Cinema & COVID

Cinema & Covid

Entertainment and Cinema are the two words which cannot survive without each other, as we all know that cinemas play a very strong role ever since there was awareness for entertainment in all kinds of cultures followed by countries in the world, having different languages, social interactions, different aspects but there was and is only one place which has connected people from different parts of the world and that is Cinema.

A film when releases need to have a great opening in their respective cinemas and the overseas and many producers and directors prefer the weekends to have great success which is why the more a film earns it benefits the economy of the country as well as the relations that country has with other international countries.

Media and Entertainment industries from every part of the world have played a major part in bringing changes in the stereotypical and mainstream lifestyle of the majority of households and system in their respective countries and there is no such actor or an influencing personality who is not recognized or industry which is not recognized by the viewers globally, adding more to this as we have all kinds of entertainment worlds around us such as Hollywood, Bollywood much referred as Hindi film cinema and Hollywood includes the British and American actors and personalities, also no forgetting the Chinese, Korean and Spanish as well as Turkish cinema which is on its rise these days and more of-course.

In this article, you would get to know how the Korean cinema owner and his employees have established a new venture to rent out their screens. It was all going good rather excellent until the year 2020, as we all are aware of the global pandemic has bought big crisis to all the countries and their entertainment industries because of the lockdowns and restrictions on public gatherings, the cinema owners are down to their lowest as the business has collapsed so bad.

Why Not? As we see OTT platforms coming to their rise people who follow and like commercial, action, and films of various genres were forced to sit home and subscribe to online streaming which in its own way had become very helpful and the cinemas had to close because of greater expense and low income.

Before the pandemic, a lesser or maybe an average amount of people would have visited cinemas but now it is seemingly impossible and many films, shows, and sitcoms have been released on OTT platforms which are known as web-series and engaging people in these web-series has diverted the hype of the viewers towards watching series and shows on their devices. It has now become very difficult to tempt cinema-goers to revert back to cinemas which they used to do earlier as far fewer movies are decided to be released this way.

BBC reports that cinemas are now hiring their screens to gamers and earning through per hour rates following the covid-19 restrictions and precautions are taken, in Korea; The report says that the CGV came up with an idea to rent out their auditoriums to gamers insight to generate a good income and revenue and not shutting down completely. Moving ahead, it says that before 6 pm, four people can hire a screen for two hours for $90/£65 rising to $135 in the evening and the users must bring their consoles, games, and controllers with them. This scheme is known as Azit-X means the Korean word for a hideout and the price range varies from the number of seats in the auditorium for example; 100 seats generate $600-$1200 and rising and double the amount for more seats, as compared to CGV a normal screen costs $12 and rising again as used per hour.

This idea came from a CGV employee who thought about how to cover these empty spaces and after he realized that how films and games share the majority of similarities, He said; “When thinking about how to make use of empty cinema spaces, I noticed that games nowadays boast excellent graphics and well-structured stories just like movies,” he says. “Both have a storytelling aspect to them, so if someone can enjoy watching a film in the cinema, I thought they would also enjoy playing computer games in one.”

This kind of initiative happens to be a smart decision as we must inform that this place has been booked 130 times in a short span of time and majority of the customers are men in their late 30s and 40s or families and teenage kids, The covid-19 condition has devastated all kinds of chains and cinema business from $42.5bn to $12bn with a vast difference of 71% as a report by movie industry trade magazine variety.

Korea’s CGV is not only the cinema chain now letting the gamers books cinema as a US group Malco theatres have been doing this since November, The USA having a wide chain of cinema needed a cash injection of $917m in December 2020 having a risk of bankruptcy protection, Moreover, in The UK a leading British filmmaker called the government to offer financial help to stabilize the country’s cinema chains. Moreover, the cinema chains such as AMC and CINEMARK have allowed an average amount of people to booking the auditoriums for private screenings per hour.

Meanwhile, in East London, the art-house cinema GENESIS have opened their café takeaway services so people do not miss out on their food and disturb the taste-buds which is also quite a smart decision to keep the business running, and who does not like the delicious cinema popcorns and wants to miss them? Tyron Walker-Hebborn a cinema owner pours in his response to the global pandemic which resulted in a loss to his business and says; “It’s been the most difficult period I’ve ever known in my 21 years in the industry, “And it has potentially damaged the film industry forever.

Indeed these times have been very tiring and stressful and in conclusion to this, I must say that renting out the screens and generating a decent revenue or exploring this use of the screens is a very good decision and as per reports other countries are also or they should work on this initiative and stream good possible finances instead of shutting down.

By Zunaira Shoaib