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UK cinemas are offering free tickets to redheads amid punishing heatwave

As temperatures in the UK topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit this week, a cinema chain offered shelter from the sun for one of the “most vulnerable” communities.

Last week, Showcase Cinemas announced on its website and social media reports that redheads could get free tickets to a movie of their choice on Monday and Tuesday when temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Complimentary passes were limited to one per transaction and one per day for red-haired people.

The Instagram post promoted “free tickets for redheads on the hottest days ever,” while their website explained that “as redheads are often more vulnerable than most other rays of the sun, we offer them shelter from the sun in our fully air-conditioned cinema screens to view the sun for free.” to see the latest blockbuster.”

Sun exposure and dehydration are dangerous for everyone, but the genes that give you red hair, pale skin and freckles also increase your risk of developing skin cancer, a study by Britain’s Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute found, according to Reuters.

While some called the promotion offensive to the redhead community and said it unfairly singles out the group, others welcomed the company’s idea and gleefully tagged their partners in the post’s comments section to encourage them to book a movie.

Woman watching TV in the living room.
Sun exposure and dehydration are certainly dangerous for everyone, but having genes that give you red hair, pale skin, and freckles increases your risk of developing skin cancer, according to studies.

Getty Images

British authorities described the heatwave as a “national emergency” and parts of the nation were under an “extreme” heat warning for the first time. The same heatwave is fueling devastating forest fires in southern France, Spain, Italy and Portugal, driving tens of thousands of people from their homes. It has also been linked to hundreds of deaths.

That extreme temperatures are particularly shocking for Britain, where neither the people nor the infrastructure are prepared for such heat. It is estimated that only around 5% of UK homes have air conditioning.

On Monday, London’s Luton Airport was forced to halt flights to part of the runway melted. Hundreds of trains have been canceled and people have been warned to avoid public transport and stay hydrated and cool as much as possible.

Scientists say heat waves are becoming more frequent, more intense, and last longer.

“Climate change has everything to do with the extreme weather we are currently experiencing and it is man-made climate change, it’s not natural variation,” Kirsty McCabe, meteorologist at Britain’s Royal Meteorological Society, told CBS News. “Unless we take drastic action, we will continue to see these things happen.”

Roxana Saberi and Tucker Reals contributed coverage.

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