Cinemas want to quickly reduce their electricity consumption

The National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF) unveiled measures on Thursday, unquantified and non-compulsory, to try to quickly reduce the energy consumption of cinemas, without deciding the burning question of a possible reduction in the number of daily screenings in the face of the crisis.

“Cinema is an art of light, and therefore a big consumer of electricity. The energy to run a room largely exceeds 3% of turnover, and 10% in the oldest cinemas”, said declared the president of the federation Richard Patry, during its annual congress in Deauville.

“The rooms must contribute to the national effort of ecological sobriety, it is a citizen and it is also an economic obligation in the face of soaring energy prices. After 300 days of closure because of the Covid, we cannot cannot take the risk of experiencing power outages this winter,” he added.

In practice, the 6,193 French cinemas are invited in a charter to turn off their signs outside opening hours, lower the heating in accordance with the government objective of 19° indoors, reduce the air conditioning, turn off the projectors outside sessions or even adapt the opening hours “according to the flow of the public”…

Will cinemas have to reduce the number of screenings, especially the less frequented, to save money? The subject divides the profession.

“The energy problem is absolutely major, everything we do to win back the public is of no interest if we have to pay monumental bills”, underlined Sophie Dulac, operator of several Parisian cinemas. “Do we have to keep opening our cinemas for one or two people? Even if I love being alone in a cinema, economically it’s a disaster”, she wondered. .

“If we enter a circle which is to say that we only do screenings where we earn money, we will continue to reduce the number of screenings”, at the risk of harming auteur films “the most fragile”, warned Mr. Patry, qualifying the subject as “very” delicate.

In the longer term, cinemas are pinning their hopes on new projectors with laser lamps that consume about four times less energy. A massive investment for which the Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak promised to help “build a replacement plan”, without advancing a specific amount or timetable.

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