Movie theatres worldwide continue to struggle simultaneously with the ongoing effects of both COVID-19 and a lack of first run movies to show their anxious patrons. What, then, will the pandemic’s long-term impact be on a business that is more than a century old? Incredibly, the biggest issue facing the UK exhibition industry as we blindly turned the corner into 2020 was Brexit. Scary and pointless to some, justified and overdue to others, it was heralded as a great success by a few high profile, self-serving politicians but barely acknowledged by the vast majority of UK voters, exhausted after four years of endless debate, negotiation and re-imagined expectations. The exit date of January 31 came and went with little fanfare in the end. A bland, commemorative Brexit 50p coin seemed to hit just the right level of anticlimax at the time. Is that it? After all that?
The Big Picture
Cédric Lejeune is vice president of technology for ÉclairColor, part of the Ymagis Group. He is also the founder of Workflowers, a recently formed consulting company that offers training services to media companies including quality management, color management, human resources and environmental topics. I wanted to learn about his new dual role and, in particular, hear his thoughts on how the motion picture industry can be more environmentally responsible.
Cinema history was made earlier this year when the South Korean black-comedy thriller Parasite became the first subtitled film in 92 years to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Director Bong Joon-ho used his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, where the film also won awards, to champion subtitles and encouraged audiences not to be put off by foreign language films. He said once audiences “overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles” they will be introduced to so many amazing films. He added that we use only one language: “the cinema."
Cinema software management company Vista Cinema has released a Cinema Reopening Kit, with the aim of supporting cinemas as their doors begin to reopen. The kit includes a series of products, features and suggestions that exhibitors can utilize as they adapt their cinemas and resume business. The company says there is a strong emphasis on a self-serve, contactless experience, to keep both moviegoers and staff safe and comfortable, providing a blueprint into what the future of moviegoing could look like.
The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the body representing European cinema trade associations and operators, today issued a statement condemning Universal Studios' reported decision to stream movies the same day they are released to theatres. Here is the UNIC statement:
The COVID-19 crisis is hitting many markets and industries hard. The cinema market, and specifically theatre exhibition is experiencing a big impact. Being the home of large crowds, flocking together to enjoy a fun social experience, going to the movies was put in lockdown across the world. The impact of this is not to be underestimated, because typically cinema exhibition is close to a 24/7 activity. In this article, we’ll take a forward-looking stance and focus on things to consider when starting up projection booths and re-opening cinemas again.
The current pandemic has placed critical pressure on the global cinema community with the exhibition sector in most major markets being forced to shut down as governments seek to prevent the spread of the virus by limiting mass gatherings and social interactions. The London-based trade group Cinema Technology Community has offered steps to take to safely close movie theatres and what measures should be taken when reopening once the COVID-19 crisis passes.
John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners and Mitch Neuhauser, managing director of the trade show CinemaCon issued a joint memo to the industry today to announce that, “It is with great regret we are announcing the cancellation of CinemaCon 2020.”
Late last month, John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners and Mitch Neuhauser, managing director of the trade show CinemaCon issued a joint memo to the industry acknowledging that while the Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a serious concern, CinemaCon 2020 is still set to convene March 30 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Digital Cinema Report published that memo http://bit.ly/2uQJITK in its entirety. This week the two men issued another memo detailing the many precautions that are being taken to ensure the safety of everyone who attends the convention.
John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners and Mitch Neuhauser, managing director of the trade show CinemaCon have issued a joint memo to the industry offering an update regarding the impact the Coronavirus or COVID-19 is having on CinemaCon 2020, set to convene March 30 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. In doing so they made one thing clear: as of now, CinemaCon 2020 will go on as planned.