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Bringing back the Saturday Serial

Cameo-Screen1.jpgI was talking to one of the marketing people over at Ocean Vue Cinemas a while ago about the profits of running a Cinema, and I was genuinely surprised at how little is made in profit by the Cinema on your ticket. We're talking shockingly small amounts, and much as I am against expensive tickets, I couldn't believe how little they made. Suddenly the cost of food wasn't an issue.

So I began thinking, how could Cinemas actually make money? What could they do to make additional profits? Well the usual ones are already being done, offering of film merchandise for sale, opening a bar, renting out the screens for private use, all currently being done. Then another idea hit me, the return of the Saturday serial.

As I thought about the upgrading of Cinemas to digital I caught a story on an High Definition Television website about the Television series Lost. It was talking about a specific dream sequence where a plane crashing can be seen on the top left corner. Interestingly they were saying that if viewed on any other Television other than a High Density you would miss that fine detail.

The idea came to me in the shower, as most good ideas do, and I thought why don't Cinemas use their huge screens and new digital equipment to show these High Definition shows?

There are some seriously strong mini-series on the go at the moment. Battlestar Galactica, 24, Lost and the list goes on and looks set to continue, Star Wars in 2008 anyone? Why are these being snapped up by the Television Studios first? Why couldn't a Cinema chain buy these shows before the Television Studios, or even at the same time? So for 24 or Lost, it's shown on Sky extremely quickly after it's shown on Television. Couldn't a Cinema pay to get the viewing rights over Sky, or the week after?

Imagine then going to your Cinema every week to watch an episode of 24 or Lost. Big digital, high definition screen, huge digital sound and a nice hotdog or popcorn by your side. Would you go and see the series on the big screen? How much would you pay to go and see an episode?



Tell me then Rich if they gave you figures over at Vue, if I am paying an £8.60 priced ticket, which is the price of a ticket after 5 pm in most London cinemas, how much actually goes to the cinema owner?

Hey there Simone - £8.60? Wow...We're just over the £6 mark here. Let me see if I can give out the exact details.

That's £8.60 within Greater London yes, but it gets more expensive when you get closer to Central London, the last time I checked, at the Odeon-Leicester Square it's £10 per ticket after 5 pm! Not to mention the difference in price for the seat you want. That's why I find it such a good deal to sign up for UGC's (now Cineworld) Unlimited Cinema scheme, which is just £10.99/month for unlimited access to all films within Greater London. The only catch of course is if you dont get to use it at all, then that's £10.99 you will never get back.

£10 a ticket Simone? That is incredible- better to buy the dvd!
Rich - I think the Saturday serial is a brilliant idea. £2.50 a pop?

Yep Dave, a tenner, when I can get 2 DVDs for that in HMV or Virgin!

When the measure of a film's success is no longer by dollars at the box office and goes to bums on seats (a timeless and far more accurate figure which does not distort itself between area prices) then we may see a little more profit for the house?

I couldn't see a serial at the cinema, live too far away and it's too much commitment. With the TV you can record it and catch-up later if you have other plans, that's lost with the cinema. Unless they'd do two episodes back to back, with the second one week being the first the following week.

Thats a great idea. i watched a show the other night about a small cinema in the uk and they have a guy who plays on an organ at the interval for extra entertainment.

the organ comes up on a raised platform right in front of the screen... oh yeah.

the gym i belong to has a deal with myvue, i pay £3.90 per ticket. how good is that. no wonder i watch so many stupid films... booja!

That's a fantastic idea, Richard! I wonder if there would be problems due to licensing the television shows? If it did work, I would totally watch Lost or 24 on the big screen, it's just a testament to how television shows are becoming more like films all the time.

I'd love to see tv shows on the big screen. Unfortunately, I live out in the sticks, so a trip to the cinema is a bit of a day out for me, but if I lived a bit closer I'd be right up for it.

i dont know how much it is for a childs ticket to see alien autopsy in My VUe in PLymouth, devon cus i dot say on the internet!


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