The social, environmental and community impact of European cinemas

Network Survey


One of the biggest ever surveys of European cinemas reveals a deep and determined mission to put social, economic and cultural value at the heart of post-Covid recovery. Involving more than 300 cinemas and in-depth interviews, this Survey shows how collaborative innovation and new kinds of audience engagement are enhancing sustainable and dynamic work in diverse and changing communities across Europe.

The social, environmental and community impact of European cinemas

Europa Cinemas’ latest network study – The social, environmental and community impact of European Cinemas – is published at a time of unprecedented challenges.

Covid closures have been followed by a post-pandemic economic downturn, rising business costs, a cost-of-living crisis and inflation. Almost one-in-eight cinemas believe they face a serious risk of closure in the next five years. And 80% of respondents said rising business and energy costs were undermining their business futures, while 93% said more support from public funds was needed.

This survey is a reminder that the loss of any of those vibrant and dynamic social spaces would have a devastating impact on communities, and not just for regular cinemagoers: Cinemas play an essential role in keeping communities alive, supporting other cultural, social and retail activities. Cinemas also still remain essential as the launchpad for films, creating the awareness that drives online success for platforms.

But the survey also shows a resilient and determined cinema sector, demonstrating the fact that there were more than 300 detailed responses to this vital survey into why cinema remains so valuable. Three-quarters of respondents expect to “survive and thrive” by putting social, cultural and environmental innovation at the centre of practical and progressive strategies for recovery and growth. 83% see audience development innovation as the foundation of their recovery and growth strategies.

There is no standing still in this report. A wide and diverse network of European cinemas is working collaboratively to build audiences, increase engagement with European films, and support the full diversity of their communities. Three-quarters are creating events, festivals and screenings. The study shows growing investment in activities to support diversity and inclusion, community outreach and environmental sustainability.

Cinemas are working with partners in their communities; they are working with each other on a local and regional level to build skills and best practice; and they are sharing ideas and innovations across borders, supported by Europa Cinemas. European cultural diversity and the life of diverse communities need such collaborative and collective effort to succeed.

The survey, directed by Michael Gubbins (SampoMedia) with interviews by Tara Judah, is supported by Creative Europe/MEDIA.



Network Survey - "The social, environmental and community impact of European cinemas"