A bright sun and no clouds on the horizon: the perfect presentation for a summer day. Only, added to this decor is the rise in mercury on the thermometer, sometimes making the peaks of heat suffocating. In Paris, this heat pushes some to spend time in cinemas, especially if they have air conditioning, making screening sessions more pleasant.
As he takes a place for a session at the UGC Normandie cinema on the avenue des Champs-Élysées, Armand, retired and a great regular on the big screen, is surprised by the absence of customers: “I’m coming back from the cinema at the door Jersey, and we were 2 in the room! I was also in a room at La Défense where there were only about ten people around me,” he confides. In front of this cinema on the most beautiful avenue in the world, Alexandra and Christophe, from Guadeloupe and passing through Paris, do not hide their explicit choice for air-conditioned cinemas: “Rather than criss-crossing the corridors of the metro where the air remains cool all the same, cinemas remain much more suitable with air conditioning. With this temperature, it is impossible for us to be outside in the sun, or on a tourist bus, ”says Alexandra, pointing to a bus open to the outside with tourists going up the famous avenue. On a day when the maximum temperature reaches 36°C in the capital, stepping outside is a challenge.
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Air conditioning effect?
At the UGC Danton, located very close to the Odéon, “three-quarters of customers ask if the rooms are equipped with air conditioning”, explains an agent, to the point that “many visitors make this aspect their priority for come “. So heat strokes, the best promoter of cinema attendance? Not that easy. “People go to the cinema less when the weather is nice than when it rains,” says Richard Patry, president of the National Federation of French Cinemas. The vagaries of the weather have little effect on attendance, because spectators find a way to go and see the films. However, it is an exaggeration to say that air-conditioned rooms help bring people to the cinema. »
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For the president of the FNCM, to fill theaters and fight against the attractiveness of platforms, the programming of films is more important than the weather. “The weakest month is September, because the programming is less strong, while the months of July and August remain correct. While in April and May, the return of fine weather encourages people to spend more time outdoors than in the cinemas. Over the past two months, it has mainly been blockbusters that have been used by all cinemas. »
In effect, Top Gun: Maverick, Minions 2, Jurassic World, Thor 4 allowed cinemas to fill up (a little), helped by the Film Festival and its 3.2 million spectators at the beginning of July (from 3 to 6). Good news on the attendance front. “France has a very mature cinema market, which has restarted the best since 2019 because attendance is -29% [par rapport à la période précédant la pandémie de Covid-19]while Spain is at -60%, for example,” concludes Richard Patry.