Lengthy delays while booking tickets via Vue cinema’s website have prompted customers to complain via social media.
Many decried being put in a “virtual queue” when trying to get tickets for a film at one of the firm’s 89 UK venues.
Others said that even when they reached the front of the queue, attempts to book tickets failed.
Vue said the queuing system helped manage the “huge demand” for tickets it currently faced.
In a statement, Vue said: “The website is not crashing.”
‘A few minutes only’
Vue said the excess demand had been brought about by the start of UK school holidays and the opening of several popular films.
July saw the openings of Incredibles 2, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and Hotel Transylvania 3, it said, all of which were attracting large audiences.
At times of high demand, it said it “put in place a queuing system during peak hours to help customers have a more seamless experience and to manage the website performance”.
Waiting times were “typically a few minutes only”, Vue told the BBC. It added that there was a similar queuing system in operation through its telephone booking system.
Vue said the technology it had chosen to help manage customer demand was widely used in the entertainment and ticketing industry.
Complaints about the queuing system have been posted on Twitter and other social networks since 29 July. Many people have posted screenshots of the screen they saw when trying and commented on how many people were ahead of them in the queue.
Some faced waiting times of 25 minutes or more. Many expressed surprise that they had to wait to use a website and book tickets.
Messages posted to Twitter suggest the delay made many people abandon their attempt to buy tickets.