Research co-commissioned by the British Film Institute and published this week has confirmed that cinemas of all types represent significant economic value to their local communities over and above that derived from box office and sales.

The study, commissioned jointly by the BFI and the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (Creative PEC), sought to quantify the financial value that local communities place on cinemas through the wider range of valuable and enriching experiences they provide, over and above their direct contribution to the UK economy, estimated to be over £1 billion a year.

Taking a representative sample of six UK cinema venues representing different business models and geographical locations, the research used innovative techniques to capture a range of relevant data.

Key findings include that:

  • the six cinemas within the study delivered significant and positive wider value to society equivalent to £600,000 per cinema every year, amounting to £5.18 million over 10 years. There is no reason to suspect that other cinemas do not drive the same amount of value, with a potential contribution of as much as £750 million over 10 years across the 850+ UK cinemas;
  • this is in addition to the value generated by cinemas through ticket and other sales and memberships, which for the average UK cinema has been estimated to be £1.18 million a year;
  • cinemas are clearly seen as important cultural and community assets. Almost two-thirds of survey respondents stated that the study cinema venue contributes to “their sense of pride in the area where they live”; and that
  • beyond this, the report establishes – but does not quantify the impact – that cinemas are likely to drive footfall and spending in other venues, indicating that they can make an important contribution to revitalising high-streets.

More detail on the report – and a link to the full document – can be found here.