the film industry and the populations where they are located; on the other hand, to facilitate the right of older people to enjoy cultural diversity, regardless of their income level or place of residence, which in turn promotes active and healthy ageing.

The Ministry of Culture and Sport designed the programme in collaboration with the main associations of the film exhibition and distribution sectors, and the Council of Ministers on 13 June regulated the direct awarding of the subsidies.

The objectives of the measure are aligned with component 24 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan – revaluation of the cultural industry – and with the promotion of culture included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The subsidies are in addition to the direct aid to cinemas that the Ministry of Culture and Sport launched to alleviate the effects of the pandemic: in 2022, it allocated more than 10 million euros to 232 companies and entities and a total of 476 cinemas.

How was the first edition received?
The first edition ran from July to December 2023 and was well received by both cinemas and the target audience. Almost two thirds of the total number of private establishments, according to data from the Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA), were eligible to take part in the initiative.

Overall cinema attendance by all audiences increased on Tuesdays by almost 50% compared to Tuesdays in the same period last year – from 2.7 million spectators in 2022 to more than 4 million in 2023 – according to data from the Federation of Spanish Cinemas (FECE).

As for the attendance of people aged 65 and over, during the campaign, it represented an average of 25.5% of the total number of tickets sold (924,724 senior spectator tickets out of the 3,663,676 total tickets sold). On the best day of the campaign, the percentage of senior viewers reached 51% of the total number of tickets sold.

Who can benefit from Senior Cinema 2024 and how should they purchase tickets?
In general, the programme’s subsidies are aimed at natural or legal persons, including non-profit organisations, who own cinemas or cinema complexes in Spain. Screenings of ‘X’ rated films are excluded.

The reduced price, which cannot be combined with other discounts or bonuses, is intended exclusively for persons aged 65 or over, legally resident in Spain, who can prove their age by means of a document – ID card, passport, residence card or other equivalent documents. The potential beneficiaries are some 9.5 million people.

These spectators will be able to purchase tickets at the ticket offices of the cinemas or by electronic means. Proof of age must be provided when purchasing the ticket at the box office if that is the method of purchase, and in any case when entering the cinema.

What are the main new features of the second edition of Senior Cinema?
One of the improvements introduced in this year’s regulation is that, while in the first edition, tickets could only be purchased at cinema box offices, in 2024 they can also be purchased electronically.

Another significant change is the budget earmarked for the programme: the maximum allocation for funding grants this year is 12 million euros, 20% more than last year. In addition, ¤1.75 million has been set aside to cover possible needs for increased support as a result of higher-than-expected implementation.

Further information
Royal Decree 321/2024, of 26 March, regulating the direct granting of subsidies to cinemas to promote access to cinema for people aged 65 and over for the year 2024 (BOE),