Since October 29, the date of the second closure in the year of 2000 French cinemas, life has been a little sad in Cucuron in the Lubéron. Famous for its basin, the village of 2000 souls normally attracts spectators from all over the region thanks to its famous cinema The Cigalon. A month ago, a happy crowd flocked there to see Laure Calamy on the big screen in Antoinette in the Cévennes by Caroline Vignal. The start of Drunk by Danish Thomas Vinterberg with Mads Mikkelsen was excellent and Goodbye Cons by Albert Dupontel was coming to the poster.
Admittedly, after the first confinement, the restart during the summer had been a little slow but by the end of September, the public had resumed its habits. Unfortunately, the curfew in the region was not enough to limit the pandemic and it was necessary, as in March, to lower the curtain again. From in front of the Cigalon, a sign warns passers-by: “Closed until further notice”. Cut off in its tracks, the cinema team “Resigned.” Twice a week, its director Clémence Renoux goes on site: “I turn on the spotlights, I ventilate.” The rest of the time, she manages day-to-day business. Its three employees, Corinne Privat who is the link with schools and associations such as projectionists Julien Lacan-Vinson and Davide Borghini are 100% technically unemployed. “We wait with a certain suspense to see what President Emmanuel Macron will say on television on Tuesday November 24», Says Clémence Renoux.
Like all other exhibitors, it asks itself two major questions for its activity: when will the cinemas be able to welcome the public and under what conditions?
In Paris, at the headquarters of the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF), its general delegate Marc-Olivier Sebbag adds: “Even if he cannot go into details, the President must set a course, a goal that is certain. He absolutely has to talk about the culture, at least utter a sentence. “
In Sarlat in the Dordogne, Arnaud Vialle at the head of Rex will also be in front of his television. VSthis funny time, he lives it with “fatalism”. On the storefront of his family cinema, time has stood still. Posters for films due for release on November 4 as Slalom by Charlène Favier and The cloud by Just Philippot are still there. In the country of Lascaux, there has never been a curfew. “We were running at full speed, we had returned to 50-60% of our attendance, barrier gestures were perfectly respected so we experienced this second closure as an injustice”, confides Arnaud Vialle. If the Élysée once again imposes a national curfew resulting in the abolition of the 8 p.m. session requiring the rooms to work only in the afternoon, it is for “A blockade“. And to insist: “We have suffered too much.“
Disney stabbed us in the back by switching its film releases to its Disney + platform. “
Arnaud Vialle, director of the Rex in Sarlat.
When it reopens, it will be showing the films showing on October 29: Goodbye Cons, DNA, Poly, 100% wolf, 30 days max and Drunk. Not to mention the American superhero movie Wonder woman dated by Warner as of December 16. “We owe the greatest respect to Warner and its French leaders, emphasizes Arnaud Vialle. They were the only studios to help movie theaters in the world. First with Tenet by Christopher Nolan at the end of the summer then with Wonder woman. They release this blockbuster in France nine days before the United States. It is a huge gesture. Conversely, Disney stabbed us in the back by switching its film releases to its Disney + platform.“
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In Caen, Gautier Labrusse at the head of the arthouse cinema of Lux and president of the grouping of research cinemas (150 cinemas in France) calls for the return from these days, school groups in cinemas. “Schools are open, there is no reason why school children cannot go to see films on the big screen. Our mission is to renew the public ”. Gautier Labrusse is also in favor of the establishment of a “white week “ before the release of new films. “This will help avoid traffic jams and keep the films showing this fall alive ”, he said.
Finally, in Frontignan, near Sète in Hérault, the CineMistral is one of the most dynamic arthouse cinemas in France. At the head of this small Mediterranean room, Priscilla Schneider will cover films that only played two days like DNA by Maïwenn and Boy Cloth by Nicolas Maury. She hopes the announcement of at least one French blockbuster facing Wonder woman. “The shift of the output of Tuche 4 in February is a huge disappointment“, she sighs. Before concluding, with a touch of hope: “At Christmas, we need French films that do good, but those that are announced for the moment are very hard. Once the President of the Republic has announced the date for the reopening of cinemas, distributors will redo their calculations. ”