Kat Jackson, Associate Director
The cinema industry has gone from sunny side up to battening down the hatches in just over a week. My colleagues and I attended the UK Cinema Conference recently and many of the sessions reiterated just how well box office was performing and how the next Bond could even lift this year into record territory.
Move on a week and cinemas are closing their screens temporarily, Bond is delayed until the Autumn and everything is looking a lot more uncomfortable. However, this is a resilient medium and once which has bounced back again and again. It offers a genuine experience with impact and scale that is unrivalled by other media. While the virus will of course impact public gatherings and make people want to stay away from large groups of people, the enduring appeal of the big screen is going to remain.
A major focus of the recent Conference was focused on extending this experience and encouraging both new generations into the cinema and tapping into the power of local communities. Having grown up with going to the movies on a regular basis, sometimes its easy to forget that that’s not necessarily everyone’s experience. As we learned while seated, appropriately, in the Picturehouse Central, children who experience the cinema early in their lives tend to be heavier cinema-goers in later life. There’s something about the wonder, the scale and immersion of going to see your first film (E.T., incidentally) which never really leaves you.
For local communities, sharing a film which speaks to their culture can act as additional local glue, giving people a place and a reason to share a joint experience and come together. We heard so many stories about how film festivals and community programmes can bond a local area. There are few other media which can accomplish this feat in such a unique environment – with no other distractions, enjoying the same views as the person next to you, and without phones being wafted over heads, constant second screening or checking social streams. It’s a moment of zen and complete focus in an always-on world.
We’re big fans of film here at FR Towers, and have worked in various guises for a big film studio, some cinema chains, as well as having promoted some of the best advertising to grace the silver screen (an integral part of the experience, for us). If you ever want to hear some of our top tens, take us on at a movie quote challenge, or attempt to out do us at a round of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, you can drop us a line any time.