British cinemas limber up for Summer Olympics
by Naman Ramachandran
26/07/2012 - It’s finally here. The Summer Olympics (July 27 – August 12) is all set to kick off in London and the city is awash in a welter of tongues and nationalities. While many cynical Londoners unable to deal with the invasion of their city have decamped for foreign shores, British cinemas have gotten into the Olympian spirit and will screen the Games, absolutely free. Chains like Vue and Cineworld have entered into an arrangement with official broadcaster BBC to screen most of the events live, beginning with the July 27 opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire [trailer, film focus]).
Cinema Exhibitors’ Association CEO Phil Clapp said, “Excitement about the arrival of the Games already seems to be at fever pitch. A number of our largest cinema companies wanted to reflect and be part of that, providing audiences across the UK with the chance to see the best ceremonies and events on the big screen. Others recognise that London 2012 brings with it the opportunity to provide those visiting the UK for the Games the widest possible range of high quality film entertainment.”
Parks across London and the UK will also show the Games live on giant screens. In addition, cinemas are programming Olympics and sport related seasons to complement the Games. For example a restored version of Hugh Hudson’s Olympic-themed and Oscar-winning Chariots Of Fire is currently on release across a 100 UK cinemas with £150,000 support from the British Film Institute.
Producer Lord Puttnam said, “At the heart of the film is the quest for Olympic glory, and I find hard to imagine anything more likely to resonate throughout the country this summer.”