Tisza Cinema's endeavors in times of the digital cinema


I was asked to write an article on how we managed to keep our cinema alive during the quarantine, offering diversity of content and keeping our audience active.

Éva Demeter - festival director Our art cinema, "TISZApART Mozi", located in Szolnok - an hour from the capital, Budapest - is usually open 365 days a year, but due to the corona pandemic it had to close for the first time in its history for 99 days from 15 March to June 18. During the closure we lost most of the products in our café (has gone bad), however we were prepared to welcome the public again and we were the first art cinema in the country to reopen on 19 June 2020.

We did our best to keep in touch with our audience during the period of quarantine. We had many of our programs interrupted by the virus, so these events were forced to go online. First of all, we wanted to make sure that the programs did continue online, then we brainstormed how to make the offer even more appealing to our audience.

We organized two movie quizzes online with a quiz master and streamed the quizzes on Facebook. The participants received the list of films in advance to get prepared for the program and could win all sorts of prizes (DVDs, books, T-Shirts etc) offered by the distributors. We have also joined the Mubi initiative to watch a huge variety of films online from their database and we were able to hold one of our film club series online. The film link was provided by the distributor and sent out to our film club members to watch at the regular meeting time for our film club (on Tuesday at 6 pm). After the screening the audience could talk to a well-known film critic on Facebook about the film. Our most successful initiative was the "Virus Video" campaign, which we advertised on our webpage and via the social media. We asked the audience to make short videos about what they miss most about their cinema going experience during quarantine. We kept posting the videos on our Youtube channel and at the end of the closure we announced the winner - the maker of the most frequently viewed video - who got a prize for his/her work. Our Creative Filmclub was continued online, meaning that the club leader fixed an online project for the students and kept in touch with them via email. The task was to make a video at home and the videos were posted on our Youtube channel and evaluated by the film club leader so not only did the students get feedback for their task, but their work was also published.

As of 1 June, we have started a EU funded project with a Slovenian, Croatian and Bulgarian art cinema called Resonance Cinema. Cultural Hub for curious minds and even if a new lockdown has recently been introduced, we hope that we shall soon be able to continue our work in the cinema with live events.

Tisza Cinema

The original article is available here: Tisza Cinema's endeavors in times of the digital cinema