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The Network - 14/11/2008


Europa Cinemas Awards 2008 - Best Young Audience Activities


Kino Central



"Every second visitor of our cinema is a person under the age of thirty"


"We have always put an emphasis on the young audience," says Leos Kucera of the Kino Centrál in the North-Eastern Bohemian town of Hradec Králové, a member of Europa Cinemas since 2004.

"Every second visitor of our cinema is a child, a student or a person under the age of thirty," he continues. "Our staff also comprises young people and we have a strong feedback from the group of people that our programme is focused on. We have prepared specific screenings for schools, children or students. When programming, we closely cooperate with teachers, who also provide the distribution of member cards of the student's film club organized by our theatre and called The Film Heritage among the students. Thanks to this club, young viewers are offered unknown titles or movies that are not possible to see within the usual distribution network."

As Kucera explains, the 388-seater Kino Centrál "is not only a cinema, but also a place to hold concerts, exhibitions and conferences, to see transmissions of sport and cultural events and to introduce young artists."

"When we started with our transformation of the Kino Centrál into an art one, we were motivated by real concerns," he recalls. "The previous owner of the cinema, the municipality, was not able to compete with the newly built multiplex. The cinema was at the point of death."

Since taking over, the attendance figures have happily gone back up, but Kucera points out that, as an independent exhibitor of a single-screen cinema, the main challenges are availability of prints and "a very close relationship between major distributors and multiplex operators, often based on a capital share."

One can start feeling like Don Quixote fighting against windmills when the multiplexes also begin playing the arthouse films praised by the critics and audiences alike, but Kucera suggests that investing in digital projection equipment could enable them to films from film schools and give the cinema "unlimited possibilities like live transmissions of concerts or music festivals or playing computer games together with hundreds of people in the hall."

Pictures (from left):
Kino Central, Miss Kucerova, Martin Soukup, Leos Kucera, Kino Central