The Cinema City network now controls 60% of the Romanian exhibition market
by Stefan Dobroiu
- The number of seats in Romanian cinemas increased from 58,000 in 2012 to 74,000 in 2016
Israel-based cinema network Cinema City controls 60.62% of the Romanian exhibition market, according to data made available by the Romanian National Film Center. Cinema City administers 25 multiplexes with 231 screens. 7,900,691 out of the 13,033,687 tickets sold last year in Romania were for a showing in a Cinema City venue.
Cinema City owns the country’s two IMAX screens, one in Bucharest and one in Timişoara. The network also administers the country’s biggest venue, Cinema City AFI Cotroceni, with 21 screens and 4,322 seats.
Romania now has 92 cinemas (82 at the end of 2015), with a total number of 393 screens and 74,116 seats. Eight cinemas are part of the Europa Cinemas network. The total number of showings in Romanian cinemas in 2016 amounted to 577,525, with an average of 23 admissions per show.
Although the average number of admissions per inhabitant has increased steadily over the years, it is still one of the lowest in Europe, standing at 0.57% in 2015 and 0.67% in 2016.
In terms of admissions, US films are by far preferred by Romanians: they are responsible for 85.65% of the total number of admissions last year, while European movies covered 8.17% and Romanian films 3.52%.
While the multiplex market is faring well, the same cannot be said about the state-owned cinema network, which has been in a state of steady decline over the last few decades. Hundreds of one-screen cinemas were controlled by state company RomâniaFilm in the early 1990s, but the number of venues now stands at 15, the others having been closed, sold to private companies or rented out to non-cultural businesses. The new cinema law adopted at the end of 2016 may help some venues to re-open as cinemas, but in reality, the situation is complicated from multiple points of view. Tudor Giurgiu, member of the RomâniaFilm board until last November, tells Cineuropa, “Without a radical approach from the Ministry of Culture regarding the venues that can still be saved, I am afraid the issue will continue to be postponed indefinitely.”
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