Nearly half of UK independent cinemas are losing money

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A staggering amount of independent cinema operators won’t make any profits this year, according to a new survey.

Prepare for some grim tidings as to the current state of the UK cinema industry.

According to a recent survey by the Independent Cinema Office, around 45 percent of independent cinemas here in the UK expect to make a loss in the financial year 2023/24. Worse still, of the 157 venues that were surveyed, 61 percent said that they were not hitting their financial targets.

Perhaps the most worrying statistic of all is this one: 42 percent of cinemas and mixed arts centres stated that if the current conditions persist, they don’t expect to be open beyond the next three to 12 months. That’s around 60 independent cinemas across the country that desperately need help from some quarter, given that audience levels haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels and income is still down.

Around three quarters of the surveyed operators said they expected to make a loss this year as the Hollywood strikes bite further into an already difficult period for these independent operators. The findings of the ICO survey are said to be presented as evidence to the UK Parliament Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s Inquiry on UK Film and High-End Television this month.

Read more: Cinemas are under threat all around us, and things are not improving – a round-up and some thoughts

The government it seems, could be facing its final opportunity to intervene and help these operators before a frightening number of them are wiped out. Whether it chooses to do so, especially with a general election looming in the next 15 months, remains to be seen. But for some of these cinemas, it really does look like last chance saloon.

For those of you out there lucky enough to still have an independent cinema in your town or city, hopefully there’ll be some kind of positive change on the horizon soon. But heck: it’s very testing times.

Screen Daily

Image: BigStock

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