I've just returned from the Screenplay film festival in Shetland. The new cinema on the island has sold an extraordinary 100,000 tickets in its first year. Who says cinema is dead?

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  • Comment number 22. Posted by henrycorra

    on 11 Oct 2013 17:53

    Hey Mike B. I would like you to consider that there are more movies than ever now. More bad ones. More good ones. AND a few GREAT ones!!!

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  • Comment number 21. Posted by henrycorra

    on 11 Oct 2013 17:50

    Love your blog. Thank God there are people like you out there for all us filmmakers. #F2H

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  • Comment number 20. Posted by waerdnotte

    on 15 Sept 2013 14:29

    Cinema may not be dead, but in a small city like Exeter, which has three cinemas - Vue, Odeon and Picturehouse, getting an opportunity to watch anything other than mainstream movies is nigh on impossible.

    The Picturehouse was once the place to go for non-English language, independent or art-house movies. Since being subsumed by Cineworld, access to these types of films has been reduced to perhaps one screening a week, often at times only the available to pensioners, students or the non-employed. This week we have a choice of Rush or About Time both of which can be seen at the Odeon or Vue. The only other reason to attend the cinema is to watch a Live screening of something from the National Theatre, Opera, Ballet or a significant sporting event. Why? because these are cash cows pulling in the money for these organisations and fundamentally changing the use of the cinema. Don't get me wrong, I understand why Picturehouses may want to maximise their revenue stream by hiring the theatres out to, what have till now been minority pastimes for the wealthy middle classes, but investment is not trickling down to the smaller film. Cinema as we knew it is fundamentally changing, with giants of the film industry like Spielberg and Lucas giving warning that the future for movies is likely to be on cable TV. If the Entertainment industry sees cinema merely as way maximising profit, it will not be long until the idea of watching an independent or art house movie will be gone forever.

    Yes, Cinema may survive but it will merely be an outlet for big budget movies with little narrative and large amounts of CGI - computer games for the big screen, and Live events.

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  • Comment number 19. Posted by Anthony Quinn

    on 15 Sept 2013 14:29

    When I was living in Canada about 12 years ago there was a cinema in Victoria on Vancouver island that I used to visit every Wednesday night and it used to be an old aircraft hanger from the second world war and it was all done out in fifties deco. They had an old style Usherette who sold candy and nuts before the film started and the whole place reeked of popcorn, it was a magical place to watch old and new movies, I loved it. Also I met the guy who owned it and he told me that he was a rich man who made his money from various businesses that he was into but this venture was a love affair he had with old style cinema and he made money from it but not a lot and he didn't really care, he wasn't in it for the money he just wanted his own old style cinema and share it with the people of Victoria.

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  • Comment number 18. Posted by gosgog

    on 13 Sept 2013 09:21

    A good cinema is a wonderful place, now if only some of the Hollywood efforts would get of its ass and start thinking in terms of NEW TALENT, both in screen plays & financing instead of repeat after repeat, or buy more foreign movies, the world would bet a better place....of course the younger members of today's audience need to leave their cell phones home and shutup during the movie!

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  • Comment number 17. Posted by Graphis

    on 12 Sept 2013 18:14

    The key, Mark, as ever, is "location, location, location". It seems the small population of Shetland love the experience of a social night out, as you said, going for a drink afterwards, chatting about the film etc. However, I live in London, a densely over-crowded city, and I suspect I'm not the only capital resident who actually relishes the prospect of escaping my fellow humans for an evening, and although I do like going to the cinema, I still mostly prefer home viewing now. Besides... I can pause the film if I need to go to the loo, the lack of which ability in a cinema once caused me to miss the climactic moments of Raging Bull...

    Also, I suspect overall London costs may just be a bit higher: not only are ticket costs probably more, but we also have further to travel, and higher pub prices, so the overall night out will cost a great deal more than in Shetland.

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  • Comment number 16. Posted by Rachey_May

    on 12 Sept 2013 16:21

    I will never, NEVER stop going to the Cinema!
    You can make it as cheap and easy to download films as you like, it just doesn't feel the same as when you're sat in that theater watching it on the big screen.
    I'm ridiculously lucky to live a half an hour drive away from the Warwick Arts Centre and a short train ride to the Electric Cinema in Birmingham both of which have programmes packed with films that may be overlooked by the likes of 'World of Cine'. I love going to these places because it always feels like a mini adventure to find undiscovered treasure :-)
    Having said that, I even love going to my local multiplex. It doesn't have the same character and charm as smaller, independent cinemas but I still think it's great. My local cinema (we'll call them 'Schmodeon') gives it's staff badges with their favourite film written under their name and I always ask about them (provided I'm not holding up the queue too much) and it usually means I miss the pre-trailer advertisements because I'm chatting to someone behind the counter about films (apart from the guy who's badge said his favourite film was 'Transformers'... at him I just frowned).
    I think there's something in the ritual that I love. Making your way there, getting your ticket, turning your phone off, watching the trailers, talking (sometimes shouting) about the film on the way home; it's part and parcel of the experience and I love it all.
    I have such joy from going to the pictures I could never give it up :-)

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  • Comment number 15. Posted by TheServant

    on 12 Sept 2013 11:50

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  • Comment number 14. Posted by Dooljm012

    on 12 Sept 2013 08:10

    The reason I stopped going to the Cinema is the drudge that is coming out of Hollywood (the thought of Pirates of the Carribean 5 and The Hobbit trilogy (the book is only 310 pages) fills me with terror. And don't get me started on multi-awardwinning 'true story' films like Argo, the only truth about films like this is, without changing the whole story to make the US the hero, these films wouldn't be made (after all who wants to watch a film were Canadian diplomats did much of the work in getting the Americans out of Iran, with minimal CIA help).

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  • Comment number 13. Posted by alec

    on 12 Sept 2013 06:48

    I agree anniemouse, times are tough for a lot of people and we can't afford to go as much as we like. We can usually only go on Orange Wednesday or Saver Tuesday.

    It not only limits the amount of times you can visit, but I also find myself limiting my cinema visits only to films I'm sure I'll enjoy. This means I'm usually kicking myself when I end up watching others later on and find some really good ones I missed.

    I guess being limited in choice is one of the reasons why I choose to read reviews and especially the good doctor's as I find we have similar tastes. I used to read Little White Lies as well, but I simply can't agree with most of their ratings and reviews anymore. I had far too many awful arthouse film experiences due to their tastes, and so now they can't be trusted.

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