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23 April 2024 - British film and high-end television - Oral evidence

Committee Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Inquiry British film and high-end television

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Start times: 9:30am (private) 10:00am (public)

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What are the challenges facing UK cinemas?  

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee will continue its inquiry into British Film and High-End TV with a session focusing on the industry’s exhibition sector, where a film is screened for the public in the cinema.

Meeting details

At 10:00am: Oral evidence
Inquiry British film and high-end television
Head of Cinema at Watershed
Director at Independent Cinema Office
At 11:00am: Oral evidence
Inquiry British film and high-end television
Managing Director at Picturehouse Cinemas
Chief Executive at Studiocanal UK
Chief Executive at Vue

The pandemic dealt a huge blow to the UK’s cinema sector, and box office figures for 2023 show that revenue is 30% lower than pre-pandemic levels. UK cinemas are in a precarious position, with challenges posed by changing audience behaviours, shorter theatrical release windows, rising costs and the need for investment in skills development.

In the first panel, MPs will question the Head of Cinema at Watershed, one of the UK’s leading independent cinemas, and the Director of Independent Cinema Office on the role of independent British cinemas in supporting independent films. The Committee could explore the cultural value and programming of these cinemas, how streaming has impacted them, and box office demand for independent films. Their financial sustainability and the BFI’s support for them, including through the Audience Projects Fund and the Film Audience Network, may also be discussed.

MPs will then question the CEO of Vue and the Managing Director of Picturehouse, two leading cinema chains, as well as the CEO of Studiocanal UK, a major distribution company, on the commercial side of the market. The Committee may seek to understand how the exhibition market has changed in recent years, the performance of local British films at the box office and the financial health of large cinema chains. Questions could also investigate views on proposals for tax relief for film distribution and how streaming has changed how films are exhibited.


The Grimond Room, Portcullis House

How to attend