Cinema Technology Magazine - March 2022 edition

Page 1 The leading magazine for cinema industry professionals > VOL.35



B A F T A :

R E D E V E L O P I N G T H E I C O N I C 1 9 5 P I C C A D I L L Y A Unique (X) Perspective

Profiling the digital software company

Ōma Cinema

Time to switch up the cinema auditorium? Ōma thinks so...


UNIC's Diana Stratan answers our questions in a new spotlight feature


Universal Pictures International is proud to support

C O N T E N T S C I N E M A T E C H N O L O G Y > VO L . 3 5 N O . 1 > 0 3 / 2 2


07 11




WireTAP Air for 4G and 5G NATO launches The Cinema Foundation









46 49




redesigned BAFTA 195 Piccadilly


Ōma Cinema is switching up the traditional cinema

layout with an architectural redesign


Digital cinema software company Unique X has

been in the business for 20 years - we profile them and their products

Motion Picture Solutions Ltd, Mission Hall, 9-11 North End Road, London W14 8ST T: +44 (0)20 3026 1368 MANAGING EDITOR: HELEN BUDGE E: ART DIRECTOR: DEAN CHILLMAID E:

future of the multiplex and



Branders gives an

starting with the Cinema Days in


It's here! Peter Knight takes a

John Sullivan looks to the

overview of upcoming events in 2022, Brussels


projectors and

sustainability go hand-in-hand

sector recovery so far


Sharp-NEC - why laser

the need for creative placemaking




Phil Clapp looks to the next UKCA event in April 2022 ECA MD Grainne Clarke presents the

upcoming opportunities for event cinema


CTC President Richard Mitchell extols the

16 CT Q&A


Our brand new feature speaks to UNIC's Diana

Stratan as she answers our questions and updates us on the success of the

virtues of preparing for

UNIC Women's Cinema Leadership

2022's strong slate


COMMISSIONING EDITOR: PETER KNIGHT E: ADVERTISING: BOB CAVANAGH Caixa Postal 2011, Vale da Telha, 8670-156 Aljezur, Portugal T: +351 282 997 050

M: +351 962 415 172 E: SUBSCRIPTIONS Cinema Technology is mailed to IMIS Members. For subscription details and to read the magazine online, visit or email

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Spring has sprung! The leading magazine for cinema industry professionals > VOL.35




B A F T A :

A positive COVID test two days ago means I’m sitting here with the dreaded lurgy while I type out my second-ever CT View (thankfully, it doesn’t feel worse than a bad cold). But it won’t stop me from telling you about this March edition and some of our key news. R E D E V E L O P I N G T H E I C O N I C 1 9 5 P I C C A D I L L Y A Unique (X) Perspective


Ōma Cinema

Profiling the digital software company

Time to switch up the cinema auditorium? Ōma thinks so...


UNIC's Diana Stratan answers our questions in a new spotlight feature

001_MAR22_COVERv2.indd 1

16/03/2022 11:17

irst off, we’re very pleased to welcome

And don’t miss our cover feature on page 20, Peter Knight’s

the ICTA as an upcoming content

in-depth exploration of BAFTA’s incredible redevelopment of

partner with CT Magazine - the first

195 Piccadilly. Props to our designer, Dean Chillmaid, for the

column from them will be in our June

impressive CT Mag-style cover image of the building.

edition so keep your eyes peeled for

On a more sombre note - but one that feels necessary to

that. Incidentally, they’ve just celebrated their 50th anniversary

acknowledge - we wanted to express our solidarity with the

as an organisation too, so congratulations to the team on

Ukrainian people, and those in Russia opposed to the ongoing

reaching half a decade, from us all at the magazine.

war. May sanity and compassion prevail, as we send love and

2022 is shaping up to be the first proper “comeback” year

strength to those fighting for freedom every day. If you’re able

after the longest-ever 24 months. And there’s a great lineup of

to make a donation to the Red Cross or the Disasters

in-person global gatherings to look forward to, including

Emergency Committee (DEC), please go to https://donate.

UNIC’s Cinema Days in Brussels (28-29 March), the UKCA

conference in London (5-6 April), CinemaCon in Vegas (25-28,

April) and, of course, CineEurope in Barcelona (20-23 June).


UNIC’S Mentoring Programme

vaccinations and a dose of natural immunity so you can expect

The latter event leads us to congratulate UNIC on their

extra big hugs from me!



And the next time I see you all I’ll have had three

Women’s Cinema Leadership programme and new joint sponsorship partners, Vista and IMAX. (Also, given the recent International Women’s Day make sure you check out CTC’s second series of Women in Cinema interviews from CineEurope 2021, and not just because they’re hosted by little old me). To those







applications are now open and the sixth edition will kick off in June at CineEurope. Our brand new CT Q&A feature on page 54 talks to UNIC’s Diana Stratan about her heavy involvement


in the scheme, among other things.


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e ve n t s



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v i e w s


i n d u s t r y g l o b a l t h e o f

U p - to - d a te

r o u n d - u p


Qube Cinema Introduces WireTAP Air for Content Delivery to Theatres via 4G and 5G Networks QUBE Cinema has made a major leap in

said this about WireTAP Air’s unique features,

increasing the footprint of electronic content

“I’m excited for more advertising networks and

delivery with the all-new WireTAP Air theatre

studio marketing groups to experience the

appliance. This small-form device connects

benefits of delivering content via Qube Wire. This

theatres to Qube Wire’s global cloud delivery

new solution is significantly faster, easy to deploy,

platform via 4G and 5G mobile networks and

and costs far less to operate when compared to

allows for the seamless delivery of trailers and

traditional satellite models and existing theatre

advertising DCPs. Its ease of operation and


future-proof connectivity options provide an

WireTAP Air’s compact design for a device

ideal way to connect exhibitors at a significantly

of this nature is unprecedented. Measuring just 4

lower cost than was previously possible.

in x 4 in x 16 in, this hardy small-footprint

Qube has deployed WireTAP Air across the

theatre appliance includes storage of 128GB

nearly 2,000 locations that make up the Qube

(expandable to 2TB), a built-in firewall, and a

advertising network in India. The use of 4G

Gigabit Ethernet port to connect to the theatre

connectivity instead of satellite has given Qube

network. It connects to Qube Wire with an

an 85% operating cost reduction while greatly


increasing flexibility.

based on regional availability) or a standard

Mark Waterston, Senior VP of Qube Wire,





Qube’s WireTAP Air has been deployed across India


broadband connection. 0 3 / 2 2






Arts Alliance Media Announces Screenwriter Agreement with AMC Theatres A A M t h e

h a s

a n n o u n ce d

l a r g e s t


t h e a t r i ca l

n e w

s o f t w a r e

e x h i b i to r

AS AMC’S Theatre Management System (TMS) of choice, Arts Alliance Media’s (AAM’s) Screenwriter will allow AMC to deliver




i n

a g r e e m e n t

t h e

U n i te d

w i t h

S ta te s

A M C a n d

Th e a t r e s , t h e

and embracing the art of automation. With all-new smart transfer technology recognised as


the update’s flagship feature, exhibitors can look forward to

comprehensive visibility to all of its theatres throughout the

transferring data simultaneously from multiple sources to

United States.

ensure content is delivered faster ahead of playback; an

Mark Latimer, VP, Sight and Sound at AMC, commented, “Having worked with AAM for a number of years, our staff

w o r l d . AAM’s Screenwriter TMS

optimal process for complexes housing seven or more auditoriums.

have found their Screenwriter TMS to be easy to use and of

And finally, Arts Alliance Media has recently announced

great benefit at an operational level. This expansion of our

a new software partnership with the renowned Tromsø

agreement with AAM is another step in AMC’s continued

International Film Festival (TIFF), enabling Screenwriter

focus on providing the very best in the theatrical moviegoing

TMS to manage the festival’s content and scheduling.

experience.” AAM has also officially launched Screenwriter’s smartest Theatre Management System software release to date to reinforce its position as the world’s leading TMS. This landmark Screenwriter update, available exclusively to AAM customers, delivers the means to further fine-tune their daily operations by simplifying tasks, reducing costs, 8

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RealD Ultimate Screen Reaches a 500-screen Milestone Worldwide Beijing


UNIC Stands in Solidarity With Ukrainian Exhibitors and the Ukrainian People Following Russian Invasion UNIC,




representing the interests of cinema operators across 39 European



issued a statement expressing its solidarity not just with Ukrainian exhibitors but also the Ukrainian people as they repel





country by Russian forces. The statement, issued on behalf of UNIC’s Board of Directors, reads as follows: “We have watched with growing horror the death and Beijing

REALD INC. has announced the

Wanda signed an agreement to install

destruction arising in recent

revolutionary RealD Ultimate Screen has

100 RealD Ultimate Screens in Wanda’s

weeks from the decision of the

been installed in 500 screens worldwide.

theaters across China over the following

Russian Government to invade

The latest and 500th Ultimate Screen is

three years. The majority of screens were

its near-neighbour Ukraine.

located at the spectacular Wanda

planned to be installed in Prime at

Cinema Xiamen Guankou branch in

Wanda locations, which is a brand

solidarity not just with our






incorporating various advanced cinema

Ukrainian colleagues but also


technologies, including high frame rate

the Ukrainian people as they

RealD’s 500th Ultimate Screen, under

capable laser projectors, immersive


the premium brand “Prime at Wanda”,

sounds, RealD 3D and RealD Ultimate

outrageous and unwarranted

celebrated its launch last month.

Screen, aimed at delivering stunning





In December 2018, RealD and

visuals and immersive experiences.


As European

JBL Professional Introduces Dynamic ScreenArray Cinema Speakers For China HARMAN Professional Solutions has introduced JBL Professional 3800 and 4800 Series ScreenArray screen-channel loudspeakers for small- to medium-format cinemas in China.









operators and associations in both Russia and Ukraine. But we





remain silent on such terrible

Five new models of passive and bi-amplified loudspeakers are the latest additions to the

actions and note with huge

legendary JBL 3000 and 4000 Series of cinema speakers. They reproduce every nuance of

respect the statements and

today’s modern digital soundtracks with unsurpassed clarity, thanks to acoustic innovations


including Differential Drive woofers, custom titanium compression drivers and patented horn


designs that compensate for perforated screens, to deliver consistent coverage to every seat

opposition to the war.”






in the house.

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NATO Announces Creation of The Cinema Foundation THE

NATIONAL Association of

Theatre Owners (NATO) has announced the







designed to bring together key industry stakeholders from business, technology

donor-supported 501(c)(3) charitable

and the creative community to be the

non-profit - is dedicated to promoting

leading voice in what the future of

the essential cinema exhibition industry

cinema will be,” said Jackie Brenneman,

by developing future diverse workforces

President, The Cinema Foundation.

and growing moviegoing communities.

Currently in its initial fundraising

The Cinema Foundation expands

and hiring phase, its key priorities



include: Cinema




companies, food and beverage leaders,

diversity: promoting the industry as a

members of the creative community

great place to work

and others that share our vision and

Moviegoing promotion and creative

passion for the future of cinema.

community involvement

The Cinema Foundation’s founding

QSC - New Northern Europe Marketing Manager





Coca-Cola Company).

Foundation. The new organization - a

on NATO’s mission by adding new


A centre for innovation and technology

Board of Directors draws members

Industry data and research - key to

from across the industry, including

effective industry messaging, a data-

Jackie Brenneman (NATO), President;

based approach will be prioritised

QSC is very pleased to

Tori A. Baker (Salt Lake Film Society),

across all initiatives

welcome Julene Brown to the

Vice President; Brian Schultz (Look


Cinemas), Secretary; Eduardo Acuna

charities to expand their impact




(Cinépolis Americas), Treasurer; and Directors Michelle





To sponsor, donate, or learn more


visit www.thecinemafoundation.

Laboratories); and Katherine Twells (The

LA & Washington DC


EMEA marketing team. Julene will join QSC as the Northern The Cinema Foundation will promote the cinema-going experience

Europe Marketing Manager based in the UK office. Welcome aboard!

Omnex Launches a Shop Earlier







installation company Omnex launched






shop. Find



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Renewed Movio Contract Paves Way for GroundBreaking Data Integration at Village Cinemas MOVIO (a Vista Group company)














technology suite provides


has given us efficiencies,

Village Cinemas enabling



opportunities and offered

























Manager, Village Cinemas.

The deal will see Movio’s full



management solutions and capabilities.





Village will use the Movio platform to undertake an

continue to play a major role






Lexer. Village will combine



with Data






its loyalty and non-loyalty




member databases, along

allowing the business to


harness the power of data

behavioural and sentiment-

and better understand and

based data points, to provide

engage its customers to

a 360-degree view of the


entire customer base.





CinemaNext Signs Joint Distribution Partnership Agreement with Kansas-based Sonic Equipment Company CINEMANEXT has announced that it has

industry leader in the sale, installation, and

same level of integrated solutions we offer

concluded a joint distribution partnership

service of cinema equipment, providing




services to major chains and independent

CinemaNext,” explains Georges Garic, CEO



exhibitors on over 1,200 screens in 35 U.S.

of CinemaNext. “Sonic and its CEO Ron


Hageman have been important actors in


Kansas-based (Sonic)






Manufacturing, to extend its services and solutions offer in North America. Located in Iola, Kansas, Sonic is an

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“With this new partnership, we are

the successful digital roll-out in the US and

moving forward with our strategic plan to

enjoy an excellent reputation founded on

provide North American exhibitors the

quality and reliability.”



Happy Birthday to Volfoni Vo l f o n i

Ce l e b r a te s

Co r p o r a te

1 5 t h

A n n i ve r s a r y

S i g n i f i ca n t

Y e a r

f o r

i n

3 D


The Regent Returns to the Redcar Seafront with Help from Sound Associates Sound Associates (SA) played

E n te r ta i n m e n t

a significant part in The AS 2022 prepares moviegoers for an explosive year of 3D content, Volfoni will this month celebrate 15 years of

Volfoni celebrates 15 years in business

Regent Cinema project, one close to the hearts of the people of Redcar. The

driving multidimensional cinematic

previous building on the

innovation to further underline their

seafront became unsafe and

status as one of the leading names in

was closed. Following a

3D cinema. Founded on March 2nd, 2007, Volfoni has grown to be one of few companies in the world to be endorsed by major Hollywood Studios, enjoying global recognition for their renowned, high-quality active and passive 3D technologies. “To reach our 15th anniversary in such






entertainment represents a major milestone in this company’s history,” said Bertrand Caillaud, CEO of Volfoni. With




scheduled for launch later this year, timely aligned with the release of an abundance of theatrical 3D content, Volfoni looks set to expand its global project portfolio as they look ahead to another corporate milestone.

Sonic Equipment Company, Kansas

£9.6million rebuild, there is now a modern art-deco style, 3-screen cinema with café and sea-facing terrace.


And there’s quite an array of equipment in each screen: a Barco projector plus Barco Alchemy server, Dolby CP950 audio processors with amplifiers and speakers from QSC and each screen also has a wall to wall floating frame screen. An impressive cinema experience!

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GDC Technology Receives ISO 9001:2015 Certification GDC Technology Limited (GDC), a leading global provider

comprising of a cinema projector, media server, cinema

of digital cinema solutions, is pleased to announce its Hong

audio processor and media storage that meet customer

Kong manufacturing facility has received ISO 9001:2015

and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. ISO

certification, an internationally recognized standard for

9001:2015 is an accreditation that illustrates how GDC aims

Quality Management Systems (QMS) certified by SGS.

to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective

As the most widely-used QMS standard across the







world, receiving ISO 9001:2015 certifies GDC’s ability to

processes for improvement of the system and the assurance

consistently produce reliable digital cinema systems

of conformity.

A GDC auditorium

Hong Kong

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We create & cut it We create, adapt and localise promos, trailers, social, TV, and DOOH. All markets, and all platforms.


t: 020 7751 7000


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2021 - A Y






20 17






i n Ci n e m a

N e Lik

ther... O o

David Hancock talks Spanish flu, sector recovery and different-sized studio releases, as 2022 gets underway



David Hancock Chief Analyst, Media and Entertainment, OMDIA

I 1 6


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n October 1918, the sales ledger of the

limit the spread of the Spanish flu as it hit the East Coast

Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds (my

first before moving inexorably westwards.

old local cinema when I was a student

Film production in California dropped by 60%, and the

there in the late 1980s) noted the first

newly-emerging mainstream film industry feared that this

mention of an epidemic (pictured

could be the end before really even starting. In Europe,

page 3), followed a few weeks later

following on the heels of World War One and the ensuing

by barring some people from entering the premises as

devastation on the continent, this global pandemic led to

a measure to try and control the newly-arrived Spanish

a sustained downward dip in the fortunes of cinemas. And

flu pandemic. (Sidenote - the Hyde Park is currently in

yet the very same Hyde Park Picture House celebrated its

redevelopment: In the US,

100-year anniversary in 2014. The industry has weathered

movie theatres shut for an initial three weeks as a way to

many further conflicts - including the arrival of television









91 8. ..




Market Dominance of the Leading Movies Of the Top 200 movies, the number grossing under $25m rose to 89.5% in



.. . W e l

i S l,

e c n


2020, from closer to 50% in previous years. It slipped back again to 79% in 2021 and needs to keep declining if the market is to return to its previous rhythm. The $25-100m band accounted for 34% of box office in 2018 compared to 8% in 2020 and 16% in 2021. And the disappearance of the

- and the re-energised cinema sector was growing

smaller major titles is probably the biggest risk factor for movie theatres

steadily when the (next) global pandemic began in 2020. I

right now.

give this context to provide a measure of historical

Additionally, the Top 10 films take around 30-35% of the box office in a


normal year and this rose to 53.1% in 2020 and 46.7% in 2021. This metric was

something is not the same as it actually happening. I have

rising due to the dominance of the leading films within the premium space

given my view of the positive points that underpin cinema

(i.e. higher ticket prices) but if this continues for the long-term, this

many times since March 2020, but I also recognise that

percentage remaining around half of the market would be a concern. The

we are still far from normal. And several of the key cinema

chart does show an improvement in 2021 over 2020 - but this would need to

metrics could be a worry if they stay where they are. How

be back to around 40% in 2022 to show a return path to normality.







well is the market getting back on track so far, and what remains to be reset?

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Major Releases - One Half of the Story

half of the year. For comparison, a normal year would see

There are two aspects to the return of films into cinemas.

between 125-130 releases. The outlook for 2022 is 110+

On the one hand, major studio titles have returned in good

wide releases, underlining that confidence in theatrical is

numbers to the big screen once cinemas reopened in the

returning at that level of the market. Omicron has moved

spring/summer of 2021. There were 92 wide releases in the

a few titles around but not to the extent we have seen

US market in 2021, stacked 32/60 in favour of the second


Other Releases - Part Two


However, underneath and apart from this studio level, the

The global box office grew by 79% in 2021, after a 72.5% drop in 2020. Early

end of December 2021 in the US, there were 48% of the

2021 began slowly for the market with many screens shut, but confidence

number of indie films in the market compared to the 2019

began to return in the summer as studios put out new major movies,

level (and compared to one third at the beginning of 2021).

leading up to a strong fourth quarter. However, the global market is still

This will impact the box office generated as much as any

half of what it was in 2019 (which was $42bn) and is predicted by OMDIA

remaining consumer hesitancy. Some indie projects went

to reach $35bn in 2022. The global box office rising to such a level would

straight to streaming as COVID-19 hit, and the lead time for

be a good sign that the market is recovering and that, from there, it could

a film project means that they may not be back this year.

make its way back to where it was before the pandemic.

However, streaming companies have talked about moving

A Box Office Overview & Monthly Attendance Levels

picture is not quite as optimistic, and the independent film sector is not currently well represented in cinemas. At the

The month-by-month data is not yet back to normal, with monthly

into theatrical, where the path to greater global prominence

admissions in December 2021 around 55% in the UK and US and 70% in

and relevance lies, and this may signal the return of the

France. Full lockdowns will be fewer in 2022, as governments are now far

market’s mid-level.

more likely to put in place short-term targeted restrictions than closing down economies altogether. For the success of 2022, a lot depends on

The ‘-isation’ of Cinema

the US getting back to where it was (as China already showed signs

When it comes to cinema and the COVID-19 pandemic,

of doing in 2021), as well as Europeans getting back to cinemas that

the fact is that we have been here before. Even though

stay open.

the market for films is completely different now with many more options, and cinema is no longer the fresh

1 1

n b 5 3 $

arket is cinema m The global n this year b 35 $ h reac thought to

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al marke t is still ar half of w oun d hat it wa s in 2019

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new medium it was 100 years ago, in many countries,

of one shows that adversity can be temporary as long

modern cinema is a new medium, with multiplex cinemas

as cinema keeps following the track it was already

only arriving in the past decade. A similar energy is

on: digitisation, automation, staff qualification, show

currently present in the market. The fact that cinema has


existed for so long certainly suggests that writing it off is

“gourmandisation”, experience stratification: in short,


“premiumisation” of the cinema experience.




The core of cinema is social - not in the metaverse or


in your front room - and while an airborne pandemic is guaranteed to cause hard times, the latest experience


Leading Movies

The Strongest and Weakest Performers

While the recovery of cinema began for many in 2021, some countries are taking longer to bounce back. Turkey’s cinema sector collapsed in 2021

After a quiet start to 2021 due to screen closures around the world, titles

(40.8% down on 2020), while a number of European

grew in strength from July onwards (with the exception of “F9” in May

countries were also slightly down due to lockdowns

2021) as “Black Widow” was launched, leading up to October’s “No Time

(Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Finland). Among the

To Die”, “Venom” and December’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home”. “Spider-

best performers are Chile, which grew by 165.6%

Man” very quickly surpassed the Bond outing (“No Time To Die”) and

from a low base, and China, which grew 147.9% over

sped past $1bn before year-end ($1.74bn by February 2022), making it the

2020 and profited from the US shutdowns to remain

sixth highest-grossing movie of all time. Two domestic Chinese movies

the largest market by box office in 2021. Other

also grossed enough in China to make the Global Top 5 list. In normal

strong growth rates were recorded in Colombia,

times studio titles will take $1.5bn plus across the world so these numbers

UAE and Hong Kong. In a non-COVID world, we

are only representative of pandemic times. And while China has aimed at

would not see these growth rates outside of a new

becoming a global provider of films within a decade in its latest five-year

growth market (such as KSA) but it is likely that high

plan for the economy, this is not the norm yet. And in 2022 the Top 5

rates will be a feature of 2022, and that these are

should be global studio titles again if the market is recovering.

more likely to be positive than negative.

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“Spider-Man: No Way Home” surpassed $1.74bn by Feb 2022

wide releases in the US 2021 spring/summer market

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In a special Cinema Technology Magazine feature, Peter Knight takes a look at the £33m refurbishment of BAFTA’s iconic building, 195 Piccadilly, as it celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2022

Impressive: 195 Piccadilly sits in the heart of London

Peter Knight, Commissioning Editor, Cinema Technology

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The British Academy of Film & Television Arts On 16th April 1947 a group of the most eminent names in the British film production industry gathered in a room at the Hyde Park Hotel, and appointed the film director Sir David Lean as Chairman, thereby creating the initial British Film Academy. Their fundamental aim was “to recognise those who had contributed






advancement of British film.” 11 years later, the British Film Academy merged with the Guild of Television Producers and Directors to form the Society of Film and Television Arts (SFTA). David Lean donated royalties from and to The Society and these served as an invaluable source of working capital in its early years.

The History of 195 Piccadilly In 1831 the New Society of Painters in Water Colours was formed to compete with the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS), which had been founded in 1804. The New Society differed from the RWS in policy by exhibiting non-members’ work but both societies challenged the Royal Academy’s refusal to accept the medium of watercolours as appropriate for serious art. Why is this important? Because in 1863 the New Society became the Institute of Painters in Water Colours - and 20 years later in 1883 it acquired its own premises at 195 Piccadilly, across the road from the Royal Academy. In 1885 it added “Royal” to its title by command of Queen Victoria. When the lease to the Piccadilly premises ran out in 1970,

A glimpse through the doors of the Princess Anne Theatre

the Royal Institute of Painters moved to the Mall Galleries, near

Royal Opening of 195 Piccadilly took place on 10 March 1976, with HRH The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, The Earl Mountbatten of Burma and Academy President HRH Princess Anne in attendance. A magnificent new building wasn’t the only reason to celebrate that day; making a surprise appearance was legendary actor and filmmaker Sir Charles “Charlie” Chaplin, who was presented with a BAFTA mask by Princess

Image: LucaPiffaretti_BAFTA

Anne, marking his induction into the Academy Fellowship.

A Much-Anticipated Refurbishment After nearly 40 years it was time to reimagine the 195 Piccadilly space into a world-class creative centre, not only for members but also to fulfil its charitable remit. Despite being grand, the Grade II listed building just didn’t quite offer that in its previous form. The refurbishment allowed BAFTA to create a uniquely



educational purposes and commercial hire and it doubled the amount of space, including the creation of a whole new fourth

reconfigure and expand the building so it could extend its

BAFTA had been able to obtain 195 Piccadilly thanks to the

Cawston’s 1969 TV documentary “Royal Family”). The official


BAFTA commissioned Benedetti Architects to fully

the SFTA - known today as BAFTA.

Duke of Edinburgh (their share of the profits from Richard



Trafalgar Square. And the former building was taken over by

help of a £60,000 donation from HRH The Queen and The


charitable work, support emerging talent and continue to

Harkness Harkness gifted two of their screens to BAFTA’s redevelopment project. A 10.4m x 4.70m Matt Plus MiniPerforated screen was installed in the Princess Anne Theatre (above). And a 4.70m x 2.02m High Contrast Grey Preview was installed in the Run Run Shaw Theatre.

flourish as the centre of excellence for the moving image arts in film, games and television. Part of the requirement of the new scheme was to create fit-for-purpose spaces with greater flexibility that balanced both the members’ needs, along with raising income and increasing public access. The doubled floor space came from significantly opening up the usable areas and reconfiguring the entire building infrastructure. Alongside this the architects were able to unify the interior design enhancing BAFTA’s unique character, while also celebrating the historic assets of the building. One of the most striking architectural and revelatory aspects of Benedetti’s design was the creation of the new top floor. This floor allowed for the restoration and reintegration of two large Victorian roof light spaces and decorative plasterwork that had been hidden for more than 40 years. And in an incredible feat of engineering, as part of the whole roof structure, the Victorian roof lights were physically raised by 0 3 / 2 2


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A Jewel in the Crown - Princess Anne Theatre T E C H three metres to create the new fourth floor. Not only this but special high-performance smart reactive liquid-crystal glazing was used (a UK first), that helps to manage the solar gain and heat entering the space, thus saving energy. Other aspects of the scheme include the transformation and repurposing of existing spaces to provide: a second cinema theatre, a banqueting hall, an entire floor devoted to BAFTA’s Learning and New Talent programme, a members’ bar, dining

S P E C :

olby Vision projection system D Dolby Atmos sound system AV facilities & AV panels – Stage Left (SL) Stage Right (SR), Auditorium SL / SR and rear auditorium (including 32A sockets and fibre connections) ETC Prodigy motorised lighting bars for ease of access Industry-leading LED stage luminaires & moving lights from ETC

Industry-standard ETC Eos family lighting control and network infrastructure Folsom HD ImagePro-II switcher / scaler Apple Mac Pro Tascam BD-MP4K Blu-Ray Ki Pro digital recorder Digital microphones Lectern 227 Seats

& meeting rooms, extra kitchens, administration & staff offices and two terraces overlooking Piccadilly and the Grade I listed St

The Princess Anne Theatre was always the gem of 195 Piccadilly, as a

James’ Church.

space that presented all the new films to the voting academy members

A Team Effort

As part of the refurbishment, the Princess Anne is now powered by

Technical solutions specialist White Light started working

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technology. The aim to make the theatre

on the BAFTA project back in 2016, devising an integrated

one of, if not the, best auditoria in terms of picture and audio in London

technology package for the overriding system control and

has certainly been achieved. The projection room has been remodelled,

fully managing the installation process. But a number of

with a separation between the Dolby Vision dual laser projection system

companies from the cinema sector also worked on the

and the office / control area that the projection team uses. Although

refurbishment, so we sat down to talk to them about the

there was a discussion to put a 35mm projector back in, it was decided


to safely store these projectors offsite and install runners in the booth to

CinemaNext - BAFTA’s Official Supplier Image: LucaPiffaretti_BAFTA

and also provided a conferencing and Q&A space.

Jerry Murdoch from CinemaNext describes the team’s involvement in the project:

enable them to be brought in to accommodate heritage screenings, when required with changeovers. Gone is the wooden panelling around the stage, the wooden handrail, white walls, and red seating. The walls are all black with

“Back in May 2019, BAFTA started the process of selecting

airforce blue seats, and accentuated lighting highlights certain features.

their technical partners for the 195 Piccadilly refurbishment.

The seating has been repurposed, the metalwork and wood reused and

Early in 2020, following a number of meetings and a wide

recovered, with each seat displaying an embroidered BAFTA mask.

range of evaluation criteria, CinemaNext was awarded the 2 4

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contract to act as BAFTA’s Official Supplier. Then the fun

(and on budget!), resulting in a home that BAFTA can be proud

started and COVID hit (!)

of for many years, with technology that is future-proofed and

CinemaNext took a leading role in the redesign of the Run Run Shaw Theatre (Screen 2), alongside the mechanical and electrical design teams. A new pod was constructed to house the Christie RGB laser projector and the speaker layouts were redesigned to accommodate both film presentations and other room functions. A number of challenges were presented and solved in the Princess Anne Theatre - particularly the desire to hide the speakers for aesthetic reasons (and the solution worked really well). The CinemaNext UK team provided their services in two key areas - the specification and design of cinema equipment, and the installation and commissioning of the resulting equipment. The project took almost two years to complete and CinemaNext will continue to support BAFTA with planned maintenance, remote and on-site support. And throughout all of this there was COVID which meant restricted access to site, delays in construction and equipment deliveries, the need to wear masks and have regular tests. But out of adversity comes opportunity - the contractors worked as

The Ray Dolby Room: Tech Spec 2 > Single 16:9 full HD Christie projector > Directional conference speakers > Full capabilities for conference and presentation with microphones, staging and lectern > Technicians booth with playback for digital content > Total blackout capabilities

Image: Jim Stephenson

a team, accepted the challenges and, together, delivered on time and to the highest level. As always, CinemaNext tends to be the last trade on site -

deadline to meet. The technical works were completed on time

is a project that all that contributed to should be proud of.”

Christie Technology at BAFTA While the project had a number of different partners and companies involved throughout the refurbishment, one of the most visible is Christie. The company hasn’t just provided some of the cinema technology to BAFTA, they’ve supplied many elements of showcase products. The partnership saw a host of Christieintegrated technology installed throughout the building, including Christie MicroTiles LED, as well as 3DLP RGB pure laser and 1DLP laser projectors, media servers and software. This year, BAFTA is relaunching its Learning and Talent Development programme, enabled by the redevelopment of 195 Piccadilly. Working with technology supplied by Christie, the new programme will aim to engage over 10 million learners with a BAFTA resource online, and equip 80,000 people a year with the tools to develop a career in film, games and television via events, competitions, and initiatives. In

The Princess Anne auditorium

we can only complete our work once the screen fitters have finished and the seats are installed - and there’s always a

with facilities that will be enjoyed by all film lovers. 195 Piccadilly

addition, bespoke year-round support will be given to 4,000 talented individuals through initiatives including BAFTA Breakthrough, BAFTA Elevate, Young Game Designers and

Dolby Atmos system in the Princess Anne

BFI Flare x BAFTA Mentoring. Among





programme is a 1.2 x 2.7 metres (3.9ft x 8.8ft) Christie MicroTiles LED video wall that proudly welcomes visitors with engaging content at the reception entrance. The foyer to the Ray Dolby Room will be fitted with two video walls and a floor-to-ceiling projection display using 1DLP laser projectors, a Christie Pandoras Box Server and Christie Mystique Premium Edition, a multi-camera, automated warping and blending tool for stacking and edge-blending projection systems in minutes (instead of hours). In addition, working with CinemaNext, the Run Run Shaw Theatre will be powered by a DCI-compliant Christie CP2309-RGB pure laser cinema projector, for screens up to 13 metres (44 feet) wide. And an array of multipurpose spaces and boardrooms will feature Christie 1DLP laser projectors and LCD display panels with Christie Pandoras Box Manager and Widget Designer for content management and processing. Dolby, Christie, QSC and ETC have provided installation services and training throughout the renovation process, alongside White Light who carried out the main AV install and CinemaNext who supervised the theatre installations.

Dolby - A Longstanding Relationship Dolby Laboratories has partnered with and supported

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The Ray Dolby Room T E C H

S P E C :

Capacity: 180 seated, 325 reception, 200 theatre style, 120 cabaret style Step and Repeat LED Screen for photo opportunities and branding 9 floor boxes for ease of connectivity

QSC audio system for a 3D immersive sound experience 360-degree full wall display projection mapping via 12 ceiling-mounted Christie projectors

The Ray Dolby Room sits on the first floor and serves as a unique, multi-functional event space. And as the name suggests the room celebrates Ray Dolby’s innovative and lasting contributions to the film and television industry. BAFTA for many years, but the redevelopment of the Princess

In a BAFTA press release from 2021 Ray’s son David Dolby said, “It’s

Anne Theatre allowed the partnership to reach a new level.

wonderful to celebrate Ray’s contribution to the entertainment industry,

Starting with very early discussions, it became clear that BAFTA

and we are thrilled that his legacy will be recognised at BAFTA 195

wanted to do everything possible to create a state-of-the-art

Piccadilly. BAFTA is the home of film, games and television in the UK,

theatre, showcasing Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos as the most

and we are proud to support the redevelopment of 195 Piccadilly both

advanced picture and sound technologies in cinema.

financially and with Dolby technologies, so visitors to the building can

Dolby Laboratories’ architects and engineers worked with

enjoy the best audio-visual experience. Supporting BAFTA is a fitting

BAFTA, and associated contractors, to redesign the Princess

tribute to Ray’s innovation in sound technology and the founding of

Anne Theatre to the highest standard, while allowing the

Dolby Laboratories in London, both of which have had a tremendous

flexibility of use that the theatre now enjoys. Every detail was

impact on the creative industries.”

considered, from the design of the signal processing chain

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, agreed, “We are so

(which can accommodate all sound formats including legacy

grateful to the Dolby family and Dolby Laboratories for their respective

film soundtracks and the latest Dolby Atmos), to the colour and

generous contributions to the redevelopment of 195 Piccadilly.”

position of the seats. Dolby Laboratories continued to work closely with the

The Ray Dolby Room can transform from a traditional open space overlooking Piccadilly, to a room that can project any 360-degree

wider BAFTA team during construction when its engineers

landscape, or other, images right around you using projection mapping

installed and calibrated the Dolby Vision projection system.

that is built into the room, using 12 short throw projectors.

The Dolby team oversaw the installation and alignment of the 67 loudspeaker cabinets in the theatre (which include the very latest Dolby System 136 screen channel speakers). The result of this collaboration allows the full dynamic range of Dolby Vision

The Ray Dolby Room

QSC’s Q-SYS Platform Performs for BAFTA

and the pinpoint accuracy of Dolby Atmos to provide a truly

After a lot of consideration, together with consultancy

immersive cinematic experience. Coupled with the Dolby

Charcoalblue, BAFTA decided on QSC’s Q-SYS Platform to

Atmos installation in the Run Run Shaw Theatre, and the legacy

provide a fully integrated audio, video, and control system, as

that is honoured in the Ray Dolby Room, Dolby Laboratories is

well as high-performance Q-SYS Cinema products.

proud to be part of this exciting development.

With the highest quality experience needed, the Q-SYS Platform was the perfect fit that offers software-based scalable technology, providing an alternative to the need for constant hardware additions; a crucial goal to create a system that can be built upon for years to come. The new modern BAFTA solution is split between two systems. The first is a dedicated Dolby Atmos cinema with a Q-SYS Core 510i Integrated Processor, used to orchestrate the audio and control processing throughout the theatre space. Accompanying this are QSC DCA-Q Series network amplifiers, The Dolby Vision dual laser projection system

2 6


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a QSC Reference Monitor System as the chosen behind-thescreen solution and QSC SR-1020 surround speakers for the


The Run Run Shaw Theatre T E C H

auditorium. The theatre technicians access the projector and room audio controls through a Q-SYS network touch screen. The second half of the solution services the remainder of the BAFTA building, encompassing all of its public spaces, multi-use spaces, meeting rooms, and the private members’ bar. At the heart of the system is a Q-SYS Core 510i Integrated

S P E C :

Christie DCI Cinema projection system Dolby Atmos sound system ETC coloured stage lighting QSC Professional Cinema audio & control system

Tech booth, with full video switching and sound control for presentations and cinema Automated playback and lighting for privacy

Named after the Hong Kong film tycoon Sir Run Run Shaw, the Run Run Shaw Theatre previously existed within the old building, but the new

Processor setup that handles all of the audio, video, and control

design has developed it into a whole new dedicated second cinema

processing. Each space offers Q-SYS user control interfaces, via

room. With a 41-seat additional auditorium, it now houses a full Christie

an iPad, to allow for users to set up a room for a specific use.

DCI Cinema projection system and a Dolby Atmos sound system.

Q-SYS CX-Q networked amplifiers and a selection of the QSC AcousticDesign Series loudspeakers were leveraged across the wide range of room types and requirements, including the background music distributed around the building.

installed to distribute video content throughout. In the words of Louise Robertson, Executive Director of

The Run Run Shaw Theatre

Partnerships and Fundraising, “We are so excited to be working

But the new BAFTA facility is not just limited to audio several Q-SYS NV Series network video endpoints have been

with QSC to help bring our redeveloped space at 195 Piccadilly to life. The state-of-the-art technology gives BAFTA the

Ensuring Accessibility

The tables in the members’ space and the reception desk are the right height to be comfortable for wheelchair users, as well as

BAFTA engaged Peter Connell Associates,

narration (VI) for visually-impaired patrons.

having a hearing loop system in place in the

experts in inclusive design, who carried out

Throughout the building, areas have been

latter area.

an accessibility review to help create an

flattened and small steps removed. Wooden

There are other features built into the new



floors aid smooth movement around the

building in terms of hidden disabilities where

environment for all. Accessibility features

building, with tactile treads at the top of stairs

it is possible to now turn down the sound and

include hearing loops in the main public

and all doors have been widened. The front

lighting around the building, room by room. If

spaces, Dolby Fidelio in the theatres delivering

row of seats in each of the Princess Anne and

visitors, guests or members are neurodiverse

both Hearing Impaired (HI) for hard-of-

Run Run Shaw theatres can be removed, and

- with a sensitivity to sound or light - these


there is a new stage lift in the former theatre.

features can be adjusted or reduced.







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2 7

perience with Q-SYS from QSCww

To the big screen, and beyond! CREATE A FULL MULTIPLEX EXPERIENCE WITH Q-SYS FROM QSC Today’s cinema experience is so much more than movies! And Q-SYSTM is so much more than a cinema processor. With the Q-SYS Platform you can deliver sound to each theatre and every other space in the theatre complex where high quality sound is important. You can also monitor and control every sound system component and many other devices, from anywhere in the building or remotely from anywhere with a network connection.

Visit us at CinemaCon 2022 Booth 2303A – Augustus Ballroom

©2022 QSC, LLC all rights reserved. QSC, Q-SYS and the QSC logo are registered trademarks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other countries.


A View from the Box BAFTA’s Angus & Stuart “The flexibility and capacity of the new BAFTA building presents an amazing opportunity to widen BAFTA’s charitable work and workshops, not only in the UK but across the globe. Coming from a cinema background, the level of new technology installed in each room and space is incredible - there’s a lot to take in! We’ve always been honoured to work at 195 Piccadilly and we look forward to seeing the building used to its full potential.”

members’ bar and restaurant area. But this newly refurbished building just flows throughout, from floor to floor and room to room. The main reception desk has moved from the first floor down onto the ground floor by way of an enlarged entrance area that has specifically been designed to be open and welcoming, rather than the previously slightly hidden and mysterious one. Additionally, BAFTA has managed to put a second lift next to the original one that sits in the middle of the staircase, both of which traverse the whole building. resources needed to expand our Learning and Talent Development programme dramatically.”

A Completely Different Building

Embroidered BAFTA faces displayed on seats

The Princess Anne auditorium was always a great place to watch a movie, but now has to be one of the best in the country - the superior picture and sound that are delivered are second to none. And there’s a pleasant atmosphere that manages to

Anyone who has had the opportunity to visit 195 Piccadilly in

fulfil the Dolby Laboratories specifications without falling into

previous times would not recognise the building now; there is

the uninspiring black box auditorium design.

virtually no corner that hasn’t been touched in one form or another as a result of this refurbishment.

The new fourth floor is a wonderful space, particularly the view. And the attention to detail is on the money - from a

The building was always an attractive, impressive space

logistical perspective, the system of comprehensive routes and

with plenty of open space and light, especially in the upstairs

corridors around the building will aid staff in their journeying from area to area. Even the fire extinguishers are special and not your standard red, but a combination of gold or bronze.

Including Sustainability in the Refurb

(Apparently a fire extinguisher can be any colour, as long as it has the appropriate markers on it.) The BAFTA team and associates have created a building that will easily see them through to their centenary and far

Despite being built in the 1880s the

and cool only those areas in use

refurbishment of 195 Piccadilly has

G reater levels of insulation

allowed for the latest technology and

R eductions in carbon emissions

produce this article - the number involved is probably a record

practices to be integrated to make it as

A ll systems exceeding the building

for a Cinema Technology Magazine feature.

sustainable as possible. This includes:

regulations energy efficient

A remotely-controlled BMS


(Building Management System) to

E PC rating of B49, almost

heat and cool the building

the equivalent of a brand new

H igh-efficiency heat pumps to heat


beyond. It’s incredible, definitely worth a visit if you can go. My personal thanks to everyone who has helped to


More Info

illuminating-bafta-1 Download: sites/default/files/uploads/195Piccadilly BrochureAW2122v9.pdf

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2 9


Ōma Cinema: the Future of Auditoria? Fact File Pierre (r) and Nicolas Chican, Founders, Ōma Cinema

Ōma Cinema is the new architectural concept that is redefining the traditional cinema auditorium. CT Magazine sat down with Pierre and Nicolas Chican, the father-andson duo behind the company.


ma Cinema - the name originating from

CT: Tell us what Ōma Cinema is all about?

hOMe cinemA - is the brainchild of

Ōma Cinema (Ōma) is a patented architectural solution for

French architect, Pierre Chican, and his

movie theaters that completely changes the way cinema

son Nicolas.

seating is situated. In a nutshell, Ōma introduces a configuration

Among Pierre’s many clients are

of seating “pods” on a vertical wall facing the screen, combining

the top two French cinema chains,

the intimacy of being seated in a small pod or balcony with the

Pierre Chican is a

Pathé and UGC, who are also key players in Europe, and

renowned French

some of the top independent cinema chains in France, as

The unique Ōma layout redefines the movie experience by

cinema architect

well as City Councils cinemas. His experience and knowledge

bringing spectators closer to the screen where every seat is the

who has been

in cinema building and design is extensive - he’s behind

best seat in the house. This immerses viewers in the movie

building cinemas

some of the most successful worldwide cinemas; UGC Ciné

without any image distortion, and introduces flexibility for the

for more than

Cité Les Halles in Paris sees more than 3 million admissions

cinema operator in terms of comfort and customer service

per year, and UGC Ciné Cité Bercy which sees around 2


three decades, 25 years of which have been at the helm of his own

spectacular big screen experience.

million admissions. He’s also a specialist in PLF screens and has built many IMAX, Dolby Cinema, 4DX and exhibitor-

CT: How does the business model for Ōma Cinema work?

branded PLF screens.

Chican’s son, Nicolas, is an

We sell exclusive patent licences to cinema operators for them

agency. His son,

entertainment and tourism industry expert. He studied

to run their own Ōma Cinema. Ōma is a fully protected,

Nicolas, is an

management at EM LYON Business School, one of the top

patented concept.


French universities. There, he developed a revenue

industry expert.

management-oriented solution for cinema tickets.


It means that above and beyond the classic IP protection architectural designs typically enjoy, Ōma is able to offer its exhibitor screen-operating partners complete exclusivity over their cinema’s catchment area. The licence package also includes architectural support up to the opening of the Ōma cinema. CT: How does the cinema owner benefit from operating an Ōma Cinema? Ōma has been designed to offer something different - for example, a new “destination concept” for a cinema’s flagship location. It can sit comfortably within an upscale or luxury international city or a smaller town wanting to provide something unique for their community. An Ōma Cinema presents a range of F&B layout opportunities

Its flexibility for cinema operators is also a significant selling point as





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3 1

experiences within the same venue, and tailor the format to their needs, space, and audience requirements (VIP

Ōma’s futuristic pod seating

If you already have some specifics in mind for an Ōma project, we would be pleased to send you a preliminary drawing

corporate hospitality boxes, table service, exclusive lounge

to give you an indication of general layout, number of pods, and

and bar access).

seating capacity. Architectural drawings on specific Ōma projects for different seating configurations are also available.

CT: How does Ōma Cinema enhance the customer experience? What would make a customer choose an Ōma

CT: How is auditorium capacity impacted? Is it reduced

Cinema rather than a standard auditorium to watch a film?

as a result of the Ōma Cinema design?

Ōma redefines the cinema experience through the power of

Depending on the number of seats you want in each pod,

design. The best audio-visual theatrical technology creates total

some seats will be lost in comparison to the classic cinema

immersion in the film in an intimate and cosy environment.

layout, as is the case for all PLF formats and cinemas with

As the Ōma layout increases the gradient of the seating

recliners. But as the slope of tiers is increased from around

tiers, when compared to a traditional cinema layout, it makes

25° up to 50°, space is saved at the back of the auditorium

use of the full height of the screen so the audience is much

for access and food and beverage (F&B) opportunities.

closer to the action. This results in a more immersive sensation

We also offer a mixed configuration which combines

as spectators have an impression of floating in front of the

the Ōma pods at the back of the theater with a traditional

screen, without any visual distraction between them and what

tier seating slope at the front. This design actually allows for

they’re watching. The arrangement of the seating within the

a larger auditorium capacity than even a traditional cinema

viewing pods allows the projector to be centrally positioned to


ensure each person in the auditorium can see the whole screen without any distortion. And multiple audio sources provide

CT: Does Ōma Cinema integrate with other auditorium

perfect sound for everyone.

technologies such as IMAX, ScreenX, 4DX? When it comes to projection equipment, sound systems

CT: What impact does the Ōma Cinema design have on the

and screens, Ōma Cinema is fully compatible with all types

building / auditorium? Is it only for newbuild cinemas?

of technology on the market.

A modular architectural system, the Ōma layout is flexible and can either be retrofitted or fitted for a newbuild project. Ōma

CT: What challenges have you had so far, especially in

also lets you customise each element (size and number of pods,

terms of building regulations / logistics?

levels, number of pods per level and so on). We can build an

Apart from obtaining the patents, which took us more than


two years, we faced two main challenges when we






accommodate a configuration of five pods. 3 2

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conceived Ōma: the structure and the sound system.


We knew it would be difficult to create a structure that

of their pending French cinema projects so we are on

was suitable for both newbuilds and renovation projects. So

standby. But we also have several Ōma projects in

we engaged world-renowned engineering firm, C&E

development under NDAs at different stages but none are

Ingénerie, to design a lightweight, all-metal frame.

open yet. As soon as they are, we’ll provide an update.

For the sound system we worked with Dolby and Christie’s technical teams, together with our acoustic

CT: Are you expecting Ōma Cinema to appeal to one

engineer Walter Koller, to ensure the acoustic feasibility of

country more than another?

the Ōma Cinema. We are happy to report that both

Since we unveiled the Ōma concept to the international

companies have validated the installation of a 7.1 system

press in July 2020, we have received a lot of interest from

(the minimum requirement for an Ōma Cinema) which has

cinema operators, especially in Europe and the Middle East.

then been adapted to our architecture. Ōma is compatible

We also have some projects in development in Asia and

with any sound system on the market (Dolby, Christie etc).

Latin America. Our goal is to bring the Ōma experience to as many people

CT: Why is Ōma different to other (similar) previous

as possible.

innovations? Nowadays, most innovations in cinemas are technological:

CT: Is there anything else you’d like to add that we

sound systems, projectors, screens, seating. But the

haven’t covered?

evolution and ever-improving quality of home cinemas and

When we talk about the future of cinema design it’s crucial

video projectors threatens the advantage of cinemas in the

to better understand what young audiences want and how

technological field.

they entertain themselves. Indeed, the number of young

Architecture can be a key differentiator. If the environment itself became part of the experience, it would

people under 25 who go to the cinema is declining in most mature markets.

increase the perceived value of a cinema visit and have a

Young people are increasingly looking for distinctive

positive effect on attendance. At Ōma Cinema, we strongly

experiences. They are also looking for unique destinations,

believe that architecture has the power to enhance the

event experiences and “instagrammable” venues to share

cinema experience in a way that no domestic set up will be

on social media. And let’s be honest, most cinema theaters

able to compete with.

these days are quite similar and anonymous.

CT: When and where can we expect to see the first one? We signed a deal with one of the leading cinema chains in Europe back in 2019. Construction began a few months before the first lockdown in 2020, but it was halted due to COVID. It has yet to resume because our client was hit hard by the extended closure of movie theaters and stopped all

More Info

Pierre and Nicolas Chican

Ōma’s mixed seating configuration

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3 3

We build & deliver it At MPS, we’ve been building DCPs for 15 years, whilst creating a delivery network to more than 3,500 cinemas worldwide.


t: 020 7751 7000



The One and Only: Unique X Peter Knight, Commissioning Editor, Cinema Technology Peter Knight finds out what puts the “unique” into Unique X, the digital company celebrating over 20 years of cinema solutions


ounder Chris Hagan visited a cinema in Norway and, after observing some operating processes, asked a simple yet important question - why were all the trailers not being sent to the cinema electronically? This question

- and others like it - inspired Unique X in their mission to develop market-leading software solutions for the cinema channel. When the company started out, the (logical) focus was on the product that aimed to deliver trailers in exactly this way, but since then Unique X has gone on to develop a suite of products that sets it apart from others in the industry. While there are many other companies that offer similar products and services, no one else offers them to such a wide range of customers. The company’s team of cinema experts are passionate and knowledgeable about the products they create, with the aim of aiding and advancing automated



thus reducing problematic areas such as incident volume, missed shows and workflow errors.

Unique X Unique X provides software as a service (SaaS) to

What Products Are On Offer?


Unique X has a software portfolio of 10 key products and it’s more than likely that most in the wider film industry have

distribution and advertising partners throughout the

interacted with at least one of these

theatrical movie

products in the last few years. Cinema

industry. With




TMS (Theater Management System), RosettaNet



400 clients across 90+ countries and

System, Movie Transit (Digital Cinema

40,000 screens,

Package Content Delivery Network),

customers are



looked after by

RosettaPOS (Point of Sale), RosettaLive


one of 10 offices

(Event Streaming) and a suite of

around the

sophisticated pre-show products

What’s it all about?


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3 5


A View from the Top Roger Harris CEO, Unique X

To retain all of our customers and to support them to the best of our ability To work with our key suppliers to maintain the strong working relationships we have established over time

It’s good to see audiences returning to the cinema with the

To retain the skills we have developed within the company

majority of global screens now having reopened. But the still-

and focus on employee retention

shifting release schedule shows we’re not back at pre-pandemic

To conclude a number of core development work streams for

levels of normality yet, with the return of live events only just

existing and new products to put the company in as strong a

starting up again. When the first lockdowns took place in the

position as possible, post-COVID

majority of our trading territories, Unique X focused on a number of key strategies (as follows) to enable the company to rebound as

I am pleased to say we succeeded in all our objectives by working

quickly as possible:

closely and maintaining frequent dialogue with all our key customers and suppliers - and only losing one of our employees

BTC: Launched and Operational

through retirement. We delivered on all our development objectives and, in tandem, our balance sheet remained strong

Launching nationally with Odeon Cinemas Group across

and we did not take on any further debt. We also signed the

the UK, (Europe’s largest cinema operator and an AMC

largest software contract in our history when we successfully

Entertainment company), Book The Cinema (BTC) offers

launched our Advertising Accord solution with National

consumers the opportunity to book a private screening at

CineMedia (NCM) in the US in January 2021. Our focus today is to

their favourite cinema, along with food and beverage (F&B),

continue to increase our market share of content delivery services

directly through a user-friendly and intuitive website.

and software solutions worldwide with a specific focus on the

BTC is now available for all exhibitors across the UK

Americas and EMEA, with Asia to follow. We recruited over 30

and Ireland to sign up to. As well as being a fully managed

people in 2021, including the addition of Sevan Brown to the

service, Book The Cinema is the world’s first turnkey

executive team to oversee content services growth. And Claudia

private screening solution that integrates DCP delivery,

Stengel to deliver our US and Latam software sales strategy.

KDM generation, pre-show scheduling and concession purchasing in a single package.







development team in Lithuania to meet the demand for new

BTC is not entirely unique in the market, and other

development from our major customers and to continue to

companies over the years have dabbled with the idea of

maintain our product portfolio to the benefit of all existing

creating an efficient booking system for private cinema

customers. And we expect to recruit further additional resources

rentals. However, with the advent of COVID and the trend

this year.

in the market for individual screenings, the time is perfect

Unique X’s proven international reputation within the cinema

for the product - particularly as a standalone platform and

channel enables our growth objectives of providing reliable and

one-stop-shop for all operator and customer needs. Add to

cost-saving delivery and software solutions. But we are now also

this the clean, simple design of the website, and BTC has a

focused on supporting and delivering revenue growth…

real opportunity to disrupt this area of the industry, while providing much-needed additional income to exhibitors.

The Final Word

Firstly, through our live streaming solution RosettaLive (RL) and, most recently, with the launch of “Book The Cinema” in the UK and Ireland in January 2022. is now delivering 100,000 visitors per month. We believe

There are few software companies in the sector that have

these two important additions to our product portfolio will do

been around as long as Unique X; 20 years is a long time

several things:

in this field, and for some context, two decades ago was in

Align with the need to continue to provide consumers with

the time of pre-digitalisation. Without question, Unique X’s

the opportunity to seek new and premium experiences at

product suite is one of the largest, most comprehensive and

the cinema

far-reaching in the industry.

Encourage consumers yet to return to the cinema to do so Improve the yield for cinema operators

For further information and contact details visit

And further monetise the library content of our studio partners I’ll leave it there, with more good news to come…

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3 7


Bring any Screen to Life! Bring any Screen to Life!

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SharpNEC DC ML AD 210x297 EN 3mm 2022.indd 1

1/3/2565 BE 19:33



UGC Plaisir

New Technology in Greener Times CT talks to... Sharp-NEC

ut to look at the positives of experiencing a

Moving further ahead into 2022 means new films, but also a need

global pandemic, we’ve all had to learn

to stay on top of new technologies - and particularly, a huge drive

how to adapt to new ways of doing things.

for more planet-friendly operating procedures, something that is

We’ve had to adopt new sanitation

repeatedly shown to be a, if not the, priority for consumers around

standards, learn to live with face masks

the world.

and frequently turn to technology to help us out. And figures from “No Time to Die”,

Lighting Up French Cinema

“Dune”, “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, to

Recently, French cinema operator UGC announced it would

mention a recent few, show us that

be installing Sharp-NEC’s laser projector systems in four of

demand for films on the big screen is still very much alive. And the

its new venues, showing how France’s ambition of reaching

slate for 2022 is exciting.

net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 also extends to French

But priorities are shifting for both businesses and consumers.

©Alexis Dugast

We all know how the last 24 months have played out and it hasn’t been an easy ride for anyone in the cinema industry - or, indeed, any industry. But, despite the lingering effects of the pandemic, the topic of sustainability is as important as ever, if not more so...


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3 9

Sustainably-Powered Cinemas In order to address sustainability as a priority, the movie-going public are expecting more and more action when it comes to matters of the environment. For theatres keen to go green and operate with a smaller carbon footprint, there are plenty of options to explore. Cinemas can look to tap into renewable energy sources - wind, wave, geothermal; whatever is most readily available. Solar, a global network of sustainably powered mobile cinemas, is a great example of what’s possible when climate considerations are put first. During the day, the theatre’s huge photovoltaic panels capture solar ©Stef. Guiochon

energy and when the sun sets, that power is used to run every piece of the cinema’s equipment: screens, sound systems, projectors, and lighting. Impressive stuff.

UGC Ciné Cité Lyon - Part Dieu

Soon, moviegoers at UGC Ciné Cité Bassins à Flot (Bordeaux), UGC Ciné Cité Lyon Part Dieu, UGC Montaudran

While laser projection equipment has been available for

(Toulouse) and UGC Plaisir will be viewing a 4K picture,

years, issues around feasibility and investment costs have

unsurpassed in clarity, colour, and brightness, happy in the

kept it on the fringes of the cinema industry. But more

knowledge that climate goals are simultaneously being taken

and more theatre operators are now switching from


traditional Xenon lamp projectors to laser-based systems.

UGC’s 47 new projectors will be RB laser systems. These feature blue and red laser diodes, and combine the benefits of

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of reasons. Firstly, laser projectors are far more energy efficient

large-sized screens. RB laser projectors, such as the NEC

than their lamp-based predecessors, using significantly

NC3541L, are known for their versatility: with no exhaust

less electricity when casting an image on screen. The

system, they work just as well on the floor as they do on a

reason for this is two-fold: laser diodes convert current to

ceiling mount. Likewise, with built-in cooling, there’s no need

light more effectively, and the light generated is better

for a costly external HVAC unit, while advanced dust protection

directed and easier to capture. What really matters,

keeps the optical engine and light source speckle-free.

however, is the power consumption - the less power used,

The NEC NC2402ML, another RB system, takes this

the less power that needs to be generated, and fewer

flexibility to the next level with a modular laser light system,

emissions are produced, also meaning a smaller energy bill

which allows different light modules to be used based on the

every month.

Mr. Éric Le Cadre Commercial Director, ADDE


This is good news on the sustainability front for a number

a wide colour space and bright image output for mid- and

required brightness.

4 0

Why the Fuss About Laser?

Secondly, laser systems generate considerably less

Mr. Laurent Rieupeyrout Image & Sound, Technical Director, UGC

“We are very proud of this achievement and

“UGC has been using NEC projectors for 12 years. We are fully satisfied with

of the trust that UGC has placed in our

the RB laser technology, and not just because we’re keen to reduce our

company to provide and install projection,

carbon footprint. RB models coming to the market now are perfectly

sound and digital signage equipment for

timed for this purpose. They bring together not only the best standards in

their new Part Dieu site. It was also a special

light and color but also allow us to reduce our energy costs. UGC partners

project for us because it is the first UGC

ADDE and CDS were best suited for the installation of this NEC technology

cinema to be fully equipped with our Cinema

in UGC Theaters. A big thank you to both these companies who, in this

Darkside speaker range, too.”

very chaotic period, greatly supported our four site installations in 2021.”


©Damien Aspe

©Pierre Edouard


heat than conventional lamp projectors. The latter rely on reflectors to focus light through their lenses - an inefficient

UGC Montaudran, Toulouse

process that produces a significant amount of heat. And to protect the projector’s internal optics, this warmth must be dissipated by an energy-hungry ventilation system. But with its targeted beam, a laser suffers no such wastage, allowing it to operate at a far lower temperature.

The Silver Screen at Its Best If sustainability solutions result in a worse customer experience, there’s little hope for real progress. But the

Inset: UGC Bordeaux

good news is that with laser projection that thankfully isn’t the case. Not only is laser technology more energy efficient than traditional lamps, but it’s also capable of delivering

Finally, unlike lamp-based systems, laser projectors

a superior image. Laser offers greater colour accuracy

require very little in the way of replacement parts and

than conventional kit, as well as higher brightness,

maintenance. This results in greater sustainability right

better brightness uniformity, and lower brightness decline

along the supply chain: reduced manufacturing, fewer

over time.

deliveries, and less faulty apparatus to dispose of. They also








have a considerably longer life cycle - in the region of

than lamp-based systems. The latter creates light that

20,000-30,000 hours (or tens of thousands of feature length

is scattered and unfocused before passing through

films). Laser technology lifetime cost savings can exceed

the lens, whereas lasers emit a single, cohesive beam.

€30,000 - a not insubstantial sum.

The result is a more immersive viewing experience, one that keeps the audience engaged with striking visual clarity

Mr. Étienne Roux CEO, CDS (Cine Digital Service)

and colour.

A Brighter Future In the middle of the pandemic for months on end, movie theatres lay empty, a silent reminder of how public life had

“We would like to express our gratitude to UGC for their

been put on hold. Yet, despite the disruption, cinema

trust and confidence in us with the installation of 29 NEC

operators have survived.

laser projectors in their Plaisir, Toulouse and Bordeaux

Now, as we look forward, the focus mustn’t be on public

sites. We installed a combination of NC1700L, NC2402ML

health alone, but planetary health as well. That means

and NC3541L projectors and they’ve been running

embracing innovative technologies and finding new ways

successfully since opening: the brightness displayed is

of doing old things.

impressive. We are looking forward to measuring the light output and colour stability overtime.”

It’s a win-win-win scenario. Lower operational costs for cinemas; a more immersive experience for customers; and a kinder way of doing things for the planet.

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4 1


hen considering ial w the t n e fut s s e ur s i eo x’ o fm b

t ‘Thin kin go ut sid e

as em cin


lex tip ul


John Sullivan, Founding Director, The Big Picture Cinema Advisers rom



innovate outside those typical boxes and the

multiplexes have evolved to

accustomed model is a real challenge for late

become a series of boxes,

boomers, Gen X and early millennials. Why is

usually in descending size

this such a challenge? Well, to state the obvious,

order. But now that customer

it’s the only thing they know. Speaking for

interest is fading, film by film,

myself, us early boomers look back, often with

in what used to be the “safe window” between the

very fond nostalgia, to the era before the

theatrical release and home release model (DVDs,

multiplex which late millennials and Gen Z are

streaming platforms), innovation is needed for the

already switching off to as, for them, it

multiplexes of the future. But trying to think or

represents a bygone age.

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4 3


A Decade of Evolution Over the past ten years there has been a massive effort from both cinema exhibitors and their tech support divisions (projection and sound) to amplify the experience and create an immersive audio visual event, centring around the product. Done well, this gives a compelling reason to stumble into a warm (or cool, in the case of Saudi Arabia) cinema, to visit a somewhat sterile, often clinical environment to experience that “must see” release on bigger, wider, louder screens. I visited one such brand new 14-screen multiplex in Cannes, France, this week. It was sleek, black and aweinspiring,








achievements. But it lacked soul, any sense of place or style and it certainly didn’t give any great desire for human beings to linger. Indeed, the advanced architectural design seemed to serve the primary purpose of sucking guests into the screens - but then efficiently spitting them out onto a forbidding carriageway. Is it possible that the strategic direction and decisionmaking for this particular amplification of the ‘experience’ is coming from the firmly ‘in the (multiplex) box’ exhibitors and technical executives? Is it fair to say that, on the whole, they would be largely late boomers and early millennials?

The Magic of the Movies For us early boomers it was rarely the film itself that captivated us as we trooped out of our homes to wondrous theatres. Their (literally) awesome architecture made them true relics of the golden age, where “mom & pop” operations

John Sullivan

kept the cinema-going experience alive in the face of the full onslaught of television. Dad in his tux and bow tie would greet you at the door as you entered and he would introduce

the film. Mum would sell tickets and snacks while the kids played ushers. And a stern Uncle Steve or Aunt Maude would patrol the aisles and ensure no misbehaviour took

The Light Cinema, Sittingbourne

place. It was the attraction and experience of being together, finding our identities, challenging the norm or just escaping

“Innovation is needed for the multiplexes of the future”

cramped living conditions. And, yes, enjoying a full version of a film often with average sound and scratchy prints, that could well be visiting their third or fourth venue, looped through a projector for the thousandth time. But it would bedazzle and delight an eager youthful audience that came in hordes, and not just on weekends but throughout the week, too. Alongside our leaky but bewitching old cinema palaces we had the new phenomenon (at least in Australia and the US) of drive-in cinemas with their massive screens and individual sound systems. These became an opportunity for the whole family to squeeze into the car, park up, consume burgers, fries and hot dogs along with sweet treats and ice cream all snuggled up to enjoy - what exactly? - being together? Being entertained? Being out? Being indulged? The story of the film? I’d say all of it - every aspect.

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As a family of eight kids, plus mum and dad, there were 10 of us, squeezed into the family station wagon and in that

A Place To Be

era that was the same as many other families. Some of us gorged and slept, others argued, while a few would focus

Yes, cinema screens need to be technically excellent. But I maintain the

on every word and frame of the film. A visit to the local

cinema itself must also strive to be a place where guests of any age can

drive-in became a weekly family occasion.

come and feel welcomed, inspired, entertained and released from their

Speaking from Experience

day-to-day lives. As the co-founder of The Light Cinemas in the UK, which celebrated

For much of my career I, like Johnny Appleseed, populated

its 10th birthday last week, I am proud of what [the company] has

the globe with multiplexes on behalf of Village Roadshow

become. Its management and style gives freedom to our largely late

and the Kirby family (a great example of the post-war mom

millennial / early Gen Z team to create cinemas and destinations of the

& pop operations that kept growing!)

future, using not only technology but placemaking design. This then

My role as International VP of Development meant that

extends to and facilitates other leisure activities, welcoming

my team and I rolled out megaplexes under the Village

personalities, social events, esports and so much more. The Light is just

brand around the globe in Australia and New Zealand then

getting started, unfettered by ‘old box’ thinking and my advice would be

across to Singapore (Golden Village), South Korea (CGV -

for other cinema companies to do the same.

Cheil Golden Village), India (PVR - Priya Village Roadshow),

As an early start-up challenger brand we fail if our next cinema is

Malaysia (TGV - Tanjong Golden Village), Hungary (Intercom

just like the last. But it is our first and early cinemas that have created,

Village), and Argentina (Village). And across Europe we

and continue to generate, the enthusiasm, joy, personality and regional /

executed Warner Village cinemas in the United Kingdom,

local community identity. This is what all of us - not only the boomers,

Germany, Ireland, France, Italy, Czech Republic. Countless

Gen Z, millennials but also the pre-war Silent Generation and the

other territories were explored with over 150 multiplexes

up-and-coming Generation Alpha - know and love!

delivered at a rate of one per week. And at least 10 times that number were investigated, designed, dismissed or lost

Let’s do this together!

to other competitors.

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4 5



2021: Still No Picnic for the Industry Guillaume Branders, Senior Industry Relations Manager, UNIC


n 2021, European cinemas welcomed

same period in 2021, box office revenues were on average

close to 600 million visitors, grossing an

35% below pre-pandemic levels - but major territories such

estimated €3.7 billion at the box office

as France (-22% for H2 2021 compared to H2 2019) and the

- respectively a 38% increase (visitors)

UK (-26%) have demonstrated the strength of the sector’s

and a 42% increase (box office) on the

recovery in recent months.

previous year. And this was when most screens across the

These positive results were mainly driven by major

region were shut for the first half of the year and were then

international titles. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in

operating for the following six months under limited

particular served as further evidence of cinemas’ capacity

occupancy and additional restrictions.

to attract audiences and create global events even during

French cinemas were closed for over 160 days, spread

challenging times. And as happened in 2020, local titles

over two national lockdowns in 2020, and for another 138 in

played an essential role in the recovery process. National

2021. As of early February 2022 a full ban on F&B sales was still

films’ market shares were higher than usual across the

active, in addition to a mandatory sanitary pass proving

region, with local titles featuring in the box office top five of

vaccinated status, with a required third vaccine dose for

many territories including but not limited to France, Czech

cinema-goers aged 16 and above. In the Netherlands,

Republic and Denmark. Detailed data on the European

cinemas were closed for 100 days in 2020… and for almost

cinema industry in 2021 will be included in the UNIC Annual

200 in 2021, only reopening on 26th January 2022, with a

Report, to be published in June 2022.

10pm curfew still in action at the time of writing.

There is no doubt that 2022 will be a pivotal year for the

These two examples illustrate how 2021 wasn’t in any way

industry. Colleagues at Gower Street Analytics, who have

an easier year for the sector. Many experienced similar or

provided regular public updates on the share of opened

even longer periods of closures, in addition to constantly

cinemas globally and evolving local recovery stages, have

evolving restrictions which heavily impacted operations and

forecasted a tentative estimate of $7.8 billion (+75% on 2021)

contributed to staggered recovery progress.

and $33.2 billion (+55%) for EMEA and global box office

Undoubtedly, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the







Compared to results for Europe in 2019 - a particularly

Research & Resources

successful year - 2021 admissions were still lagging by 56%,

In addition to sharing the above figures earlier this year,

while box office was down by an estimated 57%.

UNIC has been actively collecting data on the impact of

A Spider-Shaped Success Story Comparing results for the second half (H2) of 2019 with the 4 6


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COVID-19 on the European cinema industry. Publiclyavailable research can be accessed on the UNIC website, featuring exhaustive information on opening status,





20-21 CHANGE

19-21 CHANGE 800























654.6 627.2 636.5 432.6



678.4 557.7 530.9 357.2 252.3 172.3 802.5 676.3























available support schemes, national reopening campaigns

contributed to adding new items to UNIC’s agenda and, in

and other relevant facts for the 39 territories covered by our

particular, sustainability; from both an environmental and

association in Europe. This information has been used

financial perspective. This topic will be discussed at length

throughout the past two years by UNIC, as well as by

during different workshops in March in Brussels. The expert



groups will be exploring a broad range of current issues,

authorities to ensure that cinemas remain at the heart of

from changing audience trends to supply chain disruption.






current and future recovery plans.

And A Welcome Back to Brussels…

Sangria and Paella Time CineEurope 2022 is scheduled for 20-23 June and will, as

UNIC’s annual Cinema Days are back, this year on 28-29

usual, be taking place at the CCIB in Barcelona. We will be

March in Brussels. The event, which has been taking place


every year since 2014, unfortunately had to be cancelled in


physical form in 2020 and 2021. Bringing together an

distributors, high-level panels and focus sessions, as well as

exclusive group of key European and international industry

the biggest cinema trade show in Europe. Cinema

figures for two days of seminars and workshops, the

operators, content providers, manufacturers, data analytics

Cinema Days serve as a long-awaited opportunity for

companies and many other stakeholders from the cinema

friends and colleagues to get together in an informal

value chain will be attending the show for four days of

environment and exchange insights and best practices

learning and networking. We are looking forward to seeing

from the past years.

many of you in sunny Barcelona!


an from

exciting major

programme, US





This event will also gather our expert groups on cinema marketing, retail and technology. Since March 2020, we have kept the groups engaged via a series of virtual meetings and workshops that have served to demonstrate the sector’s ability to adapt to challenging times and ensure its swift recovery. These meetings and workshops have

00 39 // 21 8 2


4 7



UK Cinema Association Looks Forward to Its 2022 Conference Phil Clapp, Chief Executive, UKCA


t seems odd to be talking about

to encourage those audiences to return - will be one key focus,


informed by additional research from agency Red C.




(UKCA) conference so soon after our last edition in October. But a desire to

Developing British Content

return to some sense of normality –

Another session will reflect one of the key takeaways from the

with the event ordinarily taking place each spring – means

last two years: that more needs to be done to develop British

that we’re looking forward to a gathering of colleagues from

independent films. While no territory was undamaged by the

across the industry in just a few weeks’ time.

pandemic, and in particular the absence of major studio titles

Our 2022 conference, titled “Re-embracing the Big Screen

for much of 2020, it is undeniable that many other European

Experience: Audiences + Content”, will take place on 5-6 April

territories were able to rely much more heavily on their

at the Picturehouse Central in London. As the name suggests,

domestic slate. But this was something UK cinemas were

the two days’ focus will be to recognise the strength of the

seemingly unable to do.

recovery of the sector as it has emerged from the shadow of

This is, of course, not a problem to which there is an

the pandemic. But also to identify what more might be done

immediate or short-term fix, but a more systemic issue

to encourage those who have not yet returned to the cinema

regarding the support and distribution of such titles. We’re

to do so.

therefore delighted that as part of the programme, the new

Our 2021 event arrived at a time of increasing confidence

Director of the BFI Film Fund, Mia Bays, will present her

in the recovery of the sector, driven by the extraordinary

proposals to address that challenge, and share some key

success of “No Time to Die”, released a few weeks prior. Since

upcoming films supported by the BFI.

that time, that sense of optimism has, if anything, increased,

In addition, for the first time, the conference will also

with a number of major box office successes - not least

include a half-day “One Community” event. Developed and

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” - and an increasingly strong slate

delivered by colleagues at the Cinema Technology Community

of major titles stretching out across 2022.

(CTC), this is perhaps something of particular interest to

But for all that positivity, there is clearly still work to be done.

readers of the CT Magazine.

Findings from the latest wave of the Metrixlab survey of

Whatever the subject matter under discussion though,

audience attitudes, commissioned by the cross-industry

much of the value of our event is due to colleagues from across

body Cinema First, confirm that older audiences are still

the industry coming together to network and share thoughts

somewhat reluctant to return, shown by perhaps lower

and experiences, including colleagues from film distribution

returns from many recent “events season” films than might

and those working across the wider media, retail and

have been hoped.

technology sectors.

This aspect of the recovery - and what more can be done

More Info the-big-screen experienceaudiences and-content

We very much hope to see you there. 0 3 / 2 2


4 9



Building Back and Turning 10: An ECA Update Grainne Clarke, Managing Director, Event Cinema Association


hen looking back at last year, box office

encouraging to see audiences return en masse to the cinema

(BO) figures for event cinema didn’t

for big tentpole titles such as “Spider-Man: No Way Home”,

quite return to the expected, and hoped

which achieved soaring success.

for, levels. December 2021 was the

A full analysis of the event cinema box office can be found

biggest month for event cinema since

on our website, but below left is a snapshot of the key stats

before the pandemic taking £2.2m, though 2021 finished 45% down on 2020. More positively, if you take July-December (when cinemas

from 2021.

Celebrating 10 Years!

were open during both years) then BO is up 122% on the same

While we all still face many challenges, 2022 already feels like

period in 2020. But more broadly-speaking, it was definitely

the year we can start to effectively build back, ensuring we entice all audiences to return to the cinema to enjoy a wide

E V E N T C I N E M A 2 0 2 1


range of content. There is a strong pipeline of product for 2022, and proactive and collaborative marketing will be key to ensuring we reach and grow audiences for any and all content screened in cinemas.

£6.7m 2021

2021 box office for event cinema was £6.7 million for the UK and Ireland. 33% of event cinema box office was generated in December with the main titles being “Christmas with Andre”, “Anything Goes” and “The Nutcracker”. 68% of the total event cinema box office was generated by the top 10 titles of the year.

Excitingly, 2022 marks the Event Cinema Association’s (ECA’s) 10 year anniversary since it was established and across the year we will certainly be celebrating this milestone. We have already mapped out a series of key events that the ECA will either attend or deliver and we are very much looking


of total box office

Market share is the lowest we’ve seen for event cinema in the last decade. Where it has strongly held 3% of total box office previously, 2021 saw it drop to 1%. Cinemas were largely closed from January to May with most cinemas reopening in July, so 2021 finished 45% down on 2020. But if you take July-Dec (when cinemas were open both years) then BO is up 122% on Jul-Dec 2020.

forward to seeing many of you over the year.

Key Dates A pril 5-6 UK Cinema Association (UKCA) Annual Conference (London, UK) A pril 25-28 CinemaCon (Las Vegas, US)


new releases

May (date TBC) ECA Slate Day (London, UK) Where we would typically have over 130 event cinema releases in a year, 103 titles were released in 2021, and only 57 of them were new. The highest growing genre in 2021 was concerts, which accounted for 54% of the event cinema box office.

J une 20-23 CineEurope (Barcelona, Spain) September

7 ECA Annual Conference and 10-year

celebration (location TBC) O ctober 25-29 MENA Cinema Convention (Dubai, UAE)

5 0


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New Opportunities for Event Cinema Event cinema has a proven ability to attract new and niche audiences. In 2020, 23% of audiences that attended event


cinema content were brand new to the cinema. We’ve also seen audiences’ appetites to experience a

Live Event

variety of content evolve and expand, and technological Cinema

advances have enabled even more opportunities for event cinema. Over the last two years in particular, the ECA has Service Provider

started to see new strands of event content attract younger audiences to the cinema. This is certainly an area the ECA will monitor, explore and discuss with the industry.

Managed Satellite Service Managed IP Service

The global growth of anime and the utilisation of PLFs

Satellite Receiver IP Media Device

(ScreenX, D-Box, 4DX), for event cinema content, gaming, and live sporting events, have clearly highlighted successful new ways of enticing new and, indeed, younger audiences for a completely unique experience. IP delivery is again showing promise in terms of a range of

At present, the major live broadcasted events are offered

opportunities, including more control over the quality and

through satellite

stability of content delivery, the ability to stream in 4K, and the

There are no IP-only events for major releases

option of improving audio quality. And cinemas can integrate

IP receivers can still deliver satellite events

YouTube, Twitch and Zoom – a great chance for operators

BOTH satellite and IP are able to stream events

looking to develop gaming at their sites while also providing an alternative solution for live events without the reliance on


satellite delivery. The associated costs and internet connectivity

As we begin to look forward, we’re focusing on delivering

are still hurdles for cinemas to overcome, but the ECA is keen

events and collating new data analysis to share with our

to explore and share the emerging possibilities with our global

members. But our reliance on membership has become more


important than ever for us to continue our work. Membership was paused over the pandemic but during


the last nine months we have started to rebuild our global

Over the last year we’ve been working closely with the

community and now have members and individuals from

Cinema Technology Community (CTC). As a result, two

over 120 different organisations.

significant pieces of work have been produced; one piece is

We fully appreciate that the road to economic recovery is a

a set of materials to help exhibitors improve the delivery

long one and in the hope of ensuring that cost isn’t a barrier for

standard of live broadcasted events. And the second is a

those looking to join the ECA, we have once again reduced our

white paper on event cinema options for exhibitors,

membership fees.

covering off the necessary considerations in order for cinemas to screen live content. The test materials will be launched at the UK Cinema


2020 annual fee

New annual fee

All companies

£500 (+VAT)

£200 (+VAT)

£200 (+VAT)

£100 (+VAT)

Association Conference (UKCA) in April. Feedback so far shows

Individuals & cinemas

that the assets have been really well received, and we hope

(10 sites or fewer)

many members can benefit from the hard work that has gone into helping to improve the delivery of live events. Following on from the white paper, we know that there is still a lot of confusion over delivery options and which receiver

For more information or to become a member, please contact info@ or visit the website and complete the member form at

is needed to broadcast live events. Courtesy of the Cinema Technology Community, the top right image illustrates how live transmission works. Should you need to upgrade your receiver, you can opt for either satellite or IP – please let us know if you would like more information:

00 39 // 21 8 2


5 1



Creating the Conditions to Flourish Richard Mitchell, President, Cinema Technology Community (CTC) A STRONG final quarter for 2021 provided the industry with

checks, event cinema broadcast testing and much more.

a much-needed lift and gave significant proof that

CTC will once again partner with the UK Cinema

consumers had the confidence to get off their sofas and

Association (UKCA) to provide a range of technology-focused

return to cinemas to see long-awaited movies.

sessions at their upcoming conference (April 5-6) in London.

And while the opening months of 2022 have proved a

These will form the bedrock of CTC’s One Community Day

little underwhelming from a content perspective, the

which we will then share online with our global membership.

strength of the rest of the year’s slate has the potential to

We also have plans in place to restart our training courses both

provide a significant stepping stone back to pre-pandemic

in-person and using a range of e-learning materials. And we’ll

box office levels. So it’s essential that the industry comes

continue to educate and inform through a range of white papers, and a second installation of our

together and shifts its focus from survival to growth. But achieving that won’t be easy. The pandemic has created a skills shortage in our industry, the world is

Join our cause

series “Tech Talks”, over the coming months.

currently faced with component and chip shortages, and a

Behind everything that we

Throughout the pandemic, CTC has

worsening political situation in Eastern Europe creates a

do at the Cinema Technology

supported the industry and with a new

concerning backdrop for the entire world.

Community is a passion for

normal now here, we’re not taking a


step backwards. In the coming weeks

Despite the challenges, prepare we must. At Cinema




Technology Community (CTC) we’re beginning to roll out our




we’ll be closing off our free Community

2022 programme designed to support our near 750-strong

experience possible. If you

Membership scheme and announcing

global membership to execute their growth plans. We want to

share that ambition, please


share knowledge and expertise across the industry on a wide

join our community today by

structure, allowing the industry to

range of topics including cyber security, 3D equipment spot

heading over to our site:


knowledge and expertise while placing

revolutionary to



membership from


us on a better footing to provide the CTC EXECUTIVE TEAM Richard Mitchell (President), Graham Lodge (Vice President), Mike Bradbury, Sandie Caffelle, Michael Denner, John Dowsland, Peter Knight, Sarah Lewthwaite, Adam MacDonald, Saul Mahoney, Andre Mort, David Norris, Markus Overath, Alessandra Pavan Bernacchi, Grainne Peat, David Pope, Toni Purvis, Simon Tandy, Patrick von Sychowski, and Paul Willmott.

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technology content the industry wants CTC ADVISORY COUNCIL Tom Bert (Barco), Mark Christiansen (Paramount Pictures), Brian Claypool (Christie Digital), Theresa English (TK Architects), Ruth Hinton (Vue International), Mark de Quervain (Showtime Analytics), Jan Rasmussen (Nordisk Film), Dominic Simmons (BFI), Sriram Sistla (Harkness Screens), Alice Tentori (Digima), Julia Vinokurova (RealD)

and needs. Lastly, with the recent International Women’s Day we released our second Women in Cinema interview series, recognising the importance of diversity and inclusivity in our industry.


We help you screen it Supporting cinemas, we design, sell, install and maintain cinema technologies and seating.


t: 0161 477 7633





Diana Stratan Project Manager, UNIC CT: Please introduce yourself, your role and

the financial burden of the pandemic on our

project, growing it from an idea to where it is

your background.

members. So some of the exciting projects that

now. The community that we are building

I joined the International Union of Cinemas

we started before had to be slowed down. But

around it is extraordinary and empowering,

(UNIC) in 2016. When I joined, I was relatively

the signs show that we are building back

and I am happy to see our programme inspiring

new to the business as I was coming from the

stronger than ever, which is great.

other initiatives within our industry. On a more

nonprofit world. However, before UNIC, as part

Aside from that, while much progress has

personal level – for having my own back in

of an NGO, I organised screenings and post-

been made compared to, let’s say, 10 years ago,

situations that didn’t go my way and staying

movie discussions for disadvantaged youth. So,

we still lack diversity and inclusion within our

true to my values.

I definitely knew the power of a movie to start

industry: on screen, behind the scenes, and in

conversations, inspire and transform lives.

leadership roles. More diverse representation

CT: Tell us more about the UNIC Women’s

As Project Manager at UNIC, I am primarily

requires effort to attract and retain diverse

Cinema Leadership Programme…

responsible for organising and managing our

talent. We have to work together on this and

The Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme

main events: the UNIC Cinema Days in Brussels

make our industry more inclusive.

is our flagship initiative to help close the gender

and CineEurope in Barcelona. I am also

The good news is that we see more and

coordinating the UNIC Women’s Cinema

more initiatives being developed within our



sector, which is wonderful!

programme in 2017, the numbers showed that




scheme. But because we are a small team in Brussels, we each do a bit of everything so there’s no time to get bored. CT: What’s your favourite thing about the

gap in senior management positions within industry.





women occupied less than 7% of leadership

“I’m inspired by women who hustle and break stereotypes”

cinema industry?

roles in the exhibition sector. So we embarked on a mission to tackle that. In short, the programme takes the form of a





providing “up and coming” female executives

The people, definitely! The passion and drive

CT: Who or what inspires you and why?

working in the cinema industry with an

that you see in our industry is truly special. It’s

I am easily inspired. But generally speaking, I

exclusive opportunity to network with and

an energy that you cannot find anywhere else.

am inspired by women in the industry who

learn from outstanding women leaders from

People breathe cinema and are dedicated to

hustle, break stereotypes and succeed in a

across the cinema landscape. Community

constantly exploring, innovating and making

male-dominated world. I find them fascinating

building is one of the programme’s most

the big screen experience ever greater. Industry

and am always curious to discover their stories

essential features. We keep current and

events are always an enjoyable place to be (and

and learn from them. Take a look at the latest

previous participants engaged via monthly

to organise). And also, let’s not forget the

Celluloid Junkie list of Top 50 Women in

newsletters, networking events and more.

privilege we have of watching movies as part of

Cinema, and you can see more than 50 sources

our work.

of inspiration in one place.

inspiring women leaders - and is still growing!

CT: What do you find challenging about the

CT: What’s your proudest achievement to

“Champions of the Programme” who, as joint

industry that you’d like to see change in the

date and why?

sponsorship partners, will be supporting

coming months / years?

On a professional level, I am proud of what we

UNIC’s mission to achieve a more diverse and

Of course, COVID-19 has been challenging our

have achieved with the UNIC Women’s Cinema

inclusive cinema industry.

industry for two years now. We are in the

Leadership Programme. I am honoured to

recovery phase, but we cannot forget about

have played a key role in the evolution of the

Our community includes more than 80 And we just announced Vista and IMAX as

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Applications for the sixth edition of the programme are now open.

Free online access to current and archive issues, news and articles.





ccib barcelona


june 2022



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