During a recent search through the world wide web I came across a few articles about HMV and Curzon cinema group coming together to create cinema’s which will be created within HMV stores. The wimbledon HMV store will use its unused second floor in the autumn as pilot scheme to try out the idea and if it works HMV and Curzon will open more cinemas within many other locations around UK.
So is combining cinemas with the UK’s biggest DVD seller the way forward for cinema’s in this country during economic struggles? or is just another attempt for the retailers pulling the wool over our eyes get us into there stores, sweet talk us with low prices and once we are happy BANG!! prices go up?First point what ever new scheme or incentive a company creates is always a profit making scheme, so no need argue if it is or isnt. I know times are bad but do we need to consider joing a music/movie/game retailer with a cinema group? well yes it is a orginal idea, a opportunity to go to HMV go upstairs watch a film then walk downstairs go buy the DVD version and even at the same time buy the soundtrack, even the book and even the game version. The cinema group gets the people through its doors and HMV get sale of some music and dvds, there happy but would we be happy?
Some people would be happy, some wont but what I would be concerned about is the actual cinema and what it will offer. Curzon cinema group are a arthouse cinema chain so right away the type of film they show will be limited, Im not saying the qaulity of film is poor the choice of movies that the cinema shows will not appeal to everyone who shops in HMV, so will they also show major hollywood blockbusters? or just qaulity arthose movies? If thats the case they could be on loosing streak you have to appeal to a wider audience if you are going to work with HMV and satisfy there customer base.
The price is another concern and seems to be the biggest reason for the joint venture, it is stated that they will use the sliding price scale depending on what time they watch the film, which is ok. But people want to watch a movie when they can at a price they like and not at a price because they want to watch at a certain time. A price structure that suits everyone should be created, in Glasgow area an average adult ticket is about £7 (£5 daytime) in China its was working in about £3.50-£4 for adult. Setting say £5 for adult £2-3 for children, pensioners would attract more people to there cinemas, the price would differ from where you are in UK. Its not just the ticket price that drive people away.
Location of the cinema is another factor. Back in the 1990’s there was a boom of out of town shopping malls and retail parks and many cinemas opened up in the retail park or even in the mall. These centre’s are great but if you dont drive and the transport links arent very good or very limited after a certain time its very hard to get there. My home town of Paisley we have a Showcase cinema which opened in 1997 in the Phoenix retail park in the linwood area about 2.5 miles from the town centre, the transport links arent very good and after 6pm they are non existant. I actually worked at the cinema in 2 occasions and many times the cinema was empty or half empty and many of the comments and complaints was the location and how hard it was to get to it, the company’s response to comments dont really care, but when people werent turning up and going elsewhere it was the staff who felt the managements anger of no customers. The town’s old cinema The Kelburn was only 5 minutes walk from the town centre easy to get to. These out of town shopping centres are killing town centres it has killed Paisley’s and there’s Braehead only 20 minutes by bus from Paisley centre and now has a Odeon cinema which I use or go to Cineworld in Glasgow city centre. Both these cinema’s are further away from Showcase but are bothe easier and sometimes quicker to get to. We should encourage cinemas to come back to town centres, people will come if they did it there not asking for big 20 screen complexes just a few screens with reasonable priced tickets.
The biggest earner for cinema’s are the concessions; the popcorns, cokes, hot dogs and ice creams. This is where the cinemas make there money so does Curzon offer these skyhigh delacies? if they do im sure they will be so expensive and if they are will they prevent people bringing there own snacks? Like the ticket price if they did this with concessions more people will buyMy local cinema actually barred people entering there cinema if they brought food in, they wanted the ushers to conduct airport secuirty style bag searches which is morally wrong. The other problem with that cinema it was opened next to a 24 hour Asada store!!!
It is adventurous idea for HMV to do but maybe they should work to prevent the piracy that is happening prevent copies of the movies coming out maybe they should look to lowering the price of DVD’s and more people will buy the DVD’s when there new instead of waiting a few months and then bringing the price down, they sell over 50 million dvd’s a year, so why dont they lower the price? it is shocking that a new released DVD can cost between £15 upto £25, its shocking when a few years ago £10-£15!
I remember in 2008 when I collected my laptop from a repair shop whilst waiting in the waiting area for a film I had to open the laptop bag to put some papers in it I had 4 staff members on me asking me to give over my laptop or leave when I showed them it had no camera and what i was doing i got to see the movie. It shows you are been watched but many times you watch a film there is always some little arsehole with his or her’s mobile recording and when you tell the cinema staff they dont seem to be interested and that seems to be the police’s attitude as well. When I was in china there was many people openly recording the movie but no staff showed any interest but Im not surprised. Not in the main city centre but in the suburb centre’s there is small shops clearly selling copies of DVD’s of all the latest movies, I bought one to see how good or bad the qaulity was and I was very surprised. For 10 RMB (£1UK) I bought Wrestler and from the cover which was professionally copied along with a well done cover on dvd plus the film its self was a very high qaulity, so I could see the urge to buy these.
So will this new project work for HMV and Curzon? possibly but what you never do is limit your audience and Curzon are an arthouse cinema chain which I think wont like to show some big blockbusters and will probably mean failure. Cinema’s should just simply lower there ticket prices, there snack prices and consider where there actual cinema will be and if they do that people will come. HMV should work with all the cinema’s to target the pirates that make these DVD’s and at the same time lower the price of there dvd’s and people will buy more. We will wach in eagerness on this project.