'Deadpool' descends on Deutsche Kino Convention

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European Update

As world-traveling exhibitors gather in Las Vegas, Germany’s Kinobetreiber are getting all excited about returning to their beloved Baden-Baden. From May 15 to 17, the lovely spa town will play host to the annual Kino convention and tradeshow. Organizers proudly confirmed that Deadpool 2 will make his debut at the Monday Warm-up (“A Real Hollywood Blockbuster Screening”), and also announced some of their top themes for the 2018 edition.

Though listed as number three, the question of “Why not reach 150 million admissions?” is at the heart of all points of discussion. Christiane von Wahlert, head of the all-industry trade organization SPIO, has gathered distributors, exhibitors and one professor of marketing to discuss what everyone can do to maximize moviegoing (“Mehrbesuch”). One such program is a countrywide campaign targeting 16- to 24-year-olds. The presentation will introduce the campaign (“Das Kino. Läuft bei uns.”) and provide guidance on how to effectively reach and activate that audience.

Tech topics include lobby entertainment and concession designs, as presented by Coca-Cola Deutschland and friends, and a presentation of “Worldwide Trends in Innovation.” The question of how Germany compares will be jointly answered by Jan Runge, director of the International Cinema Technology Association, and Celluloid Junkie’s Patrick von Sychowski, presenting prime examples from Los Angeles to Beijing, the program promises.

Along with irreverent Deadpool, another ten completed features are scheduled at the Kongresshalle venue and local Cineplex, plus presentations from seven distributors.

First ‘Hall of Fame’ Movie House Is Planned

With construction underway in Kamp-Lintfort, “a carefree beauty on the Lower Rhine,” Anja and Meinolf Thies, the owners and future operators, announced the name for their seven-plex: “Hall of Fame.” Inspired by Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame for celebrated stars, they decided to have their movie house turn the local Ringstrasse into the “Hollywood Boulevard of the city of Kamp-Lintfort.”

The unveiling of the name was part of a guessing contest played across local media. Suggestions included “Al Pakino,” “Kampino” and, in reference to the mining tradition of the area, a coal-heated “Kohlen-Kino,” but no one figured out the final choice. For the latest, check hall-of-fame.website.

Media Salles Heads to Mallorca

Our friends at the MEDIA Programme-supported European cinema promotion agency MEDIA Salles  have headed to the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean Sea.

At the beginning of April, attendees enjoyed a full week of Mallorca Arts on Screen (MAS). Called “the first international festival celebrating ‘non-dramatic film’ content,” both festival and conference focus on what organizers also called “added,” “alternative” or “event cinema” content as shown on cinema screens and “made possible by the transition to digital exhibition.”

With a juried program and out-of-competition presentations, MAS is a public celebration of event cinema presented worldwide during 2017. The MAS jury nominations in each category were screened at Ocimax Palma for opera, museum and dance and theatre at Cineciutat, with the public designating Audience Awards. To celebrate the “European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018,” a special prize is given to the work or artist “best representing the values of Europe and the richness and uniqueness of its cultural diversity.”

Game On! at Cinémas Gaumont Pathé

After first announcing an eSports entertainment partnership with EclairGame last December, Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé are now expanding their big-screen championship competitions in Fifa Tour 2018 to an additional three locations beyond the original Pathé La Villette location in Paris, France. “There is no longer the need for players to go to the capital,” notes EclairGame manager Vincent Bruère, though winners of five qualifying phases will be invited to finals in Paris. “Here everyone has a chance of winning, whatever their level. The most important thing is to enjoy a fun time in a cinema.”

“This is an original, ambitious project we are running,” agrees Jacques Durand, manager in charge of upgrading Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé. “With gaming consoles installed on the seats…we equip each of the auditoriums with the most suitable infrastructure to offer players the ideal conditions for a competition and live show.”

Equally of note at Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé is that the circuit’s onetime director of development will receive the UNIC Achievement Award at CineEurope 2018. On June 14, Jean-Pierre Decrette will be recognized for “outstanding dedication and service to European cinema exhibition.”

Honoring Decrette’s “long and hugely successful career” and his “immense contribution” is overdue, says Phil Clapp, president of the International Union of Cinemas. “I would, in particular, like to place on record my appreciation—and I am sure that of all UNIC colleagues—for the support that Jean-Pierre has given our organization over the last decade and more.”

CinemaNext Comes to Dubai

CinemaNext, the European specialist in cinema/exhibitor services and, like EclairGame of the previous post, an integral part of Ymagis Group, opened its new office in the United Arab Emirates, bringing its total to 29 in 26 countries. “Following last year’s opening in Dallas, Texas, we are moving full steam ahead with our development further east with the launch of a new branch in Dubai to better meet the growing demand of services,” explained senior VP Till Cussmann.

With the appointment of François Inizan as their general manager for Middle East and Africa, Cussman foresees “an added driving force to our current activities.” Out of Casablanca, Morocco, for example, more than 130 installations have been managed by CinemaNext across Africa. Inzian, who was previously based in Dubai as global head of sales of Volfoni 3D, is “thrilled to be joining CinemaNext at a time when we are growing our footprint in these emerging economies, and ultimately we want to become a key partner for Middle Eastern and African cinema exhibitors.” As their first venture, CinemaNext MEA will host a booth at the Theme Parks & Entertainment Development Forum Middle East in Dubai, May 7-9. One of the featured guest speakers at the accompanying conference is Hamid Hashemi, chief executive officer of iPic Entertainment.