Retired teacher Lesley Garrick was hit with a parking fine after visiting a restaurant having watched a film at Cineworld Chesterfield – unwittingly overstaying the Alma Leisure Park car park’s five-hour limit.
Now the 67-year-old is speaking out in a bid to stop others being caught.
She said: “It’s my fault, I know it’s my fault, but I want to warn other people not to fall in this same trap.
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“My friend and I went to see Little Women and both parked in the car park.
“Afterwards we went for some refreshments and a chat, then came out and went home.
“Then we both got a parking ticket, saying we were longer than five hours.”
Ms Garrick, who lives in Chesterfield town centre, says the parking charge notice was for £100, or £60 if paid within a certain time – but would massively rise if not paid.
She said: “We’ve both had to pay £60. There’s probably a lot of people this has happened to. It’s not very nice.
While Ms Garrick admits there are plenty of signs around the car park, she wants to make sure no-one else gets caught – particularly film fans who may watch more than one movie in a visit.
She said: “Sometimes I have been to two films back-to-back.
“It’s quite easy that someone could go and see a film and get some food and it’s gone five hours.”
A Cineworld spokesman confirmed the cinema chain could assist customers planning to stay more than five hours.
He said: “There is a five-hour limit for all customers.”
However, he said “it can be extended” if customers are likely to be in the cinema for longer, such as watching two films back-to-back.
He said: “When you go to the cinema, approach a member of staff and explain the situation and that you would like to extend the car parking and they will be able to help.”
HX Car Park Management, which operates the car park, has been approached for comment.