A broad coalition of theater owners are staging Cinema Week, a six-day event in June designed to re-energize moviegoing as the film business emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thousands of cinemas across the country will showcase exclusive content, offer exclusive merchandise and arrange for special guests, including filmmakers and talent. The event runs June 22-27.
“The theatrical experience is very important, and we are a better society for it. It’s where we go for entertainment, and by launching Cinema Week, we want to preserve the culture of going to the movies,” says Brandon Jones, one of the designers of the event who serves as executive chairman of the Founding Committee of Exhibitor and Studio Partners for Cinema Week.
“It’s time to get off the couch,” says Jones, who ran marketing at a midsize theater chain before forming his own firm.
Cinema Week has support from the Independent Cinema Alliance, the National Association of Theatre Owners, dozens of cinemas and numerous sponsors, including Atom Tickets. More that 28,000 screens belonging to mega-exhibitors AMC, Regal and Cinemark; regional circuits; and independent chains will participate.
“We want to raise all ships, and we want everyone to be successful,” says Melissa Boudreau, chief marketing officer of Cinema Week. She, like Jones, previously worked for a midsize chain. “And we’re working in the background to get filmmakers involved.”
Cinema Week activities will vary depending upon the location. Moviegoers will purchase tickets as usual, and when they arrive at the theater, each experience will be unique.
“Nothing compares to the truly awe-inspiring experience of seeing a film on the big screen with sight and sound technology that cannot be replicated at home,” stated Wanda Gierhart Fearing, Cinemark’s global executive vp and chief marketing officer. “Cinema Week was created in collaboration among exhibitors and our studio partners to celebrate the immersive, cinematic experience with moviegoers now that theaters are reopening across the industry.”
Added Rich Daughtridge of the Independent Cinemas Alliance: “Representing more than 5,000 screens, the ICA and our members will do our part to lean into the marketing and advertising initiatives and help move this inaugural event forward. We see this as an opportunity to celebrate moviegoing and to strengthen communities where our members operate their venues.”