Czech cinema company wins European films promotion award
While the number of moviegoers has been dropping in recent years, some cinemas have enjoyed an increasing number of visitors. One of them is Prague’s Aero, which has just received the Europa Cinemas award for promoting European films. Aero, along with Světozor and Oko, are run by the Aerofilms distribution company and have the highest turnout among the country’s smaller cinemas. I spoke to Aerofilms’ Ivo Andrle and first asked him what the Europa Cinemas award meant to him:
“And I guess it will encourage us to follow up and try to do it better and enjoy ourselves doing it and hopefully attract a lot of people coming to our places.”
At a time when the numbers of cinemagoers are dropping, your numbers are gradually increasing? Why do you think is that?
“We are rather relying on films that appear every year that are smart that are maybe not as much promoted but people want to experience them in the cinemas. And luckily there have been enough of these films in previous years.
“And I guess people like what they find in our places and they like to return. So the numbers are growing, by little, but they are growing every year, which is nice to experience.”
What were your biggest hits recently?
“Also of course at the beginning of 2014 the Lars von Trier Nymphomaniac hit the screens and that was a major hit for us.”
Your cinemas are popular not only for the programming but also for the atmosphere. How important do you think it is in attracting visitors?
You are definitely right that 50 percent of what you experience is not only the atmosphere inside, but also the way the venue is communicating with the audience, the way it is advertising, the way its website looks, the way every box office person is treating you as a customer.
Over the years, you have introduced a number of projects, such as Live screenings from the Metropolitan opera or Czech Philharmonic Live or the so-called Film-Juke Box, where the audience chooses which film will be screened. Is there any upcoming project that you could mention?
“Recently we have been developing an international project that has been simultaneously launched in five countries, including the Czech Republic, and the project is called Scope 50.
“So that’s a very exciting new way of getting closer to the audience to have immediate feedback and opinion and to encourage the release of maybe not so commercially looking films.”