TWIC 2021: Theresa English – Principal, TK Architects

By | September 30, 2021 3:55 pm PDT

This post is part of CJ’s Top Women In Global Cinema 2021 – Redux.

How have your role, position and responsibilities changed since you were first nominated for Top Women In Cinema?

Our practice has always been built on relationships, and maintaining those has been a focus during this last year. We’ve also been expanding our marketing efforts and sharing our concepts more publicly. And we’ve celebrated our 40th Anniversary as a firm! We are looking forward to construction, design, and renovation restarting with the cinemas reopening and new releases hitting the screens.

How did COVID affect you and your business personally?

As a firm focused on cinema, entertainment and food & beverage (F&B), three of the hardest hit industries by closures, the last 15 months have been exceptionally challenging for our business – we’ve hung on but it has been rough. Personally, I miss seeing clients and industry friends, the excitement of projects opening. I had limited contact with friends and family so that made it long and lonely.

How did your role, position and responsibilities change (if at all) during the pandemic? Can you tell us a little bit about what your days were like and what you were doing over the past year?

I was fortunate to only be working from home for two months. We were able to collaborate while remote but not nearly as organically as when in the office. I also shifted from more project focused to more marketing focused.

Do you think COVID will change the cinema business? If so, how?

I hope the good cleaning practices remain. I think trends we were seeing prior to the pandemic about smaller facilities will continue, along with repurposing of oversized facilities. I also think the trends for private cinema will remain along with new potential openings for cinema and entertainment taking over vacant retail spaces.

How do you believe the cinema industry can recover once audiences are able to visit movie theatres again?

The release schedule is key and in the US the release of the Shuttered Venues Operating Grant (SVOG) fund is also really important. Keeping the release stream steady but not too jammed is key to allowing patrons to see as many movies as possible, particularly with the shortened windows. Finding additional revenue streams less dependent on studios is also crucial for cinemas to ensure that they can survive any future delay of releases.

What do you like most about working in the cinema industry? What is one of your fondest memories?

The camaraderie that exists between exhibitors, vendors and service providers. Even though things have been virtual over the last year, I feel like my ties to the industry and my network of friends has expanded.
Favorite memory: Going to see “Life of Pi” with a friend and knowing there was a tiger in the boat but it doesn’t appear right away. The calm rock of the boat lulled me as much as the character so when it did appear I was startled and my large popcorn went flying everywhere. The magic of the movie sucked me totally into the moment!! My friend ended up wearing about half the bucket including a full crown of popcorn. We were cackling about the hilarity of it all despite some quelling looks from the serious story crowd that was also in the auditorium.


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