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Cost of seeing a movie here is on the rise Some Regals hike prices by 50 cents

Area moviegoers should be ready to shell out more at the box office starting this weekend.

Tickets at the Elmwood Regal in Buffalo jumped 50 cents for both 2-D and 3-D films. A sign for employees behind the counter of the cinema's ticket booth noted the increases were effective Friday.

Adult tickets for 3-D movies at four of five Regal locations were $13.50 Friday. At its Transit Road location, the same ticket was priced at $14.

Calls to Regal Entertainment Group's corporate offices were not returned.

AMC, the other national chain with a presence in Western New York, also raised ticket prices, though a spokesman would not say by how much.

The company, which operates the Maple Ridge 8 on Maple Road in Amherst, said its ticket prices are going up because of increasing costs for films presented in "new and emerging formats."

The company has "committed to hold the line as much as possible on our 2-D pricing," spokesman Justin Scott said in an e-mail.

The increase in demand for 3-D movies is one of a number of issues causing the increase, according to the editor of BoxOffice.com.

With the success of "Avatar," production companies are lining up to jump on the 3-D blockbuster train, though there aren't enough 3-D screens available, said Phil Contrino.

"Any industry that has that high of demand," Contrino said, "they're going to respond to it by basically trying to increase profit even more."

Patrons of independent theaters won't necessarily have to dig deeper into their wallets.

Jay Ruof, owner of the Hamburg Palace Theater, said he has no plans to raise ticket prices. The only reason that would need to happen is if there are upgrades to the theater, including accepting credit cards, he said.

Things could be far worse.

There are reports of tickets for 3-D films in New York and Boston selling for $20.

e-mail: abesecker@buffnews.com

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