For an industry that was written off by the media and financial analysts as one whose best days were behind it, motion picture exhibition must be defying the odds. The last several weeks alone have been filled with announcements of cinema operators upgrading their facilities or opening new theatres, underscoring the investment these business are making on what they obviously believe will be a lucrative future.
Reading International is going bi-coastal in Australia, opening its first Angelika Film Centre outside the United States near Brisbane, an eight screen complex in Woolloongabba, Australia, which includes three premium auditoriums. On the opposite side of the country (and the continent) the company is opening a five-screen Reading Cinemas in Busselton, Western Australia as a key anchor tenant in the new Busselton Central Shopping Centre precinct. The venue is trying out a premium large format concept at the new theatre titled Titan Luxe.
The United Kingdom is getting at least two additional cinemas. The seven-screen purpose-built Reel Cinemas in Burnley opened in early September as part of the multi-million pound development Pioneer Place. Meanwhile Marlow is getting its first movie theatre in nearly 40 years thanks to Everyman. The indie operator is cutting the ribbon on a luxurious two screen venue fitted out with velvet sofas, armchairs and comfy seats. The bar and lounge area looks like it would be worth a visit just for the food and beverages alone.
Flix Brewhouse, which operates dine-in cinema brewpubs, is opening new cinemas so fast they announced two on the same day this past week. Their tenth location, a nine-screen luxury cinema in Mansfield, Texas opened on 28 September. It’s the company’s fifth location in Texas. Then, in early 2024, Flix will open its second location in Albuquerque, New Mexico; a seven-screen 28,000 square foot complex on the east side of town in what used to be a Regal/United Artists arthouse. The facility will be completely overhauled to current Flix Brewhouse standards.
Meanwhile you have TGV Cinemas in Malaysia expanding their partnership with IMAX to install four new big screen auditoriums and upgrading three existing IMAX rooms with IMAX’s laser technology. Cinemex, in Mexico, is also leaning into laser, striking an agreement with Cinionic to upgrade 500 of the circuit’s highest-performing locations with laser projection. Finally, Marcus Theatres is investing in premium large format auditorium, partnering with CJ 4DPLEX to install their first 270-degree panoramic ScreenX theatre at the Marcus Ridge Cinema in New Berlin, Wisconsin.