Monday, 20 July 2009

Alternative Content

Alternative content is the new buzz word in the film industry - for exhibitors, they are a saving grace that allow otherwise empty cinema screens to be filled with Opera, Theatre or even racing fans. For distributors, they are another piece of competing content taking up valuable screen time that would otherwise be showing their product.

Either way, its a growing market: the amount of alternative content events screened in the UK doubled in 2008 to 67, up from 31 in 2007. Opera experienced the biggest increase, from eight events in 2007 to 39 in 2008. The National Theatre have just joined Covent Garden and the Met in broadcasting their performances, and Helen Mirren in Phedre sold out faster than a Madonna concert.

This trend is on an upward climb and will probably remain that way as cinemas try and reinvent themselves as more than just places to see movies. Multiplexes are banking on 3D - the indies will need alternative content.

Don't be surprised to see cinemas (including this one) broadcasting football World Cup games in 2010.


  1. The idea of the World Cup at a cinema like DOY just makes me sad. Sorry.

    I got your new brochure yesterday and was thrilled to see some matinees of classics over the next couple of months. I have spent the last day thinking that maybe all wasn't lost. But now you've depressed me again.

    Reinventing cinemas "as more than just places to see movies." means destroying their essence. Having events and resources linked with film is ok but sport; absolutely not unless it was somehow linked to a season of sport related films.

    PS Are you using "movies" now rather than "films" - another sign of impending doom.

  2. Thanks for the comment. Don't be sad! If we can expand into the fire station next door there will be classic, world, cult and just plain good cinema for years to come.
    I use the word movies because of my American background. Sometimes I even say 'pictures'.
    The reality is, without public funding, it's hard to turn a dime on JUST Herzog docs. So while our programme will always be about 80-90% films, we've been doing gigs, comedy and silly things like Eurovision for some time now...

  3. Thanks for responding. I know that it has been going on for a while as I have been annoyed for a while. But I do understand that it is financially necessary. To an extent.
    It would be great if you could take over the fire station.

    Sorry for the snobbery re movies

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