MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The inaugural Cinema Week is a rallying call to get people back to the movies after the pandemic slowed the cinema experience down.
Cinema Week is a nationwide event that runs June 22-27 with more than 300 theatres participating. Memphis-based Malco Theatres is one of them.
“It’s been a long 15 months if you will, and we’re so excited that all of our theatres are back up," Karen Melton, Malco Theatre VP & Director of Marketing, said. "We’re just ready to welcome everyone back. Come back to the movies you can come and enjoy the movies. Experience the movies. You can’t do that at home on the TV.”
Melton said moviegoers are beginning to return to their theatres again as more opens up but it's still not to the extent of the traffic from before the pandemic.
Box office numbers from the most recent weekend, June 18-20, brought in $45,152,162. Up from the same dismal weekend in 2020 during the pandemic from $1,496,203 but a far cry from 2019 which saw $189,899,923.
“Really we thought about creating a way to make an impact for the entire industry and form a rallying point for both exhibitors and studios and people who rely on the movie theatre business for their business," Cinema Week Founder Brandon Jones said from his home in Dallas.
Jones said the intent of the week to preserve the culture of physically going to the movies. He and Melissa Boudreau, of Detroit, were inspired to create a Cinema Week from the success of weeks like Shop Local and restaurant weeks.
“We were doing anything we could to help the theatres that were closed or really struggling to get traffic in the doors," Melissa Boudreau, Cinema Week Chief Marketing Officer, said. "We were like, 'what can we do? What can we do? How can we help?' That was our main concern because we’re both so passionate about the industry.
Both work in marketing and have a love of film. They were surprised to there wasn't a Cinema Week to promote before.
A number of new films are still streaming from services like HBO Max and Disney+. Jones said it's time to get off the couch and enjoy the theatre experience.
All week, Malco will run promotions to entice people to do just that:
- Marquee Rewards members can earn Double Loyalty Points on ticket and concession purchases from June 21-June 27
- Sneaks of Werewolves Within on June 23 at the Collierville Cinema Grill, Ridgeway Cinema Grill, Grandview Cinema & IMAX and Razorback Cinema Grill & IMAX
- Special Double Feature Screenings of A Quiet Place & A Quiet Place Part II on June 23 at select locations
- Advance Shows of F9: The Fast Saga (including IMAX & MXT screens) on June 24 at most locations
- Complimentary Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn with purchase of a large popcorn (at participating locations, while supplies last)
- In-theatre giveaways & social media prizing