Magazine article Screen International

UK's Picturehouse Cinemas Introduces Strict Theatrical Windows Policy (Update)

Magazine article Screen International

UK's Picturehouse Cinemas Introduces Strict Theatrical Windows Policy (Update)

Article excerpt

Picturehouse responds to policy, which means Curzon titles will no longer play in Picturehouse cinemas.

Picturehouse Central

UPDATE: Picturehouse has responded to Screen’s story yesterday about its theatrical windows policy, stating “if a film is made to be shown in cinemas then it should respect a theatrical window”.

A statement from the company said the windows policy was pre-existing but that some distributors “had taken advantage of our support as a way to break the window policy”. As such it has now “approached the relevant parties to reinstate our position on upholding theatrical windows”.

In the past year, films such as Cold War,Disobedience and 2017 Palme d’Or winner The Square, all relased by Curzon day-and-date in cinemas and on its Curzon Home Cinema platform, did not adhere to the UK’s traditional 16-week theatrical window but still played in Picturehouse cinemas.

Read the full statement below.

Picturehouse has not changed its window policy. We have always been a great believer in the cinema experience and have always supported the theatrical window. It is our position that if a film is made to be shown in cinemas then it should respect a theatrical window.

Picturehouse provides a home for filmmakers and we are proud to offer a stage for their work on the big screen. We show a wide range of films including Screen Arts and may host special events and Q&As to support titles. Some distributors in the UK have taken advantage of our support as a way to break the window policy.Once we realised this was the case, we approached the relevant parties to reinstate our position on upholding theatrical windows.

We will continue to invest in building new cinemas and renovating its existing estate in order to give cinema lovers a great experience in any neighbourhood where there is demand for what Picturehouse has to offer. In the last three months, we have opened two new cinemas and we have plans for further openings in 2019 and beyond.

As for Picturehouse Entertainment, we are a thriving theatrical distributor in the UK. We have built on our success since its re-launch in 2016 and are pleased to have bought an exciting slate of films in Sundance and Berlin this year. This is not in response to any other company or their policies. We have enjoyed our success so far and take pride in the trust leading filmmakers have in us to bring their work to a cinema audience.

ORIGINAL STORY: UK cinema chain Picturehouse has introduced strict theatrical windows for its venues and is now only programming films that adhere to a 16-week gap between cinema and home entertainment release.

That means any films released with shorter windows or day-and-date, such as all titles distributed by Curzon, including the forthcoming festival hits Girl and The Souvenir, can no longer play in Picturehouse cinemas.

Picturehouse Cinemas is the boutique arm of global exhibitor Cineworld, which is the UK’s second largest multiplex chain. Along with Odeon, the UK’s biggest multiplex chain, and Vue, the UK’s third biggest operator, as well as the market’s other multiplexes, Cineworld operates a strict 16-week theatrical window policy. Picturehouse is the first boutique exhibitor to enforce the practice. The new policy does not apply to documentaries.

Everyman Cinemas operates on a film-by-film basis.

Smaller chains such as Picturehouse, as well as independent venues, have worked with distributors in recent years to employ shorter windows and sometimes day-and-date strategies as they look to boost revenues for indie titles that struggle to get significant play in cinemas. …

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