Surviving the Cinema restart

Surviving the Cinema restart

It's a difficult time for cinema owners. Small or large, the stress from the uncertainty ahead of us can be debilitating. Being a cinema operator myself, I must admit I too have been a bit paralysed like a kanagaroo in headlights.

Cinema will always be with us, but we are in an unprecedented time of change in our industry. We must be especially pragmatic with decisions we make going forward. Focusing on what we can control when it comes to the future of our businesses. Making sure we cut any fat in the operation of our cinemas to ensure we survive the difficult restart period.

To demonstrate this I would like to show an infographic that shows a typical year of releases compaired to our current one. These images are generated by the schedule tool offered to some SCO users but looking at a full year. In this case, 2019, compared to 2020 slates. (As of the date of this newsletter) Each box indicates a movie release.

2019 slate
2020 Slate or lack there of

These images show the uncertainty ahead with studios still feeling the tempurature of the water in regards to commiting to a larger rollout of blockbuster content. I know many cinema owners are disappointed that distributors have not taken a more committed view of the reopening of our industry, but really, can you blame them? We still do not know enough about the virus and how restrictions are going to pan out.

With less then 40% seating utilisation possible under distancing regulations in Australia, it's difficult for all parties involved. Choosing the right time to open is crucial. For example, while currently in-production blockbuster films are still stalled, should we wait until they are back underway? If we don't, we risk experiencing a content famine.

My message in this newsleter it to focus on what we can directly do as small cinemas. The first of this is to cut the fat left over from the VPF and how we run our projection networks. The VPF had many requirments that are no longer required. This means we can cut costs in how we run and support our infrastructure. This is an involved topic which I discuss in more detail in my video presentation recently posted to the CineTechGeek youtube channel. Please follow this link to watch.

Considering the challenges I have ahead in surviving the restart of my locations, I've decided to focus on what I can do to make a difference to the commercial viability of my business. Spending time on refining process and infrastructure, ensuring I cut any costs that make sense.

I am sharing these insights with our industry in hope you also find it useful.

Goodluck and my hopes go with all cinema owners.

Other useful links and info

CineTechGeek shows you how much your equipment uses in power and costs: Cinema projection power consumption overview and how to save costs -

The BBC reports on: The future of Movies after Coronavirus -

Australian ABC on: Christopher Nolan's Tenet will be the first big movie to be shown since coronavirus and the stakes are high -

Super Deals for Small Cinemas

The offer of FREE CRU drive housings to replaced failing ones is still on.

GREAT NEW OFFER: As small cinemas come out of hybination, faulures due to the change in service hours are not uncommon. SCO has secured a NEW still in box GDC SX2200 DCI player (suitable for any SDI based S1 projector or S2 with SDI interface) for a price of $1500 (Original price $14,000)

Contact SCO if interested.

James Gardiner
Founder, Small Cinema Owners Association
mob: 0412997011

List of past newsletters:

Published: 2020-05-31
jamieg administrator

James is the Founder of Small Cinema Owners Association. He is also known for his YouTube channel CineTechGeek, has been involved with ISDCF and the formation of the digital cinema technologies, is a member of SMPTE. For a job he runs three small regional cinemas in Australia.

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