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Chiswick Cinema in Chiswick

How independent cinemas have fared during the cost of living crisis

Independent cinemas in London have been working to regain financial stability during the ongoing cost of living crisis. 

Many independent cinemas have struggled to stay afloat during the crisis due to an increase in supply and utility costs and difficulty retaining staff.

They have also been impacted by a drop in consumer spending, as data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 66% of adults are spending less on non-essential goods and services. 

This comes after the coronavirus pandemic saw many independent cinemas rely on grants from their local council or central government to get through the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

Even after hospitality venues were allowed to reopen, cinemas had to implement social distancing and other health and safety measures.

This meant they were not able to sell as many tickets or operate their social spaces as efficiently which resulted in a downturn in profits. 

A report from the Independent Cinema Office at the end of 2021 revealed that 47% of independent cinemas were operating at a loss and 24% had been forced to make redundancies. 

Despite the cost of living crisis, independent cinemas continue to play a crucial role in connecting communities.

They function as community hubs and, unlike franchise cinemas, hold creative workshops, music and dance events and get-togethers for people of all ages. 

Their work also involves increasing accessibility to cinema and introducing new audiences to classic films. 

Find out more about independent cinema in London by watching the video below.

Featured image credit: Filip Ghinea

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