Gaul lensers sue UGC over cheap pic pass

Indie exhibitors join suit

PARIS — UGC is in hot water again over its highly successful cheap cinema pass.

The French Directors and Producers Assn. (ARP) is taking the exhib before the Council of Competition in an attempt to stop the UGC carte illimitee, which allows moviegoers to see as many films as they want for about $14 a month. Independent exhibitors have joined the suit as well.

UGC main competitors Gaumont and Pathe have followed UGC with their own cheap passes in the Atlantic coastal city of Nantes, while Paris exhib MK2 has set plans for its own discount pass this month.

The new passes have irked just about everyone in the cinema business in France, from independent exhibitors to producers, who see the passes as a threat to the highly complex system of film financing, in which a percentage of each ticket is plowed back into the production of films.

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