A NIGHT out for film lovers in York just got cheaper - and ‘price wars’ could be about to break out.

For silver screen fans in the city, the last few months have brought several changes.

First the Reel cinema on Blossom Street - in the much-loved listed building that was once home to the Odeon - closed down.

Then, a few months later, it reopened under the Everyman banner - the high-end cinema chain that sells itself on sofa seating, in-house restaurants and luxurious screens.

Earlier than that, in January 2017, Vue lost its legal fight over plans for a larger cinema in the long-awaited Community Stadium complex at nearby Monks Cross.

A year later, building work has begun at the site and the new Cineworld cinema should open in 2019.

Now another twist has emerged - with cut price tickets sparking what some think could become “cinema wars”.

Vue has slashed the price of its standard adult tickets for 2D films to just £4.99 - less than half the price if its competitors City Screen, where peak time adult ticket costs £12.20, and Everyman where a ‘premier’ adult ticket is £13.50.

The company said it is giving fans “the 21st century big screen experience for a 20th century price” - with tickets now costing the same as they did two decades ago.

The new ticket prices were launched on February 2, but will remain for the rest of 2018, a spokesman added, but a 75p booking fee does bump up the price of tickets bought online or over the phone.

York is one a 22 branches around the country - including Hull, Halifax and Doncaster - to get the new lower prices.

Sam Godley, general manager for Vue York, commented: “We’re excited to offer our guests the opportunity to enjoy the best in big screen entertainment for just £4.99 a ticket. There’s some fantastic films to see in 2018 and we look forward to welcoming people to enjoy them.”

York Press arts editor Charles Hutchinson said the move was a “pre-emptive strike”. Vue badly needed to make a move ahead of the rival Cineworld multiplex opening, as well a counter to the city-centre appeal of Everyman opening with its “full night-out experience” philosophy and City Screen’s well established Picturehouse branding. What’s more, he added, it could be the start of a “price war” between York’s competing cinemas.

But City Screen marketing manager Dave Taylor said he believes his city centre venue won’t be hit as hard by the new competition from a new out-of-town venue.

He said: “This is less likely to affect City Screen than it is to Vue, because of its proximity to the Cineworld which may be opening next year. In the city centre, we are pretty confident that we have a committed customer base, and a good offer in what we present.”