Cinemas in Hungary are struggling to stay profitable due to the energy crisis. The situation of all cinemas became more difficult due to the increase in energy costs. However, some are even facing the possibility of closing down.
On behalf of the National Association of Cinemas, Bálint Bujdosó, Vice President for Rural Cinemas gave an interview to hellovidek.hu, in which he talked about the future of cinemas in Hungary.
Cinemas operate with relatively high energy costs, since they have to heat large airy rooms. In addition, high-performance projectors and lighting that work with electricity must be operated. To recover from the loss of income caused by closures and other factors is a challenge for cinemas, too. They are trying to save money by introducing energy efficiency improvements, writes penzcentrum.hu.
However, cinemas have to save money in a way that it does not come at the expense of the number of screenings and the number of viewers. “In addition, cinemas operating in shopping malls typically pay their rent in euros, which increases costs even further with the significant weakening of the forint. The majority of operators reacted to this situation by raising tickets to a small extent – below inflation”, Bálint Bujdosó said.
According to Bálint Bujdosó, this current crisis is only temporary. “Viewers continue to look for big-budget films and blockbusters in cinemas, but the turnover of small-medium budget films is also showing an increase”, he said. Based on the preliminary plans of film distributors, a noticeably larger selection of films will be shown in cinemas compared to last year. Therefore, cinemas expect an increase compared to 2022.
Due to the energy crisis, cinemas must introduce higher ticket prices. “The rate of ticket price increases varies from cinema to cinema, showing a trend of between 5-15 percent, which is higher compared to previous years, but lower than the 2022 inflation average”, the Vice President for Rural Cinemas believes. In 2023, minor ticket price corrections may still occur, but no major ticket price increase should be expected.
Watching movies at home is becoming more and more popular, many people got used to streaming during Covid. According to Bálint Bujdosó, the atmosphere of the movie theater cannot be compared to watching a movie at home. Cinema is a social program, the film is not always the central element of the experience, but the quality time spent with family and friends. Therefore, he believes there will always be demand for movie theaters.
Source: hellovidek.hu, penzcentrum.hu