The Picture House Cinema, Uckfield, has been recognised as The Best Independent Cinema in Europe.
Owner Kevin Markwick was presented with the award at a ceremony held at the Event Cinema Association conference in London yesterday.
He told Uckfield News today that he was very pleased for everyone in his team who worked hard to keep up interest in Event Cinema in Uckfield.
The Picture House has been in the forefront of screening events, many of them live, including opera, ballet and theatre, exhibitions and music events, for the past seven years.
It has showcased work from The Royal Opera House, The National Theatre and from The Bolshoi.
Kevin said: “Events now account for 25% of our ticket sales and that is very good when you consider the UK average is about 3%. It shows how far ahead of the game we are and it is all down to marketing and hard work that we reach that level in the box office.”
Screening events from around the world enables a new audience to access works they wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience, and at a fraction of the price they would pay if they were at the original venue.
This current week is proving hugely successful for The Picture House in terms of Event Cinema, or Arts on Screen, with Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet screened live from the National Theatre. This has been so popular that the cinema already has four recorded encores scheduled and has almost sold out.
The Best Independent Cinema in Europe Award comes as a major refurbishment programme is completed at The Picture House. The new foyer is due to open on Monday in time for the release of the new Bond film Spectre.
Kevin said: “We have got to be ready for Bond. There is no possible way we could cope with that in a cupboard in a corridor. The advances on Bond have been amazing and ticket sales for Star Wars are going mad too. It is all looking good.”
All the work, and the opening of The Picture House Restaurant ten months ago, which compliments the cinema-goer’s evening out, has been done in the run up to the cinema’s centenary next year.