EasyGroup opens cinema screens to ads

EasyCinema, easyGroup’s venture into no-frills, low-priced cinema, is to start selling advertising on its screens from Friday. Clients booked so far include Hewlett Packard and DFS.

The cinema in Milton Keynes – which sells tickets only from its website – has not attracted ads before, but has now appointed Carlton Screen Advertising to sell advertising on its behalf. EasyCinema will also start using cinema ushers to sell popcorn, confectionery and soft drinks at &£1 each.

EasyCinema has been locked in a battle to persuade film distributors to obtain a major Hollywood film for a first run at its site, but has met resistance because of the business model on offer. It wants to pay a flat rate to film distributors to screen a film, but the traditional model is a ticket revenue split between distributor and exhibitor.

EasyGroup appointed cinema industry veteran Charles Wesoky as easyCinema chief executive in February and he is leading negotiations with distributors. He has had some success in attracting first-run independent and foreign films. The company is looking for another site after failing to secure the Coronet in London’s Notting Hill.

Leading cinema chain Odeon Cinemas has appointed former EMAP Performance chief executive Tim Schoonmaker as chief executive.

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