The cinema is doing badly in France, in terms of attendance, according to the latest published studies.
Streaming platforms have “stolen” these spectators who no longer travel to see films.
Faced with this observation, and other factors, the managers of the Riviera are thinking about solutions to bring back the spectators.
Last week, on the eve of the launch of the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, a study commissioned from Ifop by the French Association of Arthouse Cinemas was released, with one observation: video streaming platforms deprive halls of its spectators.
And the Côte d'Azur, showcase of French cinema but also a land of filming and a new place for training, with the Bastide Rouge in Cannes and partnerships with ENS Louis Lumière, Cours Florent and Amazon Prime at the Victorine studios in Nice, is no exception to this reality.
Like “everywhere in France”, “we are in an ambient gloom”, only cowardly Philippe Borys-Combret, president of the Compagnie cinematographic de Cannes, who does not wish to speak further on the subject.
He assures that the city of festivals is "in the national figures, which are not good at all".
And this, despite the opening at La Bocca, last year, of the Cineum with 12 rooms, 2,450 seats and a giant screen of 24 meters as well as all the latest technologies for projection.
In Nice too, a new multiplex was installed at the end of 2021. The Megarama with 10 rooms which can accommodate 1,500 people, then completes the existing offer which was mainly concentrated in the west of the city.
For Savanna Samokine, director of the Pathé cinemas in Nice, these "competitors" are part of the factors that push him to "move, to surprise" so that spectators come to the theater.
And that actually requires high-tech equipment.
“The comfortable seats but also the exceptional image and sound quality, that's ultimately what appeals.
With each major film release, the Dolby room at the Gare du Sud cinema is always full and generally speaking, it is the one that is the most at the top.
We then understand that people want to live an experience.
“We can no longer just open the doors for the spectators to come in”
With this in mind, the Pathé cinemas in Nice now offer “entertainment” around film releases.
The director resumes: “For the release of the last “Top Gun”, we thought about different activities to get in the mood.
Last Thursday, we proposed a cinema-debate and the room was full.
We create events.
We can no longer just open the doors for the spectators to come in, we need something more.
According to him, the quality of the equipment and the creation of events are all solutions to "show the difference with the platform experience".
He continues: “We have to work with these new tools because we are facing a changing audiovisual landscape, but I still believe that cinema has nothing to do with being alone in front of your TV.
It's a room, it's the release of a film, the emotions shared at the screening.
And an event around "Top Gun", you will not see it in your living room.
A policy also held by arthouse cinemas in Nice.
Thierry Duchêne, director of Variétés and Rialto, insists on the need to have added value to bring back the spectators, who have left since “confinements and the health pass”.
“When a film is shown and then followed by a discussion, it gives viewers something they can't find elsewhere.
So you have to constantly innovate, think of original things.
The sun, this formidable competitor
The Covid-19 is then one of the people responsible for the desertification of the rooms.
But the increase in ticket prices could also play into the balance.
According to figures from the CNC, Nice is the 4th city with more than 50,000 inhabitants, the most expensive with an average place at 7.69 euros.
For Savanna Samokine, this is not a "valid reason" knowing that "the full price is the one whose share is the lowest".
Above all, he explains this economic factor by “the general increase in inflation”.
“Leisure is the first victim when you have fewer means, even if the cinema remains one of the favorite leisure activities of the French and above all, the least expensive of cultural shows.
The consumption of films would then, according to him, be more “thoughtful” but “different”.
For Henry Jean Servat, municipal councilor sub-delegated to the cinema, “if there is no longer an audience, it is not in relation to prices or the cinematographic offer, on the contrary.
It is this set linked to the health crisis.
And he also exposes another local problem: the weather.
“The people of Nice don't want to go to a hall when the weather is nice [there are three hundred days of sunshine a year].
And foreign people, when they come on vacation, it's not to go to the cinema.
The director at Pathé Nice then sees this situation as a challenge: “We will think about schedules after the return from the beaches, offer more films in their original version, and generally adapt to the population, including tourists. .
And all it takes is a rainy day for the city's cinemas to be full!
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