"European Cinema Exhibition: A New Approach"
Budapest, Hungary
22-26 September 2004


Milan, 23 September 2004


An analysis of the European cinema market, with special attention to the Hungarian situation and that of the multiplexes, based on the statistical data collected in the "European Cinema Yearbook", opened the second day of the MEDIA Salles' course "European Cinema Exhibition: A New Approach" now taking place in Budapest.
This was the background for the talks by Tony Meehan and Rob Arthur of RAAM Management Limited (UK), who explained the role of strategic communication and promotional events in the success of movie theatres.
Particularly for Tony Meehan, "clear communication objectives and planning are essential for any cinema exhibition company. Companies who fail to plan, are planning to fail. The dynamics of the European exhibition business have changed dramatically in the past twelve months. The sale of Warner Bros, Odeon and Uci will provide new and exciting challenges to all operations across Europe".
According to Rob Arthur, "it is essential for all cinema companies, large and small, to have clear management guidelines and procedures to ensure excellence in the delivery of customer services. Consolidation of the cinema exhibition in Europe is only just starting. European cinema operators have the responsibility and opportunity to take their businesses forward".
The importance of devoting attention to the spectator, to his tastes and demands, as a starting point for the elaboration of diversified strategies according to the different types of audiences, also emerged in the visits to two art-house cinemas in Budapest: the Cinema Muvész - whose programming addresses a young audience - and the Uránia National Cinema Palace. Ilona Kozma, Distribution Director of Budapest Film, who manages the Muvész, stressed "entirely original programming, with activities and screenings specifically for young people and schools and films of alternative content, together with great European successes". All this is accompanied by carefully organised promotional work, which also uses pricing as a device: one example is the "Muvész card", which allows for a 30% discount on screenings.
The Uránia - as was explained by Edit Bakos, Vice Director of the Cinema - "has three screens with a programme that makes ample room for Hungarian films, European movies and débuts by new directors; it includes the screening of "classics" for primary and secondary schools and "cult" and art-house movies for university students, while during the Hungarian Film Festival art-house films specifically addressing young directors are screened". The special activities organised by the cinema do not neglect series devoted to "far-off" cinema, like the one now running on Australian films, concerts of classical and jazz music and tango lessons, amongst others.

For further information:
MEDIA Salles
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