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

International Edition No. 198 - year 17 - 4 July 2022

Special issue on the occasion of the eleventh edition of Ciné
- the convention of the Italian exhibitors and distributors -

more than 15,000 subscribers

Dear Readers,

Paolo Protti not only in Italy but throughout the world, cinema exhibition is going through an epochal change after the shock caused by the pandemic.
It is on this changing scenario that, particularly in Europe, the ecological transition of movie theatres is taking place. Directed towards the practical need to safeguard the Planet’s resources and reflect society’s growing environmental sensitivity, this shift can at the same time propose new business models that make cinema management more economic and with lower environmental impact.
We cannot forget today what is happening in the field of energy supplies and the costs deriving from the economic crisis linked also to the war in Ukraine. But looking to the future means attention to necessary and unavoidable “green practices”.
MEDIA Salles contributes to the debate on this issue, so crucial for the future, by making available to industry players and their institutional counterparts reliable and up-to-date data and information, as always.
In this issue, the focus is on recycling and re-use, essential strategies for reducing plastic waste and for a more rational use of the Planet’s not unlimited resources.
This is an objective that requires a close alliance between theatres, audiences and institutions.

Looking forward to seeing you again at Ciné 2022,

Paolo Protti
President of MEDIA Salles


When the trash of many becomes a treasure for everyone
by Elisabetta Brunella

Not to resign ourselves to “trash” is one of the messages that emerges from the animated film “Trash - La leggenda della Piramide Magica”, which narrates the adventures of a series of waste products - a cardboard box, a soft-drink bottle, a battery container - all looking for a second life. But it is also one of the objectives clearly taking shape in the strategies of cinema exhibition businesses in their path towards sustainability.

Science and technology have a lot to say in this innovative approach. Suffice it to quote the exemplary case of Prof. Alireza Kharazipour, a keen film buff, who followed the intuition that came to him at the cinema, to re-use popcorn waste. Today the university where he teaches, the Georg-August in Göttingen, is in the avant-garde of experimentation in the application of this new material in various fields: from packaging (one of the sectors where most plastic is consumed) to furnishings, from the insulation of buildings to tableware. Single-use yes, but compostable.

Several cinemas are attempting to limit the use of plastic - often almost “invisible”, yet ever-present - for example in the form of the film covering the inside of paper containers.

There are two main directions in the most frequently adopted measures: to opt for biodegradable materials or those that can be recycled or to make sure that plastic recipients can be re-used several times.

The cinema Lux in Massagno, Canton Ticino, – newly renovated and with thermal insulation coating – has opted to re-use cups and flûtes, which have been personalised with the cinema’s own logo.

From the United States, in particular from the NCG chain with its 25 complexes in 9 states, comes the “free refill” formula, aiming to encourage the spectator to spend around 20 dollars on a giant bucket of popcorn at his first visit. Afterwards, for a whole year, the owner of the “magic bucket” can refill it as full as they like for just 4$ every time they revisit the cinema.

The “Recup / Rebowl” initiative also focuses on re-use. Widely used in Germany, it offers all businesses selling food and drinks in plastic containers a formula for encouraging the customer to return the classical coffee cup or salad bowl to one of almost 12,000 locations. As for the movie theatres, amongst the “early adopters”, the Cinecitta in Nürnberg stands out, the famous complex founded in 1995, which has continued not only to add to the number of its screens, but also to adopt increasingly advanced technology.

In terms of using alternatives to plastic, the Danish company Stay Well, launched during the Covid pandemic, supplies cinemas with recipients and other accessories - such as drinking straws for example - produced from bamboo fibre, a spontaneous plant from which products that have no need of chemical bleaching are derived.

In the United States, instead, the company Smart Planet Technologies proposes drinking cups without polythene film, which can therefore be introduced into the paper recycling process. Just to add to the confusion, they are also called reCups!

Unlike other stages in the ecological shift by movie theatres - such as replacing digital projectors fitted with xenon lamps with laser projectors or using energy from renewable sources - recycling and re-using materials used in the cinema, in particular those needed for the sale and provision of food, snacks and drinks, does not depend solely on the choices made by the exhibitor but also and most importantly on the cooperation of spectators and public institutions.

Otherwise, all that is recyclable may easily become not-recycled. And so it proves essential to focus on communication with the public, as has been done in the United States by the Cinemark circuit with its 4,000 screens. “It is not sufficient to provide containers, however colourful and with the clearest of graphics, to ensure that waste is differentiated on exiting the auditorium: in the haste and crowd it is improbable that the spectator will place a can or bottle in the right place,” remarked Art Justice, head of energy resource management for Cinemark, to Boxofficepro. “The customer must already know how waste is organised before leaving the auditorium. This is why we have chosen to project a short video before every screening.”

As to cooperation with public authorities, a virtuous example comes from Barcelona, where in 2018 cinemas in the city and the Municipality had already signed an initial agreement, later renewed, establishing a few objectives. Amongst them are the digitization of advertising, reduction in the use of plastic and polystyrene and staff training in waste management and energy saving. In return for these commitments, the cinemas involved obtain a 10% reduction on the taxes they pay for waste disposal.

In short, to sum up the ethics of the Italian film “Trash - La leggenda della Piramide Magica”, cinemas are gradually moving along a path that should transform “the trash of many into a treasure for everyone”.

This article was published in the June online issue of Cinema & Video Int'l, the MEDIA Salles media partner.


From CineEurope 2022

Un esercente italiano a CineEurope, in cerca di buone idee per il futuro del suo cinema
Intervista a Donato Cosmo, Cinema Gerardo Guerrieri, Matera

Perché ha deciso di partecipare a questa edizione di CineEurope?

Donato CosmoCon l'obiettivo di lasciare la pandemia alle spalle, sono veduto qui in cerca di novità. Sono sempre stato curioso e capire che cosa c'è dietro l'angolo è importante per dare futuro alla sala. Questo è l'atteggiamento che, fin dall'inizio della transizione digitale, mi aveva spinto a partecipare ai corsi di formazione di MEDIA Salles nei vari paesi europei. E poi vorrei proporre qualcosa di nuovo ai miei spettatori.

Qual è il suo pubblico?

Potrei definirlo d'essai. Ama i film di qualità - e questo è molto stimolante per un programmatore - ma, d'altra parte, fatica psicologicamente a tornare al cinema.
Purtroppo il fatto che nelle sale italiane sia stato mantenuto, per legge, l'obbligo delle mascherine anche dopo il primo maggio, quando per tanti altri luoghi era stato abolito, ha indirettamente alimentato l'idea che il cinema fosse un posto meno sicuro rispetto, per esempio, al ristorante. 

Molte sale italiane in questo periodo hanno chiesto di aver accesso ai fondi del PNRR finalizzati all'innovazione e al risparmio energetico. L'ha fatto anche lei?

Il cinema che gestisco a Matera è stato ristrutturato di recente, cioè quando la Città è stata nominata capitale europea della cultura. I lavori hanno toccato aspetti diversi, più o meno direttamente visibili allo spettatore. Sono per esempio state sostituite le poltrone e sono stati rifatti gli impianti di riscaldamento e climatizzazione.

E per la proiezione?

Utilizziamo dal 2009 un proiettore digitale Christie, di cui siamo tuttora molto soddisfatti: non ci ha mai fatto perdere un giorno di programmazione.
Un rammarico è che a molti spettatori questi avanzamenti tecnologici passino inosservati.
A breve contiamo di installare il proiettore laser: speriamo che venga apprezzato!
Un altro rammarico è la stasi del cinema 3D. Noi siamo perfettamente equipaggiati, con un sistema con occhiali attivi.
Ho perciò molte attese verso la riproposta di Avatar e l'arrivo di Avatar 2.

Che cosa avete programmato negli ultimi, difficili, periodi?

Siamo molto fieri di aver ospitato l'anteprima nazionale di "No time to die", film girato in parte proprio a Matera.
Nella nostra programmazione giocano un ruolo importante anche i cosiddetti "contenuti aggiuntivi", che per noi sono soprattutto quelli di interesse locale.
Per esempio un documentario, sulla squadra di pallavolo di Matera che divenne campione d'Italia nel 1992, proiettato come parte dei festeggiamenti organizzati dal Comune per il trentesimo anniversario.
Potrei citare anche Sassiwood, un film commedia su Matera e il suo ruolo nel cinema, oppure il festival di cinema di Matera, che, nell'edizione 2021 ha visto la partecipazione di D. Cronenberg.
L'idea di fondo è essere a servizio della comunità e collaborare con le realtà locali, a cominciare dalle scuole.

Ha già visto qualcosa nel Trade Show di CineEurope che ha attirato la sua attenzione?

Sono arrivato da pochissimo, ma ho subito notato i contenitori "green" per il popcorn. Cercherò di saperne di più: la sostenibilità della sala e delle sue attività è ormai diventato un obiettivo irrinunciabile.


CineEurope 2022: the participants' impressions
Bernard Collard
Director of Sales and Business Development EMEA - Strong-MDI

CineEurope was indeed a very good show for Strong-MDI and I trust for the whole cinema industry. There were more than encouraging and positive signs coming from our partners and from exhibitors during our multiple
meetings. It looks like there is more confidence in a better future.
Moreover the line-up of movies until the end of the year, with a much awaited 3D peak-time by mid-December, might actually generate a better box office than expected. I am optimistic as always, but for sure it was wonderful to be back in Barcelona for a kind of back to normal CineEurope after such a long wait.

Ilmari Arnkil
Exhibition and Distribution Specialist – Finnish Film Foundation

It was reassuring to hear from all the studios and key players that they are still largely committed to a meaningful theatrical window. The pandemic might still make a comeback and that commitment could be put to the test.
But all in all, it was very inspiring to see the optimism and confidence of the industry after such a rocky couple of years.


This column hosts news and information coming from theatres that have been the subject of previous articles.

Issue no. 194 of DGT online informer presented a panorama of the main cinema circuits operating in Hong Kong. From 15 to 31 July several of these theatres will host a wide-ranging selection of films made in Europe, promoted by the European Union's Hong Kong and Macao Office in collaboration with member states and Switzerland.
Prestigious cinemas such as the
Broadway Cinematheque, Premiere Elements, PALACE ifc, MOViE MOViE at Cityplaza, and MY CINEMA YOHO MALL will screen premières for this region of the titles that have won awards at important festivals.

Amongst these are the Polish film "Leave no Traces", the Slovakian “Servants", the Hungarian “Cream" and the Finnish “The Blind Man who did not want to see Titanic". From the European countries with a Mediterranean coastline come the French film “À l'Abordage", the Maltese “Luzzu" and the Italian “Like a Cat on the Highway 2".

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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