Swiss canton offers free movie tickets until December 24

Swiss canton offers free movie tickets until December 24

Attention cinema lovers: from November 15 until Christmas Eve, everyone who lives in or visits Canton Valais will be able to go to the pictures for free on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Officials in the canton said the measure is designed to help movie theatres recover after two years of pandemic restrictions.

Free movie tickets in Swiss canton of Valais

In a statement given to Le Matin, the Department of Health, Social Affairs and Culture in Valais announced that it would be offering free movie screenings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from November 15 until December 24. While movie-goers will still need to book a ticket for each screening, it will be completely gratis.

A large number of cinemas in the cities and ski resorts of the canton will take part. These are:

  • Cinema Plaza (Montey)
  • Casino and Corso cinemas (Martigny)
  • Cinema of Verbier (Val de Bagnes)
  • Cinemas L'Arlequin, Lux, Capitole and Les Cèdres (Sion)
  • Cinemas Le Bourg and Casino (Sierre)
  • Cinscreen (Crans-Montana)
  • Kino Astoria (Visp)
  • Kino Vernissage (Zermatt)
  • Kino Capitol (Brig)

All movie screenings during the mid-week are included, meaning people will be able to see the latest releases like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Black Adam, Smile and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris for free.

The measures are designed to support “cultural activities in the canton” by bringing people back to cinemas. Despite the end of all pandemic-related restrictions, the rise of streaming services and direct-to-stream movies has put significant pressure on cinemas, especially those in more rural areas like the mountains.

Buy one get one free offer for bookstores in Wallis

In addition to the free movie tickets, cantonal official Mathias Reynard announced that from November 15 to December 24, for every book customers buy in Valais, they will be offered a free book by a local author. “Customers will be able to choose the book of their choice from a selection of works made by booksellers,” he explained. The bookstores taking part are:

  • Bookstore In the shade of young girls in bloom (Montey)
  • Saint-Augustin Bookstore (Saint-Maurice)
  • Books and Me bookstore (Martigny)
  • Baobab Bookstore (Martigny)
  • Zalactorée bookstore (Martigny)
  • Corbac bookstore (Sion)
  • Bookstore La Liseuse (Sion)
  • Zap Visp
  • Zap Zermatt
  • Zap Brig

Finally, the canton announced that it would double the amount it spends on purchasing local art for local councils (Gemeinde), community centres and other administrative buildings. They argued the move will give a much-needed boost to local artists and entrepreneurs, who have struggled with the lack of tourism during COVID.

Free movie ticket scheme to be funded by leftover COVID budget

What’s more, authorities told Le Matin that the free tickets and books will not be funded through taxation, but by using what's left of the canton's COVID aid budget. They estimated that the total cost of the scheme will amount to 1 million francs.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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