April 25, 2019 | 56° F

Students launch petition demanding Rutgers Cinema price decrease

Photo by Marielle Sumergido |

An undergraduate student launched an online petition urging the Rutgers Cinema to decrease the price of movie tickets, which were raised from $5.50 to $7.00 over the summer.

After the Rutgers Cinema on Livingston campus hiked the price of tickets by more than 25 percent, one Rutgers undergraduate began rallying students around a common cause: restore the original cost of theater tickets. 

The movie theater raised the price from $5.50 to $7.00 on August 18. In the weeks leading up to the change, Emmett Lake circulated a petition urging the University to reconsider the decision.

Lake, author of the Change.org petition, took action after noticing the cinema raised costs in the middle of the summer. He believes it occurred during the summer so the student body would not notice.

This maneuver is a “shady business practice that cannot be ignored like the cinema wanted,” the School of Arts and Sciences junior said.

Lake and others posted to several class pages on Facebook to rally support for the petition. The petition as of Sept. 6 had 918 signatures. Lake was told by Rutgers Cinema that prices were rising to improve revenue. 

The new price remains a significant discount, almost 50 percent off of other local movie theaters, Miranda said. The tickets cost $9.50 for the general public.

Aamina Ali, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said the cinema currently has Groupons for the public to make the cost cheaper than the student price.

”The last thing students should be facing is increased movie ticket prices," she said.

Discussions in the threads suggested the price rose with inflation, but Lake said the increase of $1.50 is a 27 percent hike.

“(The change) far exceeds inflation, when in reality the tickets should have gone up by cents,” Lake said.“If in three years the price increases by $1.50, who is to stop it from reaching the $12.50 you pay at chain theaters?”

Lake said he worried that students may discount the issue by arguing that combatting rising tuition rates should be a top priority.

“I think if we can make progress on the price increase of $1.50, we can start focusing on the bigger issues,” Lake said.

Phani Paladugu, a School of Engineering junior, mirrored this sentiment, saying a reduction in ticket prices to the original cost would motivate students to tackle bigger issues at the school. 

"A strong student body that speaks out can overshadow the few administrators on top who are trying to take more away from us," he said. "I hate how Rutgers keeps trying to pocket money from students in every way possible … First the 1.7 percent tuition increase, now they’re going to make movies more expensive?”

Bushra Hasan is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in cell biology and neuroscience. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @Hasanabanana for more.

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