There was a hugely encouraging piece in yesterday’s Sunday Times which should bring a big grin to the faces of all of us currently working in the film industry. As Jonathan Dean reported, not only is British cinema far from failing, it’s booming.
The Chief Executive of the UK Cinema Association, Phil Clapp, said in the article: “We are in a period of considerable success. The death of cinema is often foretold, but it’s horribly exaggerated…The premise that TV has overtaken cinema is based on wilful misreading of facts.” As Mr Clapp says, last year’s excellent figure of 168.3 million tickets sold in the UK looks likely to be surpassed this year.
And here are two great people helping to push the record runs: Danielle Swift and Asher Sharman of the Castle Cinema in Clapton:
Danielle and Asher have created a lush environment of 79 dark red armchairs which they are regularly selling out, and supporting the cashflow of the business with a busy bar. It’s a typically brilliant example of local personalisation, but this time using our industry to deliver something which local people want.
The article in the Sunday Times ended with a buoyant prediction from Phil Clapp: 100 new cinemas to open in the UK over the next five years.
“Having the certainty of strong films over the next five years provides confidence for investment,” he says.
I couldn’t have put it better myself.