Kinepolis opens KLUB art house in Metz

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European Update

Located in the center city of Metz, France, Kinepolis Group introduced its first dedicated art-house concept. Group CEO Eddy Duquenne stated, “The KLUB does not imply a change of strategy but is a typical consequence of our expansion,” depending on the mix of cinemas that come with acquisitions. “We try to adapt our cinema concept to the specific context of these cinemas, and the KLUB is a good example of this. We are very curious about the experiences we will have in Metz.”

Formerly called Cinéma Palace, the venue was closed for renovations after Kinepolis took it over in January. With seven screens and 931 seats plus café, le KLUB now proposes “an extended choice of art films,” Kinepolis noted. “The KLUB fits in with the joint ambition of Kinepolis and the city of Metz to provide the city center with a complementary, modernized film offer.”

In another first, 23 years after beginning operations in France, Kinepolis launched in Île-de-France region, in Brétigny-sur-Orge, some 35 km (22 miles) south of Paris. All ten auditoriums (1,507 seats total) of this 13th French location are equipped with Barco laser projectors in partnership with Cinionic. The largest screen for 310 guests features Kinepolis-designed Laser ULTRA technology that combines Barco 4K laser projector and Dolby Atmos. “We are convinced that this new complex will be a great success.” Duquenne is “delighted to be able to bring the unique Kinepolis movie experience to the region’s inhabitants.”

(Festival) Films Belong on the Big Screen

“The cinema industry can exist alongside streaming providers but believes that their—and the audience’s—best interests are served by a film receiving a proper cinema release, including a clear and distinct window.”

While very likely preaching to our (already) converted readers, this columnist nonetheless agrees with the International Union of Cinemas that this fact cannot be stressed often enough: “Central to the film business is the shared experience of watching a feature film on the big screen, something which creates a strong sense of identity and community.”

The Bruxelles, Belgium-based trade association representing cinemas across 37 territories in Europe, including Italy’s exhibitor association Associazione Nazionale Esercenti Multiplex, issued the reminder to major film festivals following recent selections “to consider for inclusion those films intended for theatrical release.” Case (of contention) in point was the Venice International Film Festival jury’s decision to award Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma with the Golden Lion.

This roaring endorsement for a Netflix-backed production is not about its artistic merits, nor about creating animosities. “Respect for the life cycle of a film not only supports a model that has proven successful in terms of cultural diversity,” UNIC opines, “but also offers the opportunity for the widest possible audience to discover and enjoy as broad a range of film content as possible.”

UNIC also joined several other key European organizations from the audiovisual sector, demanding “a fair and proportionate budgetary allocation.” Their open letter calls for a significant budget increase for the Creative Europe Programme, and insists that the proposed 58% budget share for Creative Europe MEDIA must “at the very least be guaranteed in relation to the overall financial proposal.” The signatory organizations believe that €1.85 billion (US$2.134 billion) earmarked for the next seven years does “not sufficiently reflect the current political, economic, market and cultural challenges facing the European Union.”

VOX Views Volfoni

Paris, France-based Volfoni 3D was chosen by VOX Cinemas for Riyadh Park in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The four-screen cinema is located within the largest Magic Planet Family Entertainment Centre in the region. “We are thrilled,” said Araceli Vaello, sales director for EMEA & CIS at Volfoni, and “honored to contribute our 3D solutions to their cutting-edge multiplex concept.”

Owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, a leading shopping mall, retail and leisure developer across the Middle East and North Africa, VOX Cinemas is “the Middle East’s most innovative and customer-focused exhibitor” with 36 locations and 355 screens in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, and this first four-plex in Saudi Arabia (www.voxcinemas.com). Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas will invest AED1.96 billion (US$517 million) to develop 600 screens across that very same kingdom by 2023.

Closer to ShowEast’s 2018 base, “Supercines seleciona Santa Clara e Volfoni como fornecedor exclusivo de tecnologia 3D.” The largest cinema operator in Ecuador is part of Grupo El Rosado’s 180 screens across 22 locations in 15 cities (www.supercines.com). “Volfoni systems offer the brightest 3D solution available in the market and best performance, which resulted in cost savings in operation and also high customer satisfaction,” said Marcel Moran, CEO of Supercines.

Tip Your Hat to Memorabilia

As delegates are getting ready to show their support for Variety—The Children’s Charity at ShowEast, let’s take a look how at well “rare and iconic film and TV memorabilia” did at the Prop Store’s recent live auction in London, England. Over 500 items were sold, generating an “impressive” £4.3 million ($5.8 mil., €5.04 mil.)

Part of the lineup was a new Indiana Jones memorabilia record worldwide, with the winning bidder paying £393,600 ($522,110) for the signature fedora from Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), followed by £135,300 ($179,538) for a First Order Stormtrooper Helmet featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and benefitting the U.K.’s leading children's charity, the NSPCC. Marty McFly’s hoverboard from Back to the Future Part II (1989) generated £36,900 ($48,965) and Forrest Gump’s weathered Bubba Gump Shrimp hat (1994) sold for £12,300 ($16,322).

The auction took place at BFI IMAX, presented by Odeon. “Having taken a year to curate the collection,” noted Prop Store CEO Stephen Lane, “it was exciting to see so many people in attendance and more bids taking place than ever before.”

EclairColor Gives Deauville Dynamic Range

During the annual convention of French cinema operators’ organization FNCF in the coastal city of Deauville, CinemaNext offered EclairColor HDR presentations at the convention center’s 1,497-seat auditorium on a 20-meter screen (66 feet wide).

Back in Paris, CinemaNext installed “cutting-edge image technology” in three new auditoria at CNC headquarters of France’s National Center of Cinematography and Moving Image: EclairColor HDR, 3D-capable Sony Digital Cinema 4K projectors, and Twavox for audio description, assistive listening and closed captioning. “Having won the tender, we are delighted to lend our technical expertise and know-how to this complex project," said Maxime Rigaud, managing director of CinemaNext France. “It is of great importance to the CNC to be equipped with state-of-the-art projection technology to be able to work in optimal conditions.”