Another Year of Growth: European exhibition stays on the cutting edge

Cinemas Features

Hola y bienvenido—a warm welcome to Barcelona!

We are delighted to welcome you to CineEurope, the official convention of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC).

2016 has been another year of growth for cinema operators across UNIC territories, with more than 1.28 billion visitors enjoying the big-screen experience—a 2.8 percent increase from 2015—resulting in a global market share of around 24 percent. You will find detailed results for all of the 36 territories represented by UNIC in our Annual Report, which will be made available during the convention (and which is also available online at

CineEurope is a testament to the fact that cinema has become an ever more engaging, diverse and immersive experience, all thanks to creative entrepreneurship and ongoing investment in innovation by operators and their business partners. The sector confidently competes with the many online entertainment options available to European consumers, with cinema-going remaining one of the most popular leisure activities that exists today.

To help ensure that this remains the case, UNIC will during CineEurope present the results of a major pan-European research project regarding the drivers of and barriers to cinema-going amongst youth audiences, conducted with major support from our partner Coca-Cola. This session will take place on Tuesday morning.

During another important seminar, those attending the convention will be given the opportunity to learn how exhibitors meet the ever more fragmented demands of modern audiences by experimenting with innovative programming strategies. With an eye towards the latest trends in cinema technology, we will—again together with the International Cinema Technology Association—bring you a series of cutting-edge focus sessions taking place on the tradeshow floor of the CCIB. These seminars will “deep-dive” into questions such as how operators can best diversify their current offer, explore innovative theatre designs, and investigate the business potential of new technologies in the cinema space.

These are just a small selection of the variety of seminars and workshops taking place during the week. In addition, we will explore the topic of promoting more gender balance in the cinema industry and investigate the threat brought about by the illegal use of IPTV/set-top boxes.

Moreover, and in collaboration with the European Commission, we will dedicate a session to the topic “Innovation and the Big Screen Experience,” exploring the broader issue of how European cinema can continue to embrace innovation and change in order to further grow its competitive edge in an increasingly global and digitally connected film sector. We are particularly delighted that our European partners have agreed to support this session.

Finally, we will bring you a record number of film-slate presentations and exclusive screenings from the major U.S. studios as well as leading independent and European film companies. This year, CineEurope includes seven European slate presentations—a new record for us.

We will also open the trade floor to a larger number of industry players, showcasing promising new technologies and solutions that are inspiring state-of-the-art developments inside the screening room but also across the wider cinema space.

The show will be entertaining and cutting-edge, filled with exclusive screenings, a bustling trade show and an innovative seminar program. We hope you have a great week ahead!

Interested in the work we do beyond CineEurope? Do come and talk to us during the convention. Our team will be present throughout the week and we look forward to meeting you.

Pictured above: clockwise, from top left, Jan Runge; Laura Houlgatte, policy executive (and new UNIC CEO as of August 2017); Guillaume Branders, industry relations and research manager; Diana Stratan, events and marketing officer.

The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) represents cinema exhibitors and their national associations across 36 European territories. For more information, visit CineEurope takes place June 19-22 at the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain.