• France's news in English

Premium cinema seats spark row over Égalité

Dan MacGuill · 15 Feb 2013, 12:50

Published: 15 Feb 2013 12:50 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In recent weeks The Pathé Wepler cinema in the 18th arrondissement of Paris has been offering film-lovers the chance to pay an extra €2 to kick back and enjoy the show in the comfort of a well-placed armchair in the centre of the cinema, thanks to its ‘Premium’ ticketing system.

The premium recliners are reportedly six centimetres wider than the normal seats.

Cinemas in the UK and the US have long operated a premium service but a local Socialist politician in Paris finds it unacceptable in France.

For Jean-Paul Huchon, the project is driven by a “principle of segregation".

Huchon, president of the regional council for  Île-de-France, vowed on Thursday that he would personally write to the management of the Gaumont-Pathé group, to express his “outrage” at what he considered an injustice, particularly at a time of economic crisis.

“Equality of access to culture is unique to France, and it works rather well,” he was quoted as saying in left-leaning daily Libération. Paris Communist Party politician Ian Brossat also took umbrage at the "scandalous" scheme accusing the company of introducing a "two-speed" cinema.

Story continues below…

Despite the opposition, the scheme is set to be introduced to multiplex cinemas in Paris and Caen in the near future.

For its part, Pathé explained the move by saying it is "responding to the requests of some of the customers". The company refutes the idea it is introducing a "first class" or "two-speed cinema", calling the option of premium seats a "diversification of offers".

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available