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  • Writer's pictureOre Ige

3 ways to to keep cinema alive

Updated: May 24

Just over a week ago, I was scrolling down my timeline when I stumbled upon a headline that hit me like a brick: “Bristol’s Showcase Cinema De Lux is closing in a week!”. After the ringing in my ears stopped and I managed to get my breathing back under control, I sat there in shock for what felt like hours (but in reality was more like an intense 15 seconds)... but was the news really that surprising?



It’s no secret that Hollywood/the film industry has been struggling in recent years, especially since the pandemic trained people to wait for movies to come out online. That, plus the rising price of tickets, and the continuous flow of new streaming shows/movies has kept consumers out of cinemas and in their living rooms. So, is it over for the cinema industry? I wouldn’t roll the credits just yet, Big Bingey has a few ideas…

I don’t buy expensive wine because I don’t appreciate it enough to see the value in spending a lot of money on it, especially when supermarket-value wine is much cheaper & more accessible. However, you’d probably have more luck selling the fancy-schmancy stuff to a sommelier (wine professional) because they have a much deeper appreciation of wine & what goes into making it… see where I’m going with this? A cinema for cinephiles! But what does that mean, specifically?


Tighten up security! - Don’t wanna see people being allowed into a movie once it has started, vigilant staff making sure people aren't recording on their phones during the movie, rowdy viewers being removed (we’re here to WATCH not TALK).


Upgrade facilities: If we’re doing cinema, lets go all out! Multiple imax screens with Dolby audio, perhaps even some 4D screens so that we can be fully immersed in whatever we’re watching! But the upgrade should also apply to the general cleanliness & decor of the theatre. It should be an engaging experience from the second you step in till you leave.

I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t streaming one of the main reasons cinema is struggling?”. Yes, it is. But, as Gengis Khan (or some less memorable historical figure) once said, if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em! Firstly, it’s not even that big of a leap because Netflix already gives some of its originals a theatrical release anyway! Secondly, there are also already some similar subscription packages already in existence (Like AMC’s Stub A-Lists)!


However, they’re clearly not as widespread as cinemas would like, so, by bundling these subscription packages with existing streamers, cinemas can access a much bigger audience through streaming services’ marketing activity.


Imagine being able to book seats in your local cinema through the netflix app, immediately after watching the trailer (also on the netflix app). This idea wraps streaming and Hollywood in one easy location for the consumers and could potentially bring a lot more people back to the cinemas. Partnering with streamers would also mean special events (i.e. the Squid Game Challenge finale, live-comedy specials, Netflix sporting events) could all be viewed communally on a big screen. 

This option is slightly less glamorous, but it has real potential as both a pop-culture staple, and an asset to the film industry of tomorrow. 


From a pop-culture side, allowing consumers to rent out theatres means they can host events like a private movie night, or screening of a visual project (that doesn’t necessarily have to be a film). To turn things up a notch, cinemas could make an effort to furnish screens with decorations of a specific aesthetic (i.e. red lights & scary décor for a horror) to make them more appealing to content creators (of which there are so many! I say cinemas should try to take advantage of this!).


Regarding the film industry, renting out theatres means that upcoming talent could host their own screenings/premieres! The filmmakers could even make these events public, or cinemas themselves could host much smaller-scale, independent film festivals where established members of the film industry are invited to network and create opportunities for the next generation of filmmakers.


Imagine hearing one of the generation's biggest directors talk about how they had their first movie premiere in a local theatre? That’d drive other upcoming talent to those same places, and also, could encourage big film events to take place in more local, accessible venues (because creators remember them so fondly).

The options laid out above are all about prioritising the financial, creative and cultural success/longevity of success of the film industry. As the landscape of show business changes, cinemas simply must adapt to the modern landscape if they want to survive. While this means a lot of change, and a departure from decades of established film culture, it could also lead to some pretty exciting innovations in the industry.


Which of these options do you think would be most profitable, and which one would you prefer personally? Share your thoughts in the comments, and if you liked this blog, you should check out my blog on 3 Netflix tiers that would be worth paying (more) for!

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