Find out how audiences feel about returning to cinemas
Join the Culture Restart Cinema Tracker

A new, free tool that makes it easy for cinemas to survey audiences and inform their reopening strategy.

The government’s latest announcement on the easing of Covid-19 restrictions has confirmed that cinemas in England can reopen from 17 May. It’s welcome news for exhibitors who now know when they can reopen and what they’re screening – many will have used the government’s briefing to open sales on long-anticipated releases like Ammonite, Nomadland and Sound of Metal.

While some will benefit from the insights of early ticket sales, the biggest unknown still facing cinemas is: who is going to come back and when? We’ve covered the audience question before, back in July 2020 when things seemed altogether more uncertain and audience insight datasets were multiplying and making for uniformly stark reading.

Cinemas might once again be looking towards such datasets and feeling heartened at what they read. Cinema First, for example, recently published survey findings stating that 40% of cinema audiences plan to return within the first few weeks, with a further 36% to follow in the first couple of months. 99% of audiences who returned last year were satisfied with the health and safety measures in place.

While the national picture will buoy the sector as a whole, regional, local and venue specific insights into audience attitudes will be particularly invaluable in the coming weeks. That’s why, if you aren’t already asking your audiences how they feel about returning to your venue, now is the time to start.

Enter the Culture Restart Cinema Tracker: a new tool from Indigo Ltd that makes it easy for film exhibitors to survey their audiences, discover how they feel about reopening and plan their approach accordingly. Participation in the Cinema Tracker is free, and organisations can sign up now.

Find out more

Last month, we welcomed the Indigo team and representatives from HOME to our regular Exhibitors Catch Up to discuss the Tracker and the benefits of surveying your audiences. As well as diving into the rich insights already available through Indigo’s extensive datasets, we also touched on some of the unexpected lessons from HOME’s ongoing audience surveying – from the importance of having a clear toilet protocol, to catering for solo cinema visitors in a socially distanced auditorium.

 It’s a huge plus to survey. If you’re able to do it, I would massively recommend it. Some of the things we’ve learnt have really surprised us. People’s responses have been really helpful in highlighting aspects of reopening we never would have thought of. - Ruth Jones, Head of Marketing at HOME

While venturing into audience surveying might seem like a daunting prospect for already overstretched cinemas, Indigo stressed that taking part in the Cinema Tracker requires minimal set-up commitment. Participating cinemas receive pre-made surveys, links and email templates, and the Tracker can function as a standalone surveying exercise to give your organisation the insight it needs at this crucial point.

Cinemas interested in interrogating audience attitudes further can also make use of Indigo’s pre- and post-event surveys to track the performance of their Covid-19 measures in the first months of being open.

   A lot of organisations might be worrying about survey fatigue, but we’re still getting thousands of responses every month. It’s interesting; most of the comments we’re getting from audiences are that they’re really happy to help and this is a way they feel they can do that. - Flo Carr, Associate at Indigo Ltd

The Culture Restart Cinema Tracker has been developed by the Independent Cinema Office and Indigo, and builds on Indigo’s exemplary work into audience insight over the past year. 

Head over to their blog to explore the culture sector audience data they’ve already gathered, and to read deep dives into key issues facing the industry. Topics include: how to reassure audiences upon reopening, the attitudes of disabled and vulnerable audiences, and the unanswered question of vaccine passports in cultural venues.