The cinema experience may change dramatically as we come out of lockdown, according to Campaign, with drive-in cinemas on the rise and cinemas having to implement social distancing and hygiene measures for attendees’ safety. But what are parents saying about going back to the cinema with their kids?

family cinema

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Families and Cinema

Cinema is a big part of family life. It’s something to do at the weekend, it’s an experience to enjoy with your child. It’s a way to amuse the family (especially on rainy days). There’s an excitement about the anticipation of going to see a brand-new, just-out movie.

It’s also good for a birthday party option, I’ve either taken a heap of kids to the cinema for my daughters’ birthdays, or my child has joined another child’s cinema party to enjoy the movie and eats after.

I’ll bet you still remember your own childhood cinema experiences vividly. As parents, we are no different, we want our children to enjoy the movie experience as well.

Then for parents, cinema means a chance to escape the kids for an evening and go see a movie together. Or to meet your girlfriends or your female family members for a girls’ movie night out.

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Streaming at Home

In many family households, streaming services have been building in popularity over the last few years. On-demand movie watching has become something we are all used to having at our fingertips. We can access films any time we want.

So you might have been forgiven for thinking that cinema was fading, but according to Campaign, cinema attendance had been on the rise the last 2 years.

Then during lockdown, cinemas had to completely close while streaming service subscriptions went through the roof. Disney+ launched in March during this time, and apparently achieved 1.4M subscriptions in the first month, while Netflix doubled their forecasts on global subscriber growth.

Movie Releases Moved Online or Postponed

During the lockdown, movie release moved online or else were postponed. Some of the big releases this year, including No Time to Die (the latest James Bond)  and the latest Disney release Mulan, have been moved to late autumn in the hope that cinemas will be back to normal.

Lockdown also meant some studios release films straight to video-on-demand platforms, e.g. Universal Pictures’ Trolls World Tour and Disney’s Artemis Fowl.

But the new normal as we know it means the cinema experience may change big time. As things reopen, are parents prepared to go back to the cinema with the kids?

What Our Panel Told Us About Going Back to Cinemas

We asked our trusted panel this question How do you feel about going back to the cinema with the kids now that things are reopening?

The majority (75%) voted: No thank you, I am happy watching movies at home. 

We then asked them what their thoughts were on going back.

One mum said, “I would consider an early children’s viewing in the local cinema on a rainy mid week morning. However I would ring them first to find out about spacing, cleaning regime and how many others have booked in. Only then would I be happy to go. Plus the children would wear face masks.

Another said “I’m not taking them anywhere that’s not necessary. I know that they are making some major efforts for cleanliness but I am playing it safe.

Changing Cinema Experiences

As things reopen and people look to get out more with their kids what does the immediate future hold for the changing cinema experience?

Drive-in movies are on the rise, as people can stay in their cars. We have seen more drive in movie events on our What’s On information on Mykidstime.com than at any time in the past.

Direct-to-streaming releases may become more regular. We may see a split between in-cinema and online releases.

The physical experience at the cinema will be different. It will likely involve staggered showing times, socially distanced seating, temperature checks and wearing face masks.

The overall experience may need to become more special. To entice cinemagoers to come back, beyond hygiene and distancing measures, cinemas may need to offer something more or better value for cinema goers. People want to feel connected, they want to get back to “normal” but things have changed. Is there an opportunity to make people feel connected to their local cinema? Can technology play a part?

Would you like tailored insights for your brand? Use our trusted panels of engaged women and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help your decision making and activate customers. Contact us now to find how we can help.