As February draws to a close, all of us in the northern hemisphere are looking forward to spring. Meteorological spring starts 1 March, but astronomical spring has to wait until 20 March, which is also the start date for Le Printemps du Cinéma (Springtime for Cinema) in France. The annual festival when all films are just EUR €4 for three days across most cinemas in France is organised by the National Federation of Cinema and encourages people to come to the cinema, as does the Fête du Cinéma during the summer.
Similar cinema festivals take place in Spain (Fiesta del Cine), Italy (Cinemadays) and Switzerland. They typically run for several days during the week and avoid coinciding with the premiere of major local or Hollywood blockbusters. Instead these programs seek to encourage audiences to see a wide variety of recent releases, local or studio-backed, at sometimes less than half the price of a regular cinema ticket. They tend to attract millions and are seen as a good way to foster cinema going, without cannibalising existing cinema revenue.
The United Kingdom had the National Cinema Day back in the 1990s, when you could go to the cinema for GBP £1 (hat tip to Paul F. for the reminder) and in 2021 there was the National Lottery Cinema Weekend (NLCW), when any buyer of a lottery ticket (cost GBP £1.50) could claim a pair of free adult cinema tickets at participating venues. Now Cineworld is launching Cineworld Day on Saturday 26 February when tickets to all of its screenings, including Pictureshouse, IMAX, 4DX, ScreenX and more, will cost just GBP £3 (USD $4 – see story below). When cinemas were reopening in the United States in 2020, AMC offered tickets for 15 cents (USD $0.15) in 100 locations to celebrate its 100th anniversary on 20 August.
These types of events are an excellent way to entice audiences back into cinemas, particularly post-pandemic and while there is still hesitancy amongst a significant proportion of the population about venturing out to in-person gatherings. It will not just show people trailers for the big blockbusters coming this summer, but also that cinemas are clean, safe and even luxurious. It is a particularly affordable outing for families, as well as a chance to catch up on many recent releases, both blockbusters and awards contenders.
We strongly applaud these one-off initiatives of AMC and Cineworld and we would like to see these become regular or annual events. Ideally there should be a nation-wide cinema festival, like in France et al. These are not easy to organise as they require the active involvement of most cinema operators, but also trade bodies, distributors, sponsors and other stakeholders. Countries such as Germany have attempted to pull off such a feat only to stumble. But given the post-pandemic reality that the cinema industry is facing, such events are indeed Springtime for Cinema and those that love films on the big screen.
By the way, Cineworld’s Supercinema PLFs are part of the GBP £3 Cineworld Day promotional offer, so there has never been a cheaper opportunity to catch films in Dolby Atmos. Please click the link to read more belows, because We ?? Sponsor Clicks.
Creating mystery and suspense with Kenneth Branagh
Sir Kenneth Branagh describes how he was able to create subtle visual details and crisp, exact sounds with Dolby Vision® and Dolby Atmos®.
Celluloid Junkie is the leading online resource dedicated to the global film and cinema business. The Marquee is our newsletter focused on motion picture exhibition; keeping industry professionals informed of important news, the latest trends and insightful analysis