March 24, 2014

Behold The Saviours Of Cinema

Despite concerted efforts from legal entities in the UK to shut down sites like Pirate Bay, movie piracy is as rife as ever. It takes less time to find and fire up a stream of almost any film in the comfort of your home than it does to go online and buy tickets to a screening at your local cinema. And who wants to go and surround themselves with loud teenagers, having paid through the nose for snacks while enduring 30 minutes of unwanted ads anyway? For many, it’s a no-brainer.

This could be the end of cinema as we know it

Are we therefore headed for a gloomy, cinema-less future as prophesied by that John Hurt-narrated ad (confusingly only ever shown at the cinema to people already paying to be there)? Well, thanks to a number of growing independent organisations in the UK, it doesn’t look like it.

With the perpetual technological evolution of our age, one truth endures: for every outdated behemoth stubbornly fighting against behavioral changes that threaten their dominant business model, there is a disruptive, forward-thinking company emerging with an offering that actually understands the wants of the modern consumer.

As far as digital entertainment goes, there is of course Netflix, Spotify and dozens of other paid-for streaming services that garner widespread coverage in the media. But what about the in-person movie-going experience?

Interactive, independent and innovative: the future of cinema

Cue companies like Experience Cinema, Backyard Cinema and others who are pioneering cinema trends in London and the UK. Having observed the flaws in stale cinema-going experiences, these guys recognised that the film-loving population need something more to get them excited about actually venturing out of the house to get their flick-fix.

Experience Cinema run two initiatives, the Drive In Film Club and the Rooftop Film Club, both of which offer, unsurprisingly, a truly memorable and different experience to their audience. The Drive In Film Club is reviving the lost US tradition of drive-in cinema with screenings of old favourites and new hits across three venues during March and April 2014. 

Gerry Cottle Jnr from Experience Cinema explains: “We believe that the ingredients are quite simple. You have a film you love, and you have an amazing location – combining the two makes for a wonderful experience. We are also very personable with what we do; we like to make sure our customers feel welcome from the moment they enter our venues. There’s a real feeling of nostalgia, it’s a shared experience for friends and loved ones and it really is a magical way to watch film.” 

Then comes Backyard Cinema, which has established itself as one of London’s most exciting and engaging pop-up cinemas in the last year. Starting in its founder’s back garden, in just twelve months Backyard Cinema have screened to over 4,000 customers, ‘popped up’ in five unique environments (including candle-lit basements, railway arches, fully-functioning market halls and listed council chambers), shown 41 films and served unthinkable amounts of popcorn.

Founder Dominic Davies tells us “Backyard Cinema is more than just the movies, it creates an experience; an inclusive, atmospheric celebration of film that brings people together. Cheers, whoops, and dancing are not a rare sight, all complemented by excellent food and drink. Beanbags, deckchairs and even old car seats can make up the setting, speakers are stacked high and I start every movie with a personal introduction. It’s all about somewhere relaxed and cool that you can watch a great movie with your mates and enjoy top quality food and drink.”

A new breed of movie hero

So there we have it; two examples of the prospering outfits that have taken on the mighty task of helping Britons rediscover their love of the cinema.

If you were wondering; they are indeed ticketscript clients too. In fact, we like to think that working with audaciously trailblazing, entrepreneurial visionaries is something of a speciality here. If you consider yourself one of those, why not sign up for an account?

By Dominick Soar