Reg. Trib. Milano n. 418 del 02.07.2007 - Direttore responsabile: Elisabetta Brunella

International Edition No. 182 - year 16 - 15 July 2021

  Special issue on the occasion of the Cannes Film Festival
more than 15,000 subscribers


Dear Readers,

Elisabetta Brunella the Cannes Festival is currently being acclaimed by both industry players and the general public as a sign that cinema on the big screen has made its return.  But what will the future of cinemas really be like?  “Difficult to make predictions for the next six months,” stated Eddy Duquenne, CEO of Kinepolis, one of the groups that has invested most in the exhibition industry worldwide over the last decade, in a recent interview with Le Film Français.  “I’m not just talking about the development of streaming platforms but also about consumer habits,” he added.  “In fact even with the proliferation of opportunities to watch films at home, even before Covid, we have seen that our clients always welcome our offers with enthusiasm, as they aim not only to propose a product, but also a special experience that is only possible in the movie theatre.”
Lately, conferences and webinars revolve around the big question, “cinema on the sofa or cinema at the cinema?”
As food for thought, alongside we offer you a fragment from the famous novel “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”: Monsieur Kakuro enjoys the rare privilege of a cinema screen in his own home; for everyone else the “thrill of the screening” begins in the darkness of a cinema.
The real thing, the real cinema!   

Happy reading,
Elisabetta Brunella
Secretary General of MEDIA Salles

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Since some years, MEDIA Salles has been investigating best pratictes in cinema exhibition aimed at reducing the environmental impact. We think this is - more than ever - a key topic and we are glad inagurate in our newsletter a column dedicated to sustainability in the cinema sector: we hope it could be of inspiration for our readers, and invite you to contact us in case you want to share news and ideas on the subject.

Movie theatres give the recharge

It’s nothing new for a German cinema to be selling beer. But what makes the difference is when the beer is organic, especially when adding that the Garbo Kino in Regensburg has been offering it to their audiences since 1995, a time when the spectator’s “standard” order was “a mass-produced, fizzy drink with popcorn”.

In the meantime, cinemas in Germany - like other enterprises, and perhaps even more so - have become more aware of the growing need for more environmentally respectful behaviour. And the unsold popcorn, instead of ending up in the rubbish bin, has started to turn into biodegradable dishes, following a “recipe” originating from an idea by Alireza Kharazipour, Professor at the Georg-August Universität in Göttingen and a cinema-lover.

These - and a dozen or so other good practices - stand out on the FFA “Grünes Kino” site dedicated to “green cinemas”, or rather to the environmentally friendly operation of cinemas. In fact, the German Federal Film Board has decided to provide a practical tool for promoting the ecological conversion of Germany’s cinemas, which number 4,926. To achieve their objective they assigned FFA Green Cinema Consultant Birgit Heidsiek, the long-sighted journalist who in 2012 in Hamburg had already founded the review “Green Film Shooting”, which soon became an international landmark for eco-sustainable cinema production and then the whole value chain.

The heart of the FFA’s website is “Das Grüne Kinohandbuch”, the manual dealing with the main areas in which exhibitors can intervene to reduce the carbon footprint of their business in the environment: from the efficient use of power, heat and air conditioning to sourcing electricity from renewables, from the offer of locally sourced snacks to the use of organic cleaning products, including waste management and incentives for using means of transport that limit the production of carbon dioxide. The information provided by experts with scientific knowledge and the ability to spread it combine with the presentation of experiences already achieved in those German theatres in the avant-garde of the green transition.

In terms of transportation, the Cineplex group stands out, with its 91 complexes in 68 towns and cities, which, to make things easier for those who prefer to travel on pedals, has installed recharging stations for electric bicycles and joined forces with bike-sharing services. Another initiative devoted to transport on two wheels was the one run in Hamburg, where, for one evening, a drive-in that came into being in the wake of the revival brought about by the pandemic, was transformed into a “Bike-in”. The Cinexx in Hachenburg has also focused on recharging, but that of electric cars, setting up recharging stations for its customers.

A group of arthouse cinemas, the Yorck group, based in Berlin, interprets its mission in favour of the environment along two lines: one involves the programming of films dealing with environmental themes and the other adapting its structures according to a sort of “decalogue” shared with the public, which foresees - amongst other aspects - efficient insulation of its buildings and the use of low-consumption light bulbs. The carnation in the buttonhole of the Yorck group is the choice of Fritz-Kola, the “cult” drink invented by two young people from Hamburg and sold in glass bottles that can be recycled up to fifty times, which has generated a series of vegan, gluten-free fruit drinks using only natural ingredients.

The Yorck chain has also joined the programme “Kino:Natürlich” promoted in 2018 by AG Kino-Gilde, the association of 330 arthouse cinemas in Germany, which welcome almost 20 million spectators every year.

To sum up, if by 2030 the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 65%, the cinemas are ready to do their bit.

This article was published in issue no. 182 of Cinema & Video Int'l, the MEDIA Salles media partner.

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This column hosts portraits of cinemas in Europe and the rest of the world which are quite different from one another but have in common the fact that they have all adopted digital projection.

Cineum, Cannes

No. of screens
No. of digital screens
Imax (screen supplied by Strong), Dolby Atmos

The Cineum aims to amaze...

In this very special year, with the Festival daring to offer a dual approach - a live red carpet and the market section partly online and partly live - Cannes is not only talking films but cinemas, too. It began with Pierre Lescure, President of La Croisette’s Festival, announcing that the competition would be able to count on Europe's two finest screens, at the Cineum, the brand-new complex located in Cannes la Bocca. Some might object to the title but undoubtedly the Cineum is a very special building, which defies and upturns the clichés according to which all multiplexes tend to look the same. The fruit of an investment of 33 million euros, this building, conceived six years earlier, is the first step in a wide-reaching project promoted by the Cannes Municipality, called “Cannes on Air” which is to include a university centre focusing on writing and a sturtup incubator for the audiovisual sector.

In the meantime, the short-term objective is to make the town that hosts the oldest festival in the world, second only to the Venice Festival, a pole of attraction to spectators in the area. With the Cineum, which boasts 12 auditoriums for a total of 2,450 seats, the present offer can be more than doubled: until the beginning of this month, Cannes was served by two cinemas, for a total of 12 screens, located in the centre, two steps away from the famous Palais. The design of the Cineum is the work of the architect Rudy Ricciotti, to whom we also owe the MuCem in Marseilles and the bridge Pont de la République in Montpellier. Built from fibre-reinforced concrete, it is shaped like a polyhedron with numerous irregular faces. Opal-white in colour, they create a well structured mass that evokes a giant iceberg washed up on the Mediterranean coast. The different angles make it possible to mirror the many variations in the light of the South of France. The only interruptions in its compact structure are made to accommodate the glass doors on the ground-floor, whilst looking towards the little Mandelieu airport and, further away, towards the centre of Cannes, a vast terrace suddenly appears, hollowed out of the mass and veiled by an openwork metal structure evoking Arabic architecture. A spectacular bar, worked on by the artist and designer Arik Levy, looks out into this open-air space, which is rather unusual in a cinema. Inside, the building is cavelike, vast and shady, conceived as a neutral background suited to hosting exhibitions and destined to emphasise the link between the cinema and other arts. The heart of this space, which leads out onto the entrances to the auditoriums and the refreshment and restaurant areas, is occupied by a fine staircase in wood and metal. No colourful carpeting but a concrete floor creating a continuum with the soberly painted walls, mostly in dark and earthy tones. The twelve auditoriums are located on three floors and each one represents a variation on a shared theme, based on neon-tube lighting placed horizontally halfway down the walls and on the square-shaped velvet armchair seats, some of which be reclined or are fitted with individual speakers.

A particularly high investment has been made in the technology, which includes laser projectors and the Dolby Atmos sound system. The most striking theatre is the one fitted with Imax technology: it enthrones an almost 23-metre-wide screen, produced by the Canadian company Strong, facing 513 motorised armchair seats. For now, this “wonder” has been reserved for festival-goers but by the end of the month, the CCC - the Compagnie Cinématographique de Cannes - envisages opening it to the public.

In accordance, of course, with the rules for accessing cinemas foreseen by the French Government: as from 21 July, the health “pass” must be shown, attesting to two administrations of Covid vaccine or a negative swab carried out in the previous 48 hours. This is an obligation that has sparked off a reaction from the exhibitors’ association: why should this measure be applied so soon in cinemas, when for other sectors, such as restaurants, it does not come into force until August?

Summing up, the Cineum starts life on an uphill path ... 

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Edito da: MEDIA Salles - Reg. Trib.
Milano n. 418 dello 02/07/2007
Direttore responsabile:
Elisabetta Brunella
Coordinamento redazionale:
Silvia Mancini
Redazione: Mara Elena Nucci
Raccolta dati ed elaborazioni statistiche: Paola Bensi, Silvia Mancini