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Industry experts decry poor cinema attendance, seek turnaround

By Tobi Awodipe
08 December 2019   |   3:46 am
Some experts in the film industry have noted with dismay the dwindling number of people that visit the cinemas to watch movies

A scene from the making of a Nigerian movie

Some experts in the film industry have noted with dismay the dwindling number of people that visit the cinemas to watch movies, especially in big cities like Lagos and Abuja.

Going to the cinema to watch a movie could be a personal delight, especially if you are looking to wind down after a hectic day, wait out the traffic, or just relax and enjoy a viewing experience. However, this hasn’t been the case for a while now as noted by Head Of Operations for Viva Cinemas, Inuagbor Abass, who decried that despite there being almost 30 million people living in the commercial city of Lagos, less than 30,000 people visit the cinema monthly, a statistic she said they’re aiming to turn around.

“All cinemas have generic offerings so we may show the same movies and have the same features,” Abass said. “So you may wonder why you should come to us and I would tell you it’s about the experience because apart from having 4K technology, the first in Nigeria, it’s all about making sure that Nigerians have the best experience possible. It’s not just about the movie alone but how you are seeing the movies, the picture, the sound, and lights; it’s also about making sure that everybody is given five stars, personalised treatment.”

She went on to add that staff were trained for two months in readiness for the expectations of customers.

“From two sites last year, we are now boasting of five sites,” she said. “We will be offering Bollywood content alongside Nigerian content, considering the spending power of Lagosians. We want people to spend and get value for their money based on affordability. Outside Lagos, we have cornered 20 per cent of the market share despite the fact that competitors have several cinemas in Lagos and other states. Now, we want to come into Lagos and we aim to take up to 40, 50 per cent of the market share.”

Abass said they would do this because they’re big on technology, customer care, and satisfaction, speedy service and reasonable pricing.

“Movie tickets are very expensive in Nigeria,” she noted, “how many people can really afford to spend that on a regular basis? Most people only visit cinemas as a treat or on public holidays. Now we want to make it a daily culture.”

Promising to offer an unforgettable cinema experience everyone can enjoy, CEO, Heri Ntimizi, said they understand the thrill and excitement that a vibrant blend of retail, leisure, and entertainment provides hence their presence in shopping malls at each location in Ilorin, Ibadan, Ota, Enugu, and Lagos.

Following a brief demo of the VIVA 4k technology involved, Ntimizi stated, “On a bigger screen, the 4K image is simply better, so much so that some people who’ve witnessed a long-distance shot rendered in 4K have mistaken it for glasses-free 3D. We like to ensure the definition is maintained and at a minimal viewing cost. Theatergoers are becoming more discerning and well educated now when it comes to fundamental questions of brightness and resolution on the screen, and with our innovative systems, we’re unlocking the true power of visual fidelity and quality in the cinematic experience. Aside the movie experience within our screens, our teams across our cinemas are committed to creating thrilling entertainment and leisure destinations that teleport our visitors from their everyday lives into an extraordinary world of magic. “