A second cinema chain has ceased its practice of loaning out 3-D glasses for free, prompting mixed reactions from moviegoers who now have to either take along their own or pay to get a pair.
Last month, Shaw Theatres followed Cathay Cineplexes' lead and started selling its RealD 3D glasses at $2, instead of lending them to movie patrons. Cathay started this practice at its cinemas in March.
Although the glasses can be reused at subsequent 3-D movie screenings, moviegoers say there is a high chance they will end up with multiple pairs.
Senior project manager Ho Mui Keng, 39, said: "Obviously, I don't carry them with me every day and, many times, the decision to watch a movie is made on impulse due to my tight work schedule."
Ms Sarah Wan, 23, a public-relations executive, said it would be inconvenient. "It makes me wonder whether 3-D movie-ticket sales will drop because people don't want to purchase another pair," she said.
However, others favour the move.
"It is more hygienic, as you won't be using glasses previously worn by someone else," said undergraduate Gerrard Lai, 23.
Mr Terence Heng, vice-president of media at Shaw Organisation, said the decision to sell the 3-D glasses is part of efforts to provide a more "hygienic 3-D movie experience" and to reduce their carbon footprint.
"The washing of the glasses takes up a lot of water and energy to clean and dry," he said.
Mr Heng also noted that, as 3-D movies become more popular among movie patrons, many prefer to don their own personal pair of 3-D glasses.
Ticket prices at Shaw for 3-D shows will remain the same.
Cathay has marked down the price its 3-D show tickets by $1 and $2, depending on the timing of the screening. "In the long run, (patrons can) save money when they bring the glasses along for return visits," said a spokesman for Cathay Organisation.
Golden Village and FilmGarde do not plan to follow in their footsteps, for now. FilmGarde patrons are issued a brand-new pair of glasses, which they can take home with each 3-D movie-ticket purchase, while customers at Golden Village are loaned the glasses for free.
Those who wish to use their previously purchased 3-D glasses across cinemas will find it difficult, due to differing technologies and screen specifications.
Golden Village, for instance, uses two different 3-D systems: RealD - which is what Cathay and Shaw use - and MasterImage. Different 3-D glasses have to be used for the two systems.
A spokesman for FilmGarde said only glasses issued by the cinema are suitable at its premises.
This is a downer for film buff Desiree Lee, 36, a delegate sales manager. "It doesn't make sense to have three different pairs of glasses to watch movies at different cinemas," she said.
3-D ticket prices
Mon to Thu: $10
Fri to Sun (including eve of PH and PH): $14.50
*Prices include a free pair of 3-D glasses which you can take home
Mon to Thu:$11
Fri to Sun (including eve of PH and PH): $14
*Prices exclude 3-D glasses
Mon to Thu: $11
Fri to Sun (including eve of PH and PH):$14
*Prices include the loan of 3-D glasses
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