This is not an article I ever wanted to write. As virtually the entire world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses everywhere have tried to find ways to survive. This is particularly true of the cinema business where nearly every movie theatre has been closed – properly, for the sake of public health – by government mandate. Hardest hit have been small, independent theatres and art house cinemas. Now I have to share the news that among them, the Bethel Cinema, my local movie theatre, is shutting its doors for good.
The Art-House America Campaign, a new relief fund established by initial donations from the Criterion Collection and Janus Films, has been launched to help the more than 150 independent movie theatres across the United States that have temporarily closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of that effort, a map is being created to track specific theatres that are closed.
The Network of Independent Canadian Exhibitors has submitted evidence to the nation’s Competition Bureau regarding their access to films in Canada. Across the country, independent cinemas are coming together to decry prohibitive practices, which the association sees as unfairly blocking audiences from the choice of where to see a movie. They single out Cineplex for the blame.
Sponsored by Regal Cinemas, Festival of Cinema NYC has opened its call for submissions. The festival, which says it is New York City’s fastest growing film festival, is looking for the best in independent film of all lengths and genres. That includes drama, comedy, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, documentary, experimental, LGBTQ, and animation.
On the heels of the successful openings of SMG Glendale in Southern California, and SMG Prosperity Village in Charlotte, North Carolina at the end of 2019, the exhibitor will be kicking off 2020 with major expansion across the country.
The Independent Cinema Alliance has announced that Saturday, January 18 will be the inaugural Independent Cinema Day. The goal of the holiday is to encourage moviegoers nationwide to support their local independent cinema. The ICA is a trade association dedicated to providing a public voice that promotes the importance of independent cinemas as a valuable and necessary part of a healthy and vibrant motion picture industry.
A new study reports that art house movie patrons greatly value their local theatres and show that both with their attendance and their money. For the sixth consecutive year, the Art House Convergence, a trade organization, partnered with Avenue ISR to learn more about art house audiences in the U.S
Established in the 1920s, the Lido Cinema in Auckland is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious cinemas. Originally opened as a single-screen art house cinema, the Lido expanded with a second 44-seat capacity theater known as The Lounge in 2005. The Lido recently decided to upgrade the aging 5.1 sound system in The Lounge.
UK cinema support company Indy Cinema Group is making its first appearance at CinemaCon this year where it will partnering with independent cinemas in Florida, Virginia and North Carolina. Formed in 2010, Indy offers services such as film booking negotiation, scheduling, marketing, and theatre management systems.
Qube Cinema has published a case study highlighting the deployment of Qube Wire by Tugg, a pioneer in developing the Cinema On Demand model bridging the gap between filmmakers and audiences. According to the company, Tugg has the ability to book titles into more than 85 percent of commercial movie theatre screens in the US, from the largest circuits to independent art houses. One noteworthy aspect of the Tugg platform is that it also provides access to venues that potentially wouldn’t ordinarily play a film, such as churches, museums and libraries.