EAST Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell visited his local Coleraine cinema recently to see for himself the role cinema plays in bringing employment and enjoyment to the borough.
Cinema is a major economic and cultural contributor, with some 17,500 people directly employed across the UK by cinema exhibitors.
Cinemas typically spend between 42 per cent and 62 per cent of their total annual expenditure on local goods and services, including local staff costs, caterers, repairs, maintenance and advertising companies. Movie House Cinemas currently employs 240 members of staff – 60 of them at the Jet Centre in Coleraine.
Mr Campbell took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Jet Centre with General Manager Wanda Donnan.
He was able to see first-hand how a modern cinema operates, and to hear how cinema exhibitors contribute to a vibrant local economy. 22% of cinemagoers visit local businesses after a trip to the movies.
Wanda said: “We were pleased to get the chance to meet Mr Campbell and to show him the Jet Centre cinema. We have recently made a huge investment to install digital projectors, 3D equipment and new screens in order to give our customers the best possible experience.”
Mr Campbell said: “ I welcomed the invitation by the Jet centre Cinema to visit their multi Screen Complex.
“The Jet Centre Cinema has been a premier entertainment centre in this region for a considerable number of years providing local employment and a leisure facility not only enjoyed by locals but the large number of visitors who frequent the North Coast throughout the year.
Phil Clapp, CEO of trade body the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association said: “We are delighted that Gregory Campbell was able to find time to visit his local cinema, and to learn more about our sector.
“Cinemas not only offer all-round entertainment for all the family, but also help to drive local economic development in communities such as Coleraine.”