Cinema and the energy crisis: how theaters are preparing to cope – Actus Ciné

Cinema and the energy crisis how theaters are preparing to

Will cinemas have to adapt to the energy crisis? The National Federation of French Cinemas has published recommendations for cinemas to help them deal with the energy crisis.

What if cinemas were forced to reduce the number of screenings in order to cope with the coming energy crisis?

According to an article from World, the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF) calls on its members in particular to “regulate opening hours according to the flow of the public.” This can be seen in its “Charter of all cinemas for an immediate reduction in energy consumption”, published on September 21.

“From 2010 to 2019, the number of screenings increased from 6 to 8.6 million. Currently, with the 30% drop in cinema attendance at the national level, certain screenings, in particular those at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., take place with very few spectators”deplores Marc-Olivier Sebbag, general delegate of the FNCF. “You have to find the right balance with the costs”he suggests.

“All sectors of culture must ask themselves this question of opening hours, hoping that their reduction will be temporary”explains Olivier Sebbag.


The FNCF charter thus recommends “to turn off the cinema signs when they are not open and the lights in the halls and circulations when the public is not present, to use dynamic displays in a reasoned way, to respect the government’s objective a maximum heating of 19 degrees, to program the heating according to the hours and the occupation of the rooms, to stop the air conditioning if it is less than 26 degrees outside, to turn off the projectors in the rooms which do not ‘have no spectators, and better regulate the renewal of air.”

“The time has come for mobilization and rationalization. This is both a civic commitment to contribute to the national effort of energy sobriety and an economic necessity in a period of declining attendance. third reason is to do everything to avoid power cuts and end up with cinemas closed in the evening”says Mr. Sebbag.

For the rooms, the energy bill represents between 5 and 10% of turnover. “The increase in costs occurs as energy contracts expire. Currently, 20% of cinemas have to renew their contracts and end up with bills multiplied by three, five or even ten times”explains the general delegate of the FNCF.

This possible decision to reduce sessions is likely to make the cinema world cringe, at a time when the big winter blockbusters arrive like Avatar 2 on December 14.


Questioned by us, Olivier Sebbag confirmed that this gesture of cinemas consisting in entering into a perspective of energy sobriety was a civic commitment. “It is a question of telling the spectators: You are living through a complicated period from the point of view of energy and we are offering you a show, pleasure, culture, leisure, but we are also committed to contributing to winter is going wellhe points out.

“We can’t say: We cinema people, it doesn’t concern us. We are involved with the public, with each spectator and every link in society. There is therefore a desire to make spectators adhere to this approach. “he continues.

“Furthermore, cinemas use a lot of electricity for showing films. Energy costs are bound to soar, like for everyone else. This will also reduce them. We are talking here about simple gestures such as not leaving lights on where there is no need or not to overheat the rooms, as everyone can also do at home. Thus, we follow the movement of society while keeping the spirit of welcome and the warm, friendly side , of the movie theatre”explains general delegate of the FNCF.


Olivier Sebbag then ensures that each cinema will be able to adapt the energy charter to its convenience, depending in particular on its size. He also went into more detail on the reduction in the number of sessions mentioned in the charter.

“We do not recommend a reduction but we ask to adapt the programming of the cinema according to the general activity. That being said, since 2010, we have enormously increased the number of sessions, we have gone from 6 million to more than 8 million sessions.

However, when turning on the projector costs so much because of the price of electricity which has soared, that raises questions, for example, on an 11am session in an average provincial town. If that day, on that film, there is no one, this session will not be suitable”he explains.

Olivier Sebbag thus calls on operators to think about their programming and the organization of their cinemas according to the films coming out and the period (weekdays, weekends, school holidays, etc.).

“Adapting the sessions does not necessarily mean reducing. There may be one less session one day and another, on the contrary, it will be necessary to increase them. The idea is to adjust the activity as well as possible to be in a consumption reasoned and reasonable energy.”

Interview by Brigitte Baronnet in Deauville on September 22, 2022.

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