German gunman details, Cinime no more with Shaw, UNIC annual report, France cinema down, Gathr is godly Tugg, Gruvi’s dynamic tweets, UNITIA in Barcelona, AMC & Imax sign 25-screen deal, Stark & Greta apps, Barco Escpe in Egypt, Inox, Cinepolis, Vue and Ion new cinemas, London sex cinema shuts and Harklets.
Germany – The masked hostage taker who stormed the Kinopolis cinema in Viernheim last Thursday only had dummy weapons without live ammunitions. The 19-year old was armed with a rifle and pistol with blanks, as well as a fake hand grenades. 18 hostages, including children, were freed when the man was shot dead by police special forces. PNP (DE) – 25 July 2016
Singapore – Shaw cinemas is pulling the plug on the Cinime app/platform. Having been the Asian launching ground for the app linking the big screen to your smartphone, it never seems to have taken off (hardly anyone used it whenever I visited a Shaw screening). It is still advertised by Cineworld in the UK (but then Shaw too still has it on its website) and no word on what is happening with Wanda in China, but former Cinime senior management were at CineEurope handing out business cards for new ventures. In the iTunes stores it gets a rating of one star.
Spain (CineEurope) – UNIC released its full annual report for 2015 at CineEurope, “examining key trends during what was a record year for many across the 36 territories represented by the organisation.” For those that were not able to pick up on of the handsome paper versions, you can download for free the full report in English or in French.
France – Cinema attendance in France was down 11% during the European football tournament in 2012. No figures out for this year, but it looks like very much the same picture of empty cinema halls in the host country. La Fête du Cinéma, which kicks off 26 June and offers cinema tickets for just €4 should hopefully help attendance somewhat. Europe1 – 25 June 2016
USA – Fast Company profiles Gathr, “a startup that empowers filmmakers to connect religious films and other niche films to theatres.” So a bit like Tugg, only with more Jesus. Fast Company – 18 June 2016
Denmark – Gruvi claims a first in using Twitter’s API for Dynamic Tweets/Ads, specifically for 20th Century Fox’s “Independence Day Resurgence”. This enables Tweets to feature hyper-local showtime data and information. Yet another step of trying to create frictionless online transactions through social media. Gruvi Blog – 20 June 2016
Spain (CinemaEurope) – A particularly notable presence at this year’s CineEurope was Unita – of the United Theatre Integrators Association (slogan “Proud to Unify Theatre Integrators”), which welcomed Sound Associated (UK), Cine Project Italy (Italy) and Cine Project Polska (Poland) into its bosom. But really it seemed more like a positioning as counter balance to Ymagis/Cinema Next. Press Release/Party Invite – 21 June 2016
USA – AMC has singed a 25-cinema deal with Imax. “The theatres are expected to be installed in 2016 through 2019 at both existing and new–build AMC locations, with the majority of the IMAX at AMC theatres opening within the next two years. The cities include New York, Los Angeles and Houston as well as strategic smaller-tier markets that AMC and IMAX believe present further growth opportunities.” This means AMC will have 185 Imax screens in its circuit. No doubt this is part of a larger Imax-Wanda agreement. Seeking Alpha – 22 June 2016
Germany – The municipally run Bernkastel-Kuese cinemas the latest in Germany to have introduced access for sight and hearing impaired patrons with the Stark (like Tony) and Greta (like Garbo) apps. Volksfreund (DE) – 22 June 2016
Egypt – Barco Escape is coming to the Middle East and Africa, following a deal with Galaxy Festival City Cinemas, Egypt’s largest multiplex operator. “Star Trek: Beyond” will be the first film to open in the triptych-screen format on 27 July. Film Journal – 24 June 2016
India – Inox has opened a three-screen, 338-seat cinema in Brookefield Mall, Kundalahalli Village, Krishnarajapuran Hobli, Bengaluru. Inox now claims to have presence in 57 cities with 108 Multiplexes, 423 screens and total seating capacity of 109,272 seats across India. Press Release – 24 June 2016
UK – Vue has opened its latest multiplex, this one in Darlington. The nine-screen cinema is part of the GBP £30m Feethams Leisure complex development. The opening of the GBP £4.6 million means that Darlington residents don’t have to travel to Teesside to catch the latest blockbuster. Lots of F&B amenities judging from the photos. The Northern Echo – 24 June 2016
India – Cinepolis has opened an eight-screen multiplex in Pune including an Imax screen. “The state-of-art multiplex has an IMAX theatre, Dolby Atmos, RealD 3D technology. Total seating capacity of the multiplex is 1369 and will have 40 shows daily.” Kinepolis now operates 246 screens in 38 cities across India, including the country;s largest multiplex (15 screens) also in Pune. Business Standard – 23 June 2016
Japan – Ion Entertainment has opened its new multiplex in Ion Mall Imari New City. The seven-screen cinema on the second floor has seating of 1,010 for both films and screening event cinema. The bar uses 100% organic coffee and offers a broad range of food items. Ryutsuu (JP) – 25 June 2016
Pakistan – A decidedly strong-arm way to close a cinema, when the Royal Palm Super Cinema was shut last week. “A heavy police contingent had sealed the club and directed Super Cinema employees to vacate the venue. Some employees had staged a protest demonstration against the action, worrying that expensive equipment there was at police’s mercy.” First time a cinema is closed during the lucrative Eid season. Tribune – 26 June 2016
UK – Metro’s headline should ‘‘London’s last sex cinema’ closes after 18-month battle with neighbours’, but in truth it was little more than a video parlour and strip club in an outer borough of London. The proper sex cinemas in London’s central Soho district closed a long time ago to make room for artisanal coffee bars and post-production facilities. Metro – 26 June 2016
The most eye-catching animation at CineEurope was not from DreamWorks, Disney or even Pixar but from Harkness Screen. Powered by the booming voice of Brian Blessed, meet the Harklets.