Event cinema takes off in Europe


The United Kingdom was the most advanced event-cinema market in Europe last year, with 131 shows screened in cinemas there, up from 109 events in 2011. Estimated gross revenue for the events amounted in 2012 to £12.5 million (about €14.38 mil. or US$19.1 mil.). In David Hancock’s latest Cinema Intelligence Report (“Event Cinema in European Cinemas”), the senior principal cinema analyst at IHS Screen Digest speaks of “a lively market for alternative content or event cinema.”

After the U.K., the Netherlands was the most active country with 129 events, followed by Ireland with 87. Other European markets within the eight countries sampled by Screen Digest included France, Russia, Germany/Austria and Sweden, each with more than 35 screened events in 2012. While opera dominated the field, averaging 36.7% of all event-cinema performances, the highest-grossing show brought in €1.2 million (US$1.59 mil.) for a concert by French comedienne Florence Foresti. At peak performance, opera made up 56.9% of the shows in Russia, while at its lowest it accounted for 24% in the Netherlands where, in turn, popular music peaked with 17.1% in comparison to the European average of 11.3%. Classical music, Screen Digest noted, made up only 5% and stage theatre was “hit-or-miss” with an average 7% in six of the territories where such programming was presented in cinemas.

Including Europe, event cinema is now available in well over 50 countries worldwide, including Japan, Israel, Mexico and the United States, of course.

Planes Aim High for Record
In preparation for the European takeoff of Disney’s Planes, Germany flew in a sizeable contingent in an orchestrated attempt to break the current Guinness world record for most paper planes ever in flight. On August 3, at 11:30 local time in Berlin, and within five seconds, 1,500 paper fliers joined some 13,000 others that were launched in cities across Spain, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. As part of the Berlin edition of German supermarket chain Rewe’s annual Family Fair, additional activities included a tent with Planes activities such as test flying for the movie’s videogame and the all-new Disney Infinity platform.

Beyond Thunderdome
Adding to our exclusive report on enhanced “4D” experiences in this issue, let’s look at product offerings the visualization experts at Barco (Belgium) and projectiondesign (Norway) have in store for the European Attractions Expo 2013 for location-based entertainment (Sept. 18-20 in Paris).

Four of projectiondesign’s F35 active stereoscopic 3D DLP projectors (not DLP Cinema) will be seamlessly edge-blended on the curved screen display of the new Holovis MotionDome. Positioned above the participant’s eye-line, the visual system integrates with motion-seat technology and gaming devices, offering real-time interactive gaming inside the dome through proprietary Holovis technology.

On the Barco side, the modular design of its OL-521 rear-projection and LED-illuminated video wall will be on display. In partnership with interactive table technology from Reactable (think of it as a pretty hip electronic musical instrument like a synthesizer), the Barco-projectiondesign booth further “ensures that EAS visitors will see, touch and hear sound.” While projectors inside the Reactable provide the visual stimulation for the video jockeys, live HD feeds of them making music on the very same table will be projected on large screens as well.

QSC Taps European Distribution Center

In partnership with DSV, a third-party logistics provider, California-based QSC Audio Products  are now being warehoused and shipped from a centrally located distribution center in Ghent, Belgium. Inventory includes “the most popular QSC cinema products” such as power amplifiers, loudspeakers and digital signal processors, “allowing European cinema customers to receive shipments more quickly and cost-effectively.”

At 70, Venice Reloads the Future
The Venice International Film Festival (August 28 to Sept. 7) is celebrating its 70th edition—making it the world’s oldest—with 70 shorts “conceived in total creative freedom” to show the future of filmmaking. “The invitation has been accepted by great maestros, well-known directors, and young filmmakers of recognized talent,” organizers confirmed; the names of participants will be revealed daily on the dedicated anniversary page. The films of “Future Reloaded,” as the program was named, will receive their public premiere during la Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica.

Fresh Air for Berlinale Films
Favorite films from this past February’s Berlin International Film Festival, including Silver Bear recipient Paulina Garcia as Gloria, Germany’s Forum entry The Strange Little Cat, Noah Baumbach’s urban fairytale Frances Ha and the wonderful Viktor und Viktoria (the 1933 original!) were programmed at the Open-Air Cinema Friedrichshain in the German capital. Additional Berlinale selections were shown in Cologne and by the Mobiles Kino in various locations in and around Nuremberg.

New Life for Olympic Studios
A legendary U.K. recording studio in Barnes, South West London, that captured the work of The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Madonna and Pink Floyd, amongst others, is under construction for an October reopening as a two-screen cinema. “Boutique in style with great sound and picture,” www.olympiccinema.co.uk assures that “a comprehensive range of quality mainstream and art-house films on general release” will be shown. What was recording Studio 1 will have 120 “comfy, reclining seats” and the second auditorium about 65 seats. In either case, “there will be plenty of room to stretch your legs, bring a drink in, as well as a snack or two, and generally make yourself at home.”

The renovated 1906 building, which was originally designed as a community hall, over the years housed a theatre company, cinemas under no less than seven different names and even a television studio. Olympic Cinema will also include a café and dining room, a Members’ Club and, yes, a new recording studio.

EYE on Fellini
“Arranged as a visual laboratory” and still on view until Sept. 22, the EYE film museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is presenting a major exhibition about Federico Fellini that “unravels the filmmaker’s universe, taps into the sources of his fertile imagination and brings the vital power of his work into the limelight.” The curators further note, “Twenty years after his death, large projected film fragments, photographs, archive documents and posters—from the EYE collection, among others—provide insight into the obsessions and motivations of the man behind La Strada, La Dolce Vita and .”

These indisputable classics were shown as part of a full retrospective program and accompanied by lectures, roundtable discussions and interviews. Topics included Fellini’s influence on other filmmakers and on European culture and media, as well as his collaboration with composer Nino Rota and his interest in psychoanalysis, dreams and the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung.

The exhibition is made possible with collaboration and support from Fondation Fellini pour le Cinéma (Sion, Switzerland) and Fondazione Federico Fellini (Rimini, Italy).