Article from freecinema.gr
They are located on the site of the former Cinepolis of Glyfada and are Tanweer Group’s maiden business appearance in the movie theater segment. The result is really excellent. The Town Cinemas on Zisimopoulou Street are essentially upgrading the landscape of cinemas in the Southern Suburbs and a visit there is imperative.
Although I am from the South, Glyfada is not a usual destination for me. I point this out because as a movie lover, I can now easily add the site for future visits if I want to watch a film I missed or one that I was very pleased with and would watch again in a short period of time from its press release. projection.
Unfortunately, for professionals in my industry, the fact that we see the new movies earlier (so that we can write their review in time) deprives us of the possibility of the true cinema experience, the contact (and) with the real audience. Of how empty or full it is, of (any) reactions and production of… noise (or not) from the audience, of people coming up after the film to… eavesdrop on opinions about the film, to get an impression of the where word of mouth is oriented. These are the things many of us critics forget. Personally, I think it is necessary to keep in touch with the cinema under the conditions that we learned it too. Like spectators. Because that’s who we are, first and foremost.
I was curious to see how the Tanweer company “transformed” the small Cinepolis multiplex in Glyfada. These things, of course, get better… first hand. Nestled in an environment dominated by restaurants and cafes, allowing you to fully cover the needs of a night out, the Town Cinemas on Zisimopoulou Street (at number 7) welcome you with huge banners of upcoming studio titles for mass consumption, as you cross the open air marble path that leads you to the box office and the cinema bar.
The foyer is truly spacious and the skin of the large living room blends with the entrance doors of the four cinemas that are shared across the floors of the building. I went into room 1 and watched the screening of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a visually and aurally demanding work, but not in 3D (I don’t prefer it, we nearsighted people find these screenings rather uncomfortable, trying to adjust the relevant pair of glasses over ours…).
Town Cinemas’ largest room offers a correspondingly satisfying screen, ideal viewing conditions for digital 4K (finally) and Dolby Surround 7.1 sound that spreads around the seats and makes you enjoy the movie environment even better. The new leather seats that have been installed now ensure a greater distance from the arms of the people next to them, as well as the rows between them.
Theaters 2 and 3 are slightly smaller, but the proportions in relation to the size of the screens are very correct (the first images – which I had seen before entering the cinemas – had given me wrong impressions, which were completely corrected when I was there and watched clips of shows).
The best surprise, perhaps, was room 4, which differs in color tones, aesthetics and… seating. The blue and light blue of the rest gives way to brown, combined with orange LED lighting, the sound is Dolby Surround 5.1, faithful enough for a room of 86 leather seats that move and adjust according to movements / “commands” of the body for a more relaxed posture. In short, room 4 is probably the most “adult” offer of Town Cinemas and I hope its programming will be adapted to such a logic.
Since the venture is quite bold and ambitious, especially for this period of “crisis”, with symptoms of a small drop in the number of tickets sold today in Greece, it was of additional interest to address some questions to the General Manager of the Tanweer company, Yiannis Kalfakakos . From discussions we have had in the past, I have discerned professionalism, skepticism and knowledge far from the old-fashioned minds of Greek film distribution.
From a film distribution office, an activity through which most people in Greece know you, with Town Cinemas you are also moving into the field of movie theaters. What led you to this decision?
Globally, in order for the cinema to develop, new theaters must be opened and the existing ones renovated at reasonable intervals. In this way film companies are always up to date. Unfortunately, in crisis-stricken Greece, the development of new cinemas and the renovation of older ones have stagnated, except in very few cases, a result which greatly affects the box-office.
The new generation has not included going to the cinema in their daily life, as the immediately previous generations had at the same age. Millennials are completely connected to technology, updated by the minute about everyone and everything, and have always been the core audience for movie theaters.
The non-development of modern theaters and the lack of the latest technological achievements in cinema was the main reason that led us to get involved in this part of the business as well, creating something modern and completely up-to-date technologically, hoping that the new generation will appreciate it and do it hers. In this way we wanted to present what cinematic experience means to us.
What would you say you are most proud of as an advantage of the first Town Cinemas, compared to all the movie theaters in Athens?
There are three things that make us proud at Town Cinemas (in Glyfada):
a) Projection & sound level (Barco Laser Projector 4K 18,000 lumens, Dolby Surround 7.1 & 5.1 sound in smaller rooms)
b) Comfort in the space inside and outside the halls
c) Respect for every viewer
The first Town Cinemas in Glyfada have four screens. It is, in other words, a small multiplex. Will you show a preference for this model of cinemas or are you also interested in the single theater?
In Greece, in this particular period, the only cinema development model that can cope with business is that of 4 to 6 screens. The large multiplexes, in terms of population, we consider to have covered almost all large geographical areas. The only way to reach new viewers is to go to them. That is, the convenience we often discuss. The single room makes sense if it has a special character, something unique. Otherwise, it is not a priority for us at the given time.
Is there an intention to expand the network of your halls outside of Athens and how long-term would you place this?
The first phase of the company’s development (which is 3-5 years) is limited to Athens and maybe Thessaloniki. Moving forward, seeing and doing.
Who is the #1 enemy of cinema in Greece today?
The enemies are two: a) piracy in all its forms and b) the bad competition of halls and distributors.
If we would like to expand it a little and not limit ourselves to the word “enemy”, there are many reasons that do not allow cinema to develop further. According to me, 1) the lack of important Greek producers, 2) the threat of the platform which is the new habit of legally watching a film or series at home, 3) the abundance of films that bombards and confuses the viewer weekly and 4) the lack of advertising of the hall and the film.
All of the above, if there was an understanding from the theater and distribution companies, could have been fixed or smoothed out to some extent. For example, the only organization in our industry that actively fights piracy is E.P.O.E. (Audiovisual Works Protection Society), which we should all support. Instead, she is supported by 2.5 distributors, no hall master. Where are the other 19? Where is the Hallmasters Association?
In closing, I would like to thank you for your questions, as well as for the comments you have posted from time to time, for the good and bad texts in the film market!