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The number of cinemas in Russia began to decline.
In Russia, since the beginning of 2018, for the first time in several years, more cinemas have closed, than opened, follows from the calculations of "Nevafilm Resarch". The statistics were affected by the decline in the filming systems and the financial problems of individual companies: for example, at the end of July, the court instituted a monitoring procedure in the structure of one of the largest networks of Luxor. In addition, some of the halls violated fire safety rules and were closed after inspections by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. The market will now return to growth soon - in three to four years, experts say.

In January-July 2018, the number of closed cinemas exceeded the number of open, follows from the data of "Nevafilm Research". As of August 1, 71 cinemas with 133 rooms have opened in Russia since the beginning of the year, and 57 closed with 143 rooms. For comparison: in January-July 2017, 216 new halls were opened and only 68 were closed. The number of open halls was consistently higher than the number of closed halls in 2015-2016.

Among the largest film networks, "Luxor" has fallen most. So, on August 1, 2017, the company closed the top 5 cinema networks with 23 cinemas and 158 rooms. Now "Luxor" in sixth place, the network has 17 cinemas with 129 rooms. "Luxor" constantly delays payments to counterparts, said the interlocutors of "Kommersant" in the cinema market. The company faces bankruptcy proceedings: in April, MTS-Bank asked the court to invalidate the three structures of the network, as well as its co-owners Evgeny Lensky and Igor Dobrovolsky. According to one of the applications, the decision already exists: at the end of July the court recognized the creditor's claims as justified and introduced an observation regarding Kinolux LLC.

In the largest in terms of the number of rooms of the united network "Cinema Park" and "Formula Cinema", only theaters "Prague" and "Vityaz" were closed, says its director of public relations Alexander Artamonov.

According to her, the closure is associated with the end of the lease. Other halls were only temporarily closed for repairs and preventive works, but they are also reflected in the statistics of "Nevafilm Research", since the halls that did not work for two days at the time of information collection fall into the network.

According to Oleg Teterin, the head of the Teterin Film Network, traditionally a large number of cinemas are closed in the summer, as far as large networks and small moviegoers are concerned. In 2018, summer has become the worst in fees over the past few years, he recalls. The decrease in incomes was affected both by the fire in Kemerovo, and the World Cup and hot weather, he believes. Inspections of the Ministry of Emergency Measures really affected the market, confirm in "Nevafilm Research", many cinemas were closed because of violation of fire safety rules.

"The last straw for cinemas was the lack of strong content, many releases did not live up to expectations," adds Mr. Teterin. As Kommersant wrote, in January-July, the cinemas fell by 8.3% to the same period of 2017, and attendance - by 8.6%. The results of the film distribution for the first two summer months have become the worst since 2014: the fees for this period fell by 15.9%, to 7.4 billion rubles. (data from the "Bulletin of the film distributor").

Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, in May 2018 (TASS quotation)

All the indicators of the last five or six years show a steady trend towards an increase in the rental of not only Russian cinema, but the entire film industry. Cinematographers complain about the Ministry of Culture is simply indecent

The stagnation of the cinema market in Russia is affected by the demographic situation, the development of online services, the repertoire policy of film networks and the initiative of the Ministry of Culture, the general director of the company "Nevafilm" Oleg Berezin lists. The market will again enter the growth phase in three to four years, he believes. The network now tests new formats and ways of showing, which in future can become drivers for development, the expert notes.