According to the UK Cinema Association, the number of cinema admissions has been on the rise. In the 80s, average annual admissions to cinema in the UK stood at 77.5m, the 90s saw 119.2m, the noughties 163.4m and 2010s 169.98m.
This still pales in comparison to the 1.64bn record set in 1946, but shows cinema has weathered many storms of late including DVD and streaming services.
Lockdown blighted cinema attendance, with just 44m admissions in 2020 and 74m in 2021. Time will tell if cinema fully recovers. Its survival might well lie in its ability to adapt, or perhaps, offer something from the past.
In Southwark and Lambeth, the 13 cinemas are fairly evenly spread into catchment areas. Where chain cinemas capture audiences through cutting-edge technology and abundant film selection, and luxury picturehouses appeal to those seeking a plush experience, is there another draw to independent cinema through an affordable and personable community-based outlook?
I reviewed data on screenings, pricing and attendee satisfaction and spoke to the director of the Peckhamplex and the founder of Whirled Cinema to reveal the significance of community spirit, choice overkill, and reassuringly expensive cinema trips.
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