Cinemas and film houses will still pass on the high energy costs to theirvisitors, according to a tour of NU.nl. Earlier they said they did not intendto. But the cinemas now see no other way out, although they still hope forfinancial support from the cabinet.
Cinemas and movie houses usually have a hefty energy bill due to the use ofenergy-guzzling projectors. Moreover, they are often located in old buildingsthat are poorly insulated.
This applies, for example, to Rialto in Amsterdam. “Our building in the DePijp district is a hundred years old. That is why we are currently in theprocess of replacing the last windows with double glazing,” says head ofoperations Jennie Zijlmans.
“In addition to making the building more sustainable, we are looking at how wecan cut costs in other ways. For example, we turn off the projectors in therooms that are not in use. But we also had to increase the regular ticketprices. That price increase does not apply for minimums and students.”
Lumière Cinema in Maastricht already raised prices a few months ago. “We findit difficult to raise ticket prices, so we are not planning to do so againanytime soon,” says director Nico Haenen. “We are now gathering all the costitems together to see where we can cut back. The main concern is, of course,that energy prices will continue to rise and thus become an unmanageable andunaffordable cost item.”
‘It must remain pleasant for our visitors’
Another way to save money is to turn down the heating a few degrees. But thatwill not make much difference for all cinemas and movie houses. ForumGroningen has five cinemas, but they are located in a building of 17,000square meters that is also used for other purposes.
“We buy the energy with the other organizations and are therefore largeconsumers. For us it means that next year we will go from 400,000 euros to 1.2million euros in energy costs,” says director Dirk Nijdam. “Where the doors ofour catering facility used to be open, they now remain closed to save energy.We also set the temperature slightly lower where possible. But it must remainpleasant for our visitors.”
Cinema KINO in Rotterdam is also busy with sustainability. “In January 2023 wewill open two new halls and we will use this renovation to make the entirebuilding from 1908 as sustainable as possible. And when we replace projectors,we do this with laser projectors that use less energy,” says financialdirector Frank Groot.
‘We don’t have that many options’
But that is not enough. Because not only energy prices, but also other costsare going up. This increases personnel and purchasing costs. “That’s why werecently increased the regular ticket prices. The tickets are still notexpensive, but that’s never fun.”
Cinemas and movie houses continue to puzzle with their costs. They don’t haveto cancel performances, but the need is increasing.
According to Gulian Nolthenius, director of the Dutch Association of Cinemasand Film Theaters (NVBF), the situations vary and also depend on currentcontracts. “The cinemas and movie theaters will do everything they can tolimit any increases to ensure that the visit remains one of the cheapestoutings.”
“We do what we can, but we don’t have that many options,” emphasizes Nijdam ofForum Groningen. “For a solution to the high energy costs, we look to thegovernment. They must step in.”