| What lies behind the new wave of cinema development – and how to benefit! Unique information exchange offer from CinemaNext Consulting |
Shoping Centres as well as town centres did not encourage cinema or leisure development in the 1980s and ’90s. The result was that shopping centres ‘died’ after 6pm and completely lacked atmosphere – a no-win for all involved!
Several factors are driving the current upsurge in cinemas’ being developed across the United Kingdom – some of which are:
- Town Centres are reclaiming their evening economies as they clamp down on anti-social behaviour and de-licence establishments that are not taking full responsibility for the behaviour of their patrons – this is a first step to regeneration
- Cinemas were traditionally located in town centres and it was only the rash of multiplex developments in the ’80s and ’90s that created the bizarre situation where family friendly leisure (cinemas, bowling etc.) moved out of town while centres saw an upsurge of non-family friendly, vertical drinking establishments
- The threat of e-commerce, putting pressure on shopping precincts to be ‘more than just shops’ and to create an 18-hour buzz. This is particularly applicable to support fashion retail where commerce relies on slowing consumers down, to give them more time to dwell and browse.
- The promenade: this pastime is as old as time – create a circuit and an opportunity to walk, sit and enjoy an environment – a ‘third space’ – another reason to be there!
- Twinned visits: from a cinema perspective it is ‘bad business’ to be out of an activity centre or isolated from allied businesses (particularly but not exclusively restaurants). Cinemas work best in town centres supported by public transport nodes, parking (ideally free or validated), restaurants and retail (ideally at the higher end).
- Great design, as architects seize the opportunity created by the digital projection ‘revolution’ to deliver cinemas that are not ugly, bland boxes but futuristic forms that complement many 19th Century town centres
- Changing cinema-going demographics – in the ’80s and ’90s cinemas were largely designed and built for the 15-25 year-old age group – in the ’80s this was the generation which responded to out of home entertainment. In the thirty years since the first hugely successful Milton Keynes UCI (later Odeon), that generation has matured but continues to go to the movies. In addition they now bring their families so that the age range is now 7-55 year-olds, with an increasing awareness from the 55+ market (especially for premium and niche cinemas such as Everyman, Curzon and Picturehouse)
- The wider age range of cinema-goers is creating a demand for a higher-end look and feel to a cinema, while the popcorn/candy offer is seen as yesteryear by many age groups. Indeed parents now bringing their children to the movies often resent seeing there is no change in these cinemas from when they were kids themselves – the lack of creativity and investment in many sites is sad
- The huge growth in out of home dining habits in the UK has created an explosion of different dining options. Without fail these new businesses are demanding a substantial cinema anchor to ‘pump prime’ their trade. Increasingly, they are reviewing the type and style of cinema to form the anchor as part of their selection process: these restaurant offers embrace surrounding competition (other F&B) and together with the cinema create a destination of excellence.
Taking these considerations into account, many UK towns are using catering/leisure/retail/cinema developments to regenerate their historic centres.
At CinemaNext Consulting, our team tracks and reviews proposed cinema developments around the country, with over 200 opportunities on our radar! Our team is open to interacting with agents, Local Authorities, developers, asset managers, architects and other consultants. We are particularly open to meetings to share our intelligence and theirs on a mutually cooperative basis.
Contact Judith Querfurth and register to join one of our forthcoming workshops (limited to 8-10 participants).
Each workshop also includes a demonstration of our newly-installed luxury studio screen, fully equipped with 4K digital projection, 3D and ATMOS sound – located in our offices on Argyll Street near Oxford Circus Station.
Subject to availability I am also happy to host several of these sessions between now and the Christmas break!
Stand by for ‘ a very special blog next month: ‘More measures for leisure – creating synergy with retail – the facts’