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Monday 20.08.2018 | Name days: Bernhards, Boriss

Forum Cinemas could open new movie theater

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU, SIA Forum Cinemas board member Atis Amolins

SIA Forum Cinemas board member Atis Amolins

SIA Forum Cinemas board member Atis Amoliņš (Amolins) told in an interview to the business news portal BNN in two years Forum Cinemas could open another new movie theater in one of Riga shopping centers.

Similarly, he also reveals Citadele cinema profit was on the level of 2009, when the company faced a considerable downfall, however, despite all that, it is planned to invest from 300 up to 400 thousand euro in improving the cinema.

How tough is the competition among cinemas in Riga? Do you feel it?

Citadele does, of course, feel the competition. Everyone selling tickets in Riga is our competitor. However, it is undoubtable we are leaders in terms of both the location and experience. The biggest threat is to fall into routine, there has to be ongoing development, which is why we keep the leading position – by improving ourselves constantly.

What investments does Citadele cinema plan for this year?

Due to digitization, we replace digital equipment every year. Five out of fourteen halls are digital and we plan digitizing another two this year, which means 50% of the halls will be digitally equipped. At least 100 000 euro is necessary to digitize a single hall. It is expensive. Similalry, we also have to replace part of the seats, improve computer equipment, change servers, etc. Total investments could reach from 300 up to 400 thousand euro.

Do you plan launching another cinema in Riga?

Of course, we are always planning and if there is the right location… Location is the key factor, so we are not rushing to take any spot available. We are waiting for the right place for us. We waited for the current Citadele location for a long time.

How big is the chance we will see another Forum Cinemas movie theater in Riga?

Well, not this year. At least one and a half year passes by the time such a cinema project is carried out.

Maybe in one and a half year then?

Maybe in two years time. There is a chance our next project will be becoming a part of one of Riga shopping centers.

Which shopping center could it be?

At the moment we do not have any specific projects. But I can assure if there is a perfect place, we will take it. Consequently, investments will be necessary, depending on the number of halls etc. Investments might reach up to 1.5-3 million euro, depending on the specific location and the size of it.

How much did Citadele cinema make in 2010?

The performance was on the level of 2009, which was an awful year. I believe we were the only country in the European Union whose cinema industry collapsed, as the VAT grew more than four times and the bottom line profit was practically swept away (editor’s remark: SIA Forum Cinemas posted 395 481 lats profit in 2009, five times less than in 2008, when the company earned 1 996 943 lats.)

How big is the revenue proportion from movie tickets, popcorn, snacks and beverages?

Snacks make up 18 – 30%. The rest of revenue comes from tickets.

What are the conditions of demonstrating movies? Do you pay studios, intermediaries or share the revenue with film makers?

There are numerous conditions, but I would not like to indulge in such details.

What is the criteria of deciding to demonstrate a particular movie in Latvia?

We try to forecast the potential revenue and profitability. Experience is a criteria as well, because Forum Cinemas has distributed nearly a thousand of movies during these 18 years. If a particular movie does not reach Latvia, it means the distributor is not sure the money invested will be recovered.

Is demonstrating Latvian movies in Citadele charity or a lucrative business?

It is still a business. A national product is very important. It is, of course, sad if a movie is demonstrated only for a week or two, because people are not interested in it. But there are also movies that are very successful, for example, Gatis Smits movie Seržanta Lapiņa atgriešanās (Return of Sergeant Lapins) gathered around 15 000 viewers. This year we will also present at least five Latvian movies.

Does Citadele plan expansion to other regions of Latvia?

I am afraid, Riga is the real business. We are not interested in regions at the moment. I believe in regions it is more the responsibility of municipalities that have to support their local people launching cinemas or doing their best the existing ones are not shut down. So that young people have a place to go, instead of wandering the streets and drinking.

How can you characterize a cinema visitor in Latvia?

Speaking about heavy users going to 3-4 movies a month, it is clear these are teenagers. It is global experience that teenagers up to 20 years or slightly more are the most active cinema visitors. Afterwards they do it much more less, because, firstly, they become more choosy and, secondly, they have much less spare time. In Latvia a person goes to the cinema at least two times a year, which is little, compared to the rest of Europe with eight times a week, for example, in Ireland. All in all, we can call 12,13 up to 24, 25 aged persons heavy users.

Do Latvians prefer going to the cinema or watching movies at home?

There are many obstacles not allowing Latvians to go to movies often, including the financial aspect. Cinema is not, of course, among the basic needs of an average family with two pupils, two working parents, all the costs, loans, school expenses, etc.

How much do Internet pirates take away from the potential profit?

It is difficult to say. Study shows the loss amounts to 30-60% and I don’t think it is different in Latvia. It is actually shocking that if someone steals a car, it is a disaster, while when one’s children steal on the Internet every day – it is rather ok. If the «pirate» itself had made the movie, he or she would likely be disappointed at not benefiting from copyright.

Will 5D cinema come to Latvia?

Yes, if someone sees business prospects there. Currently, we hardly see any in this format.

Will Citadele movie tickets prices climb or drop this year?

I don’t know. I am not promising anything, but what I can assure is that there will always be options to buy tickets cheaper, for example, in «Ze Diena» (editor’s remark: a special day once a month when movie tickets are considerably cheaper). However, I cannot comment upon prime time tickets.

SIA Forum Cinemas is the leading movies distributor and cinema in Latvia, representing six film distribution companies: 20th Century Fox International, Sony Pictures Releasing International, Warner Bros. Pictures International, Universal Pictures International, Paramount Pictures International and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.



Leave a reply

  1. Arnold from Finland says:

    It is nearly impossible to watch a movie in forum theater in Latvia when most of viewers are eating pop corns and candies .So better to go to Helsinki or stokhoml to see the same movie for the same price (Even cheaper) Stop to sell food in cinemas.

  2. Jazlyn says:

    I’m not easily impressed. . . but that’s imrpesisng me! :)

  3. asyncensuse says:

    Hello, my sister told me that in this forum is most purposive people. If she got rigt, dialect mayhap anybody tell me why possibly manlike nature is complicated like universe? What do you think? :)



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  8. Matei says:

    Super jazzed about gtetnig that know-how.

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