ReportageThe pandemic has forced cinemas to lower the curtain, prompting some exhibitors to rethink their role and imagine new concepts to find their audience.
Thomas, 8, is planning to watch only Marvel. He would even like Stan Lee, the creator of the universe, to be present in front of him. “In the middle of the room”, he specifies, before blowing behind his mask: “But he died in 2018… I was 6 years old. “ This Tuesday evening in April, Tiphaine, the mother, booked a night at the Hotel Paradiso, built by the cinema operator MK2 a stone’s throw from the Place de la Nation, in Paris.
The event? The fourteenth birthday of Thomas’ big sister, Jeanne. The teenager admits to being “Rather for Alien ” – the classic by Ridley Scott, released in 1979. No problem: the family can arrange their sessions as they wish, projected directly on the wall facing the bed, using an iPad bearing the logo of this first “Cinema -Hotel ”with thirty-four rooms, inaugurated at the beginning of March and full that evening.
Owner of an unlimited card, Tiphaine has always gone to the cinema once a week, at least. The same goes for Jacky, 67, retired economist in Brittany, passing through Paris for two days; Renaud and Fanny, a couple in their forties; or Vincent, 48, and his daughter Satine, 16, a fan of Quentin Tarantino, who would one day like to become an actress.
Everyone has planned to enjoy the thousands of films available, cinema projectors and meals served directly in their rooms, including sweets, with the possibility of sipping a glass of red wine from Francis Ford Coppola’s vineyard. All in a beautiful setting covered with movie posters, works of art that evoke the seventh art, like this photograph of an empty seat by Anri Sala.
Or why not rent one of the lounges, like those with a glass wall overlooking an MK2 room like an opera box, and, after the last screening, choose the screen programming yourself – the games. video are even offered. While the children are stamping their feet in front of the elevator leading to the hotel corridors, Tiphaine turns around: “In front of the television, or Netflix, it does not smell of popcorn… We missed that atmosphere! ”
Four hundred films on hold
She’s not the only one. After a brief reopening from June to October 2020, the cinemas remained closed, following the health measures taken to thwart the Covid-19 pandemic. The world of cinema awaits news every day, distributors consult together, rumors circulate, giving rise to new meetings. As a result, around 400 films are stagnating while awaiting a potential release and Netflix, the overpowering streaming platform, exceeded 200 million subscribers in January. Streaming platforms have pushed theaters to “Rethink their role”, explains Agnès Salson, co-founder of the future La Forêt Électrique complex in Toulouse.
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