Country Focus: UK
HMV, Artificial Eye marry retail and cinema
by Naman Ramachandran
28/04/2009 - Leading UK DVD retailer HMV and distributor and exhibitor Curzon Artificial Eye have joined hands for a pioneering new concept called hmvcurzon which will use HMV stores’ non-trading space to operate up to three screens with a combined total of over 200 screens.
This unique cinema can be accessed through the HMV store during operating hours and will have its own entrance after trading hours. The scheme will pilot at the HMV’s Wimbledon, London branch in autumn 2009 with more venues to follow if the first venture succeeds. hmvcurzon will utilise digital technology thus removing the necessity for projection boxes, helping to optimise space.
Simon Fox, HMV Group Chief Executive, said, “Millions of film fans visit HMV’s high street stores each year, making them an ideal destination for this new type of cinema experience. This exciting partnership with Curzon Artificial Eye complements our recent joint venture for live music, and further demonstrates our commitment to getting our customers even closer to the film and entertainment content they love.”
Philip Knatchbull, Chief Executive of Curzon Artificial Eye, said, “HMV is the ideal partner to trial this totally new concept in cinema. hmvcurzon will expand the cinema experience beyond just film programming by interacting and reacting to our customers’ interests and desires, and providing them with a wide range of film and entertainment in an intimate and high quality environment.”
The partnership aims to leverage HMV’s high customer footfall, capitalising its position as the UK’s foremost DVD and Blu-Ray retailer along with Curzon Artificial Eye’s cinema programming, film industry, venue management and operating expertise.