British Cinema Chain Offers Redheads Free Tickets During Heat Wave

Showcase Cinemas made the gesture amid the extreme heat wave in Europe that has already led to hundreds of deaths.
Britain experienced the hottest day on record with 104.4-degree temperatures Tuesday.
Britain experienced the hottest day on record with 104.4-degree temperatures Tuesday.
Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images

There’s no place like an air-conditioned movie theater on a hot summer day.

That’s precisely what Showcase Cinemas in the United Kingdom thought when the theater chain offered redheads free admission to escape the current heat wave, according to The Washington Post. The company publicized its unconventional promotion Friday on Instagram.

“Free tickets for redheads on the hottest days ever,” the caption read.

While certainly cheeky and unorthodox, the promotion couldn’t have come at a better time. Temperatures have soared to dangerous levels across Europe this week. Hundreds of people in France, Spain, Britain and Portugal have already died from heat-related causes.

Britain recorded its hottest day in history Tuesday with staggering temperatures up to 104.4 degrees Fahrenheit, according to CNBC. Firefighters already responded to several fires across London Tuesday, and the Met Office, the U.K.’s weather service, issued a red extreme heat warning and urged people to stay indoors.

While sun exposure and dehydration are certainly dangerous for everyone, studies have previously shown that people with fair skin and red hair are more at risk of developing skin cancer.

“Since redheads are often more vulnerable than most to the sun’s rays, we’re giving them shelter from the sun inside our fully air conditioned cinema screens,” the theater company told The Washington Post in a statement.

Inflation in Britain reached a 40-year high at 9.1% recently, which only sweetened the prospect of free movie tickets. While some decried the promotion as “offensive” on social media, others gleefully tagged their partners in the comment section of the post to nudge them into a movie date.

“I am constantly joking how I, as a ginger, cannot stand summer because of the heat, so when I saw Showcase was offering free tickets for redheads during the current heat wave I immediately shared it with my friends and boyfriend,” wrote Sarah Jackson, a social media influencer.

As Britain continues to weather the heat wave, runways at both London’s Luton Airport and RAF Brize Norton in Oxford were temporarily closed, as the sweltering tarmacs became too hot for safe arrivals and departures.

Experts have pointed to man-made climate change as the cause for the heat wave, and have called on officials to create better infrastructure to deal with it in the future. In the meantime, taking brief respite inside of a dark, air-conditioned auditorium ultimately appears to be a wise choice for anyone in the region — even if only redheads get in for free.

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