The news this week of the Cineworld/Picturehouse chains temporarily closing all their cinemas and Odeon reducing their opening days to weekends is very much in our thoughts - particularly the devastating effect this will have on all the staff who have worked tirelessly and enthusiastically for these companies. Our thoughts are most definitely with them at this difficult time and we are sending them solidarity and love.
We thought you might be wondering what it's like for us at the moment - so here's an update on how we're doing.
Mark Cosgrove, our Cinema Curator, explains a bit more about what is happening in the world of Cinema;
The decisions that have been taken by Cineworld and Odeon have happened in response to the announcement that the new Bond film was being moved to next year for its release. The commercial mainstream cinema business has been hit hard by the changes in the release schedules of these 'blockbuster' films.
However, Watershed operates in a different cultural and financial world. We are not reliant on these big commercial, blockbuster releases and over the years we have successfully developed our relationship with you - our loyal audiences who have a huge appetite for a more diverse range of film. This is clearly demonstrated by our recent great admissions for Rocks and the demand for our October programme (with not a blockbuster in sight).
Our economic model is also very different from the mainstream commercial cinema model. Watershed's is based on a diverse financial mix of income which includes public investment from the BFI and ACE - whereas the commercials are based on market value and shareholders.
I have confidence that there are excellent new independent films available in the coming months and of course we also have the rich history of filmmaking to constantly rediscover.
Since we re-opened we have been doing everything we can to make sure that you are confident that we are a safe and welcoming place to come to and enjoy yourselves. We know that cinema, and the wider film industry, is facing serious challenges (as are all aspects of society) but here at Watershed with your continued support we think we are well placed to continue to weather these stormy times and offer access to rich cinematic experiences.
Before the news of this week we had already taken the decision to extend our cinema operation to five days a week so from Wed 14 Oct our cinema programme will run from Wednesdays to Sundays every week. We are also reintroducing our regular Cinébites meal offer which is now moving to Wednesdays - offering that perfect combination of two of our favourite things, film and food! Don't forget that we now display the start times and the end times of the films which will make it easy to figure out a time to book a table.
Cinebites is available every Wednesday (from 12:00 - 20:00) when all cinema ticket holders can get 30% off any of the main dishes from our menu – which range from Watershed's Classic Fish and Chips to our favourite vegan dish of the moment, Oyster Mushroom Katsu Curry, either beef or veggie burgers, and so much more.
If you have any questions or thoughts about any of this we would love for you to get in touch.
On behalf of all the team here at Watershed thank you for your continued support and encourgement and please take care.
Head of Communications