The Point: Birth of the Multiplex in Great Britain (Invited paper)

Date

2010-11

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Conference

Peer reviewed

No

Abstract

By the early 1980s Britain was viewed as a market in which the domestic exhibition sector was in terminal decline, whilst at the same time being a market in which films from the United States were both popular and dominant. By 1984, in the face of steadily falling audience numbers many Hollywood distributors were on the verge of pulling out of Britain altogether. However, just a year later, in 1985, American Multi-Cinema (AMC) opened Britain’s first multiplex cinema, The Point, in Milton Keynes. The period from 1985 has been one of strong growth in new cinema building; however, it took a US company to introduce the multiplex concept to Britain. AMC began to research the British exhibition market in 1979, five years before they committed funds for the development of The Point. The research involved a market survey of a variety of localities. Milton Keynes was ultimately selected. This paper examines why Milton Keynes was selected and what economic and cultural conditions allowed for the development of this new form of cinema precisely at the point at which audiences reached their nadir.

Description

Keywords

Multiplex, The Point; Milton Keynes

Citation

Hanson, S. (2010) The Point: Birth of the Multiplex in Great Britain. International Workshop in Comparative Cinema History - Film Exhibition in Europe, University of Utrecht, Netherlands, November 2010.

Rights

Research Institute

Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI)