Spanish government restores €2 cinema for seniors

Cinema / Credit: cinent

The Council of Ministers, Tuesday March 25, approved the royal decree regulating the second phase of the Senior Cinema program.

This initiative will enable 9.5 million individuals aged over 65 to attend cinemas on Tuesdays for a reduced price of €2.

A total of €12 million  will be allocated as direct subsidies to cinemas, an increase of two million from the previous year when the program was active from July to December.

During a press conference following the Council of Ministers meeting, the Minister of Culture, Ernest Urtasun, hailed the inaugural edition as a tremendous success, noting a 49 per cent surge in Tuesday cinema attendance compared to the prior year, with figures rising from 2.7 million to 4 million viewers.

Urtasun highlighted that Tuesday cinema attendance witnessed twice the growth compared to other days of the week.

According to data from the Cinema Exhibitors Federation (FECE), nearly one million senior viewers  benefited from the program in 2023, out of the targeted 9.5 million, representing 25.5 per cent of the total tickets sold.

A plan to benefit all

The minister emphasised that cinema, among all cultural sectors, suffered significantly during the pandemic and faced challenges in recovery, particularly due to the decline in audiences aged 65 and above. Thus, implementing this measure not only supports a crucial sector but also boosts the country’s economy.

A new feature this year is the availability of tickets both at cinema box offices and electronically.

Of the total budget, €11,750,000 are designated for grants, and €250,000  for financial compensation for collaborating entities. These expenses will be covered by the budget of the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA).

Once the call for applications opens, cinemas will have a seven-day window to apply for subsidies, with the program expected to roll out by late April or early May, according to government projections.

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Marina Lorente

A Spanish woman who has returned to her motherland after 6 years living in London. She is passionate about nature, animals and yoga.