Arnprior Theatre owner boosts prices to make up for minimum wage hike

Businesses in Ontario say they are already adjusting to the new, much higher minimum wage. It kicked in January 1st.  And its impact is already being felt at a movie theatre in Arnprior, which boosted prices to make up for higher wages. Ontario’s minimum wage rose yesterday from $11.60 an hour to $14. 

January 1st, 2019, it goes up to $15 an hour.

It's not a big boost in the ticket price at the O'Brien Theatre in Arnprior.

It works out to a dollar more for each movie goer. The owner of the theatre says it's the only way to stay afloat and he's hoping folks will understand.

It seems the cost of training a Jedi Master just went up and Arnprior theatre owner Kevin Marshall will need more than The Force with him to make ends meet.

“We have to put up our prices to meet the minimum wage,” Marshall said, in between selling tickets to Star Wars and Ferdinand at his Arnprior movie theatre, “The twenty percent increase my employees are getting vs. the ten percent I’m increasing prices, it's pretty fair.”

Marshall boosted the admission price by a dollar today, after the province's new minimum wage hike kicked in. 

“It's so inexpensive anyway,” says movie goer Barb Ham, “that it doesn’t make a difference at all.”

Movie goers and more than 200 posts on the theatre's Facebook page were pretty positive about the increase.

“He runs a great show, so it’s not a big deal,” says Doug Archibald.

Marshall says there may be more increases to come as costs trickle down to small businesses like his but he supports in the increase in minimum wage.

“In the long run I think it will be better for the economy.  I do think people will have more disposable income so more people will come out to the theatre.”

Across the street at the Gallery Gift Shop, owner Tara Pocket isn't so convinced the boost in minimum wage is a good thing.

“We're not going to hire anyone because it costs too much,” says Pocket, “It's cheaper for me to work than for me to employ someone.”

For those already employed making minimum wage, any increase is welcome news.

Mallory Brumm is employed at an Arnprior store called a Dash of Fab, “We don't get to save very much to save up for tuition, so nice to have a little extra money to save up.”

“I think it's going to be good for me,” says Kaylei Welsford, “I don't pay for my own stuff so having a bit of extra money is a good thing in my opinion.”

Those employees say the increase will have a significant impact on their lives.

Many restaurants CTV Ottawa spoke to in Ottawa say it will impact their lives, too.  They estimate it will be about a $90,000 hit and they're already planning on raises prices to make up for that loss.