Culture Restart Cinema Tracker - Wave 1 Headlines released

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Survey overview

The Culture Restart Cinema Tracker is designed to give independent cinemas a way to check in with their audiences throughout the reopening process, understand sentiment and build a national benchmark.

Cinemas are provided with individual links to send out to their email database or post on social media, and have access to results in real time. The first wave of results are made up of responses from 17 April to 16 May 2021.

The survey was developed in collaboration with the Independent Cinema Office. It is part of the Culture Restart Toolkit, delivered by the Insights Alliance – Indigo Ltd, Baker Richards and One Further.

Key findings

  • 16 independent cinemas sent out the survey via email and social media
  • 5,371 previously frequent cinema goers responded during the first wave (17 April to 16 May 2021)

Less than a third of independent cinema attendees went to the cinema in the period when they were open between lockdowns in 2020.

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  • 69% of respondents did not go to the cinema in the period that they were able to reopen in 2020
  • A small group of 16% attended the cinema more than once in that period
  • The majority of respondents (63%) said they did not attend because they were trying to avoid interacting with crowds of people
  • However, significant numbers also said that there wasn’t anything they wanted to see (28%) or that going to the cinema wasn’t a priority at that time (25%)

The majority of independent cinema goers say they are ready to return and over two thirds are planning to book within the next 3 months.

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  • 3 in 4 respondents said they will feel comfortable returning to cinemas as soon as they are able to reopen, if they are happy with the Covid safety measures in place
  • 1 in 4 respondents said they wanted to wait for cinemas to be open for a few more months, for restrictions to be fully eased, to receive a vaccine themselves or for the time when the vaccination programme to be more widely established
  • Almost 70% of respondents said they would be ready to book cinema tickets within the next 3 months – with 39% saying they’ll be ready to book within the next month
  • However, almost 20% said they won’t be ready to be for more than 6 months, not at all or they’re not sure when

Independent cinema goers are confident that their cinemas will keep them safe – but certain measures remain essential to their return.

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  • Independent cinema goers have high levels of confidence that the cinemas they attend would have appropriate measures in place for their safety
  • Nearly half (46%) of respondents said that socially distanced seating was ‘essential’ to their return
  • Just under a third also expect face masks (31%) and one-way systems (26%)
  • The majority (65%) of respondents were not comfortable with the idea of there being no restrictions in place subject to a Covid test, and significant numbers were uncomfortable with any testing
Flo Carr
Associate Director

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