Independent cinema still a hit with Wellington audiences
ONLINE piracy is posing no threat to independent cinemas.
That’s according to managers at two Wellington cinemas, who say a night out at the flicks still holds appeal for many, despite the growing ease with which the public can access content for free online.
“It’s not just a film, it’s not just a meal, it’s a whole experience,” says Carole Tredrea, the events and marketing manager at Mirimar’s Roxy theatre.
Steven Ferguson (right), director at the Paramount on Courtney Place, agrees saying there are still plenty of movie- goers who would prefer not to watch a movie huddled over their laptops.
They are usually older, with more disposable income and this is the demographic the Roxy and Paramount cater for.
Mr Ferguson and Ms Tredrea say that by screening independent films they are less affected by piracy than multi-plexes like Hoyts or Readings.
Mr Ferguson says it’s generally not French art- house movies affected by piracy.
He has been involved with the Paramount for eleven years and says that business doubled between 2003 and 2012.
However ticket sales alone are not a reliable source of income for cinemas as seasonal slumps are unavoidable in the industry.
To remedy this, most independent cinemas will have in-house bars and the Roxy also hosts a full restaurant and café.
Not only does this help with profit margins but Ms Tredrea says these facilities are what bring people back time and again.
“We’re getting people in who are loyal, who are regular, who come here for the love of it,”she says.