Multiplexes face competition from developing technology

Audiovisual experts predict that the rise in demand for higher quality projectors and home cinema capabilities will cause a gradual waning in demand for conventional 'picture house' cinemas.

Writing for the Independent newspaper, tech journalist Alice Jones said viewing habits had changed so much that film fans were looking for more from their cinema viewing than a 30-foot screen and overpriced popcorn.

She said the ability that projectors have to enable viewings in any kind of location has meant that out-door screenings like the Somerset House Summer Screen, events like the Secret Cinema series in London and small, novelty cinemas in caravans and sheds across the country are really giving the multiplexes a run for their money.

Fabien Riggall, whose Future Cinema company is behind the Secret Cinema events, told Jones that people really enjoyed the added social aspect of alternative cinematic experiences.

"It's the mystery and surprise element, the magic of the events," he said. "People want to go out and meet each other and have a reason to talk to each other. So when something happens that's a bit unusual, people to talk to the next person."

Jones said that multiplexes were offering greater selections and refurbishing their houses in order to maintain competitivity and that the effect of people wanting more than just having to hand over £10 to watch a screen was patent.

"As experiences taking film out of the cinema flourish, the cinemas are slowly sitting up and taking notice," she said.

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