Cinema chief: Current purpose is simply survival

Kosmos cinema in Tallinn
Kosmos cinema in Tallinn Source: Ren12 / Wikimedia Commons

While several new films are to premiere in August, no major US blockbusters are to reach audiences in the meantime. Kosmos Cinema in Tallinn will remain closed, its director says, as there are no new offerings to show and a shortage of cinema visitors. Hopes of reopening the doors will have to wait until the Hollywood movie market recovers.

Kosmos, an iconic movie theater on Pärnu maantee in the capital, opened its doors for a brief time in June, but had to close them again at the beginning of July. There are no plans to reopen any time soon, since showing archive movies does not make economic sense, and the box office would suffer.

According to Tatjana Tolstaja, head of Kosmos, there is additionally no point in keeping the cinema open in cases where there are 75 percent fewer visitors than usual. Cinemas were closed during the emergency situation to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Tolstaja explained: "There are no movies to show. We have been trying to minimize our costs, but at the moment, the most important thing for the movie business is just to survive."

The world movie industry and cinemas have turned their attention once again to U.K. director Christopher Nolan's movie "Tenet'", key scenes of which were filmed in Tallinn last summer. The industry is holding of for the premiere of the movie as it should bring a significant boost, likely encouraging movie studios to shoot their new films from the autumn.

Kadri Ärm, CEO at Apollo Cinema, a chain, said the numbers of visitors are on the rise again, but the restrictions and the film programs have taken their toll.

Ärm added: "If we are speaking about the wider picture, the number of visitors in July has been 60-70 percent less than in the same month of the previous year. The decline relates largely to the Hollywood cinema market. Our own local movies are coming this fall, but there is no denying the Hollywood movies are crucial for our cinemas."

Major U.S. movie studios will not first show their output outside of Los Angeles and the rest of the U.S.; California has been under lockdown for months due to the pandemic.

According to Ärm, cinemas have been provided with some certainty about the premiere date of "Tenet", and tickets will be soon coming on sale. Cinemas are currently waiting for August 26 when "Tenet" will premiere.


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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