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

International Edition No. 197 - year 17 - 21 June 2022

Special issue on the occasion of CineEurope 2022

more than 15,000 subscribers

Dear Readers,

Elisabetta Brunella the season of professional meetings amongst exhibitors has re-opened in grand style as they gathered in Baden Baden and in Las Vegas and in these days keep a new appointment in Barcelona.

Amongst the latest issues, the sustainability of movie theatres stands out, touching on various aspects that aim to save energy and reduce the emission of climate-changing gases.

In the foreground remain the less energy-consuming laser projectors but there is a constant increase in materials and solutions tending towards recycling and cutting down on waste, particularly as regards snacks and drinks.

MEDIA Salles continues to make its own contribution to the green transition in the cinema industry by spreading news of significant experiences: this time the subject is recyclable containers for popcorn and drinks, one of the many ways in which cinemas and spectators can join forces in the name of ecology.

And there is even a practical map to click on for discovering the cinemas around Europe that have already adopted measures for promoting sustainability.

See you in Barcelona!

Elisabetta Brunella
Secretary General of MEDIA Salles


NCG LansingFree refill at NCG Lansing
by Elisabetta Brunella

Ginny and Bob, a couple of lively sixty-year-olds living in Michigan, love their grandchildren, the cinema and popcorn but detest waste.

So when the family wants to watch a film on the big screen, they choose the NCG (Neighborhood Cinema Group) chain.

Founded in Owosso at the heart of the Wolverine State in 1985, this group has been around since 2002, also in Lansing, the state capital and site of the prestigious Michigan University.

Bob and Ginny like the capital’s multiplex because - amongst other things - it offers the “Free refill” formula: at the start of the year customers can buy a bucket of popcorn weighing almost 5 kilos for a little less than 20 dollars and bring it back to the cinema whenever they visit it during the year. For 4 dollars they are entitled to an unlimited refill.

NCG’s idea is just one of those dreamed up by suppliers and exhibitors to limit the use of plastic and avoid wastage: knowing that they can have as much popcorn as they want, customers will avoid ordering an excessive amount at the beginning.

In Europe, too, although popcorn is not consumed to the extent it is in the USA, the aim of reducing the use of plastic containers at the cinema is becoming more and more widely shared.

Along the same lines, for example, comes the initiative from a Danish company, originally taken during the Covid pandemic, of providing movie theatres with recipients and other accessories - such as drinking straws for example - that are produced from bamboo, a spontaneous plant from which products not in need of chemical bleaching can be obtained.

A similar initiative is the German RECUP, based on re-using cups for takeaway drinks; the customer her/himself, who will have paid a small deposit, will return it to one of the numerous RECUP counters present in many cinemas, including the Cinecittà in Nürnberg.

Green solutions for movie theatres which will be on display at CineEurope, in Barcelona.

NCG Lansing

NCG - Neighborhood Cinema Group
by Virginia Fanin

The NCG headquarters are situated in Owosso, Michigan, where Gary Geiger opened the chain’s first multiplex in 1985.
The business is still managed by the Geiger family to this day.
After Michigan, NCG sites were opened in other US States.
Today the chain’s 25 complexes are located in

  • Palm Bay in Florida
  • Acworth, Brookhaven, Peachtree corner, Peachtree city, Marietta, Snelville, Stone Mountain in Georgia
  • Alton and Yorkville in Illinois
  • Auburn in Indiana
  • Alma, Battle Creek, Cold Water, Grand Blanc, Greenville, Lansing, Lapir, Midland and Owosso in Michigan
  • Kingston in New York
  • Monroe in North Carolina
  • Spartanburg in South Carolina
  • Gallatin and Kingsport in Tennessee.

All the chain’s cinemas boast spacious theatres and most of them also offer 3D screenings. Some are equipped with large, highly expensive, cutting-edge screens called “Xtreme”, which guarantee a unique experience thanks to the projection of an extra-large version of any film, documentary or event of any kind.
Every theatre is fitted with reclinable armchair seating which, in some sites, such as Atlanta, can also be heated.
To cut down on wastage, the chain offers free refills of popcorn and drinks.
The NCG website makes it possible to rewatch the most famous films already shown on the big screen.
NCG means to be a chain of inclusive cinemas: they have launched a new project consisting in “Sensory-Friendly” film projections.
In this case the lighting is not dimmed, the sound is limited and spectators can get up, move around and even sing during screenings.
Ticket prices are in line with the US average and every Tuesday all screenings cost 5$.

The Lansing cinema situated inside the Eastwood Town Center, a shopping mall at an 8-minute drive from the university campus, is marked by its special offer for university students: on showing the badge at the box-office it is possible to buy a ticket for just 8$.
To attract young people, NCG is very active on Instagram.


This story brings to the foreground the problematic situation of the municipalities left without a movie theatre.
In this case the Municipal Council stepped in to bring cinema back onto the big screen during the summer season.

A summer arena brings cinema back to the heart of the Apennines
by Caterina Molari

The return of the cinema to a little town in the mountains, after over 15 years of absence: this is what has happened in Bagno di Romagna, a tourist spa area on the border between Romagna and Tuscany where, in summer 2021, thanks to collaboration between the Municipality and the Cinema Eliseo Multisala in Cesena, open-air film days were organized in the splendid courtyard inside the historical Palazzo del Capitano, which recalls the rule of Florence during the Renaissance in this territory.

I witnessed this achievement as Head of Cultural Affairs and Tourism for the Municipality and it was fascinating to observe how the turn of events in my working life, which began with an internship at MEDIA Salles between 1999 and 2000, has led me to go on crossing paths with the cinema.

The last screenings in Bagno di Romagna at the old Cinema Ritz had taken place over 15 years previously: during the intervening years townspeople and tourists were obliged to travel dozens of kilometres to see a film.

At the end of 2020, however, in the year of the pandemic, the town council decided that resources should be allocated to purchase the equipment necessary for open-air screenings as well as to manage the summer arena in 2021.

After a short market-research study, the Cinema Eliseo in Cesena, managed by Francesca Piraccini, was selected. It proposed an interesting and balanced series of films with quality Italian titles (such as “Volevo nascondermi”, “Miss Marx”, “Lacci”, “Martin Eden”) as well as international films (“Judy”, “Knives Out”, “Misbehaviour”, “Alice et le maire”), and films suitable for family viewing, like “The Addams family” and “The personal history of David Copperfield”.

Also highly appreciated were the films and meetings with filmmakers focussing on Romagna, such as the screenings of “Est-Dittatura Last Minute” (a film taken from a true story, directed by Antonio Pisu, narrating the adventure of three young people from Cesena travelling to East Europe and shot partly in Cesena, from the producers Maurizio Paganelli and Andrea Riceputi) and the film “Il drago di Romagna”, a documentary about the popularity of the Chinese game mah jong in the Ravenna area, with tables set up in the town square in the afternoon, so that people had the chance to learn the game with the stars of the film, and the evening presentation with the director, Gerardo Lamattina.

The investment made available by the Municipality (both for purchasing the equipment and for supporting outsourcing to an outside provider, with the resources needed to close the project’s financial balance, impossible to cover by means of ticket sales alone) was much appreciated by townspeople and tourists alike and established the basis for future open-air film days, as well as indoor screenings - resources permitting - to guarantee the cinema as a public service and a support for the community’s cultural growth.

                    2021                                                                                                 2022

In Summer 2022, the open-air film days will take place again in Bagno di Romagna.
Click on pictures to see the programme

L’arena si terrà a Bagno di Romagna anche nell’estate 2022.
Cliccare sulle immagini per vedere il programma

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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
Raccolta dati ed elaborazioni statistiche: Paola Bensi, Silvia Mancini