Faced with the double challenge of the audience reception gauges and the expected flood of films showing, some cinemas intend to put all the odds in their favor.
The tide is turning for dark rooms. In the large theater hall of the Strasbourg Odyssey cinema, one of the oldest in France, at the foot of the velvet curtain dating from 1914, two large black machines continuously emit a dull sound of a blower. Two others are at the back of the room, one on the balcony, one in the small projection room and one in the entrance hall. A significant investment for the establishment, these air purifiers should reassure and convince spectators to return to the dark rooms when they reopen next week, hopes the director and programmer, Faruk Gunaltay.
“To my knowledge, we are the first cinema in France to equip ourselves with air purifiers”, he explained, Tuesday, during a press conference. The seven machines of the Odyssey, on which it is written “Here viruses and aerosols in the air are filtered”, cost the cinema a trifle of 25,400 euros. “They allow the air to be re-filtered six times per hour”, explained Faruk Gunaltay, who ensures that the perpetual breath of the machines is no longer heard, in the room, with the sound volume of the projections.
“Focus on security”
With a program of classic films and more or less well-known European films, the Odyssey “has an interest in bringing back its audience by playing on all the levers at the same time: its programming, but also by emphasizing safety», Underlined Jean-Paul Costa, former president of the European Court of the Human rights and now president of the association which manages the Strasbourg room on delegation of public service of the municipality. Installation of purifiers “Should have a beneficial effect on encouraging spectators to return to the cinema”, he estimated.
After 299 days of closure, if it is understood “very happy” of the reopening of cinemas on May 19, Faruk Gunaltay also expects a “obstacle course”. Between the arrival of summer, the Euro football, the curfew and the apprehension of the persistent virus for some, “it is not sure that people are rushing to movie theaters», Fears the director of the Odyssey. “It is for this reason that it seemed important to us to make this effort to equip ourselves with air purifiers, because what is important to us is the health safety of the public and the staff”, he argued. And hope that the return of the public does not pass only in the wind.