Average ticket price rose 7.4% to £4.93 per ticket ($7.70) during the first half of 2010, mainly due to cinemagoers paying a 3D premium. This ticket price increase drove the UK exhibitor’s 4.1% rise in box office to £111.7 million in the 26 weeks to July 1. First-half admissions actually fell 3% to 22.7 million.

The UK exhibitor’s total revenue was up 3.8% at £162 million. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 5.2% at £24.4 million.

Cineworld has singled out Harry Potter – Deathly Hallows 1, the first 3D film in the franchise, as one of its second-half tentpoles. Announcing Cineworld’s first-half results, CEO Steve Weiner, has also talked up Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Trader in this autumn’s 3D releases. Cineworld expects to show 18 3D movies between July and December. Over 20% of Cineworld’s first-half admissions came from 3D releases, compared with 8% a year ago.

Now that the 3D novelty is wearing off, I’m starting to resent paying extra for a pair of dark glasses. Do you have to pay extra if a band climaxes a gig with fireworks? It’s just part of the show, isn’t it? And is it just me or are some 3D movie screenings awfully dark? I’ve been told that some cinemas turn down the 3D projectors to stop expensive bulbs from overheating and blowing.