In the times of coronavirus crisis, this first e-Cinema leads the pack among pioneering concepts that counter the pandemic impact.
The Cracow-based arthouse cinema Kino Pod Baranami made history earlier in April. In order to keep its fans connected to the venue, Kino Pod Baranami established its online platform, advertised as the first e-Cinema in the country.
How does the e-Cinema concept work?
Every day, the viewers can watch films screened in a accordance with a timetable, just as in the pre-covid times. Furthermore, Kino Pod Baranami offers discussion panels, online meetups with filmmakers and other special events, all available via the online platform.
In order to attract more attention, some movies – like Lulu Wang’s indie hit Farewell (2019) – will be screened only once or twice. Afterwards, these titles will be available as rentals.
According to the people behind the iconic cinema, the idea “came primarily from the desire to keep in touch with our viewers“, comments Marynia Gierat who manages the cinema. She adds that cinema is not only a place to consume entertainment, but also to meet with like-minded individuals; “This opportunity to talk with other people serves as a substitute for what we normally experience in the cinema, yes. At the same time, we give our viewers a chance to support us at this difficult time. It will be a real help.”
Covid-19 changes the cinema industry
The decision to test e-Cinema is a direct response of the industry to the worrying lockdowns and government’s restrictions in Poland. For the last weeks, Poles were not able to travel and work in the offices, and all of the cultural venues – museums, cinemas, theaters – have been closed for weeks.
Mrs. Gierat spoke to Cineurope about the impact of Covid-9 on the cinema’s status: “It is not yet known when, and on what terms, it will be possible to return to the cinemas, but that desire is still there, and it will only get stronger. Cinemas must survive because nothing else can replace this shared experience.“
The future is still unsure, however Poland has recently eased some of the stricter covid-19 restrictions. Starting from May 4th, shopping malls are reopened, however visitors are still given a set of precautions to limit their physical contact.
E-Cinema will remain, even after the pandemic is over
Mrs. Gierat is sure that e-Cinema will be embedded in Kino pod Baranami’s strategy. “When we open our cinema again, our streaming platform will be right there, next to it, serving as a natural extension of our business.”