The cost of a night out at the cinema is now more expensive than ever. Tickets are usually just under a tenner and you have to take out a mortgage to afford popcorn too.
However, there are some shows which offer great value and are a real treat. ‘Event cinema’ showings include productions from the National Theatre, BBC programmes, music concerts and sports games and are screened, often live, to your local cinema screen.
I recently saw the National Theatre’s production of ‘Frankenstein’ with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller taking the lead roles, and it was superb. Yes, you miss some of the atmosphere of a live event but you save on an expensive theatre ticket (two if you take a partner!), travel, programmes, the ice cream during the interval, etc, so the ‘event’ becomes much more affordable and accessible, meaning that more people than ever can access these great productions.
If you love a band, you can see them playing live in other countries, without leaving your home town or craning your neck to see around the tall person stood in front of you. If you’re a Whovian, the opportunity to see the recent big 50th anniversary episode was surely a treat on the big screen. Such performances are bringing something new to your local cinema.
Cinema has had to diversify to keep bringing in audiences, and I fully support the move to show live performances and events as part of this. It gives a new access to those who want to experience more but can’t always get to see big performances for a variety of reasons. Some might say it lessens the exclusivity for those seeing National Theatre productions, but performances with big names such as Benedict Cumberbatch will always sell out, and the remit of theatres such as the NT will include extending their audiences and reaching new people, and this is a great way to do that.
I look forward to the next screening!