Admissions up in Central Europe

New cinemas help fuel strong growth forecasts

LONDON — The cinema industry in Central Europe is set for a significant period of growth over the next five years according to cinema analysts Dodona Research.

The U.K.-based org predicts admissions will rise 25% in the region, due largely to the investment in new cinemas and strong domestic film industries in countries such as the Czech Republic.

Total admissions for Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia stood at 69.7 million in 2006 and are expected to rise to 87.3 million in 2001.

Strongest growth is projected in the Czech Republic, where admissions are forecast to rise by more than 50% in the period. The country already has one of the strongest rates of cinema attendance in the region, and the anticipated admissions growth will bring levels comparable to that of some Western European countries.

Central Europe is one of the few areas in the world presently experiencing a period of new cinema construction and the number of screens is set to rise by 11% from last year’s figure of 2,854 to 3,173 by 2011.

Dodona researchers predict that a significant surge in new build theaters with multiple screens will compensate for the ongoing closure of traditional cinemas.

Multiplex growth is particularly pronounced in Poland, where the first multiplex opened in 1998. There are now over 400 Polish multiplex screens.

In the smaller markets of Romania and Croatia, state-built traditional single screen cinemas dating back to the Soviet period are being replaced by modern multiplexes.

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