Cinema City Velky Spalicek
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Previously operated by: Ster Century Cinemas
Previous Names: Ster Century Cinemas Velky Spalicek, Palace Cinemas Velky Spalicek
Cinema City Velky Spalicek belongs to the oldest multi-screen theaters in Czech Republic and was operated by three different operators.
The seven screen miniplex was opened on 31st August 2001 as the second multi-screen theater in the second largest Czech city Brno. First screened movie was a Czech preview of the American blockbuster “Pearl Harbor”.
The first multi-screen theater in Brno was Ster Century Cinemas Olympia in the nearby town Modrice in 1999. Because the South African investor opened a second operation in the city, it knew very well, that the demand in Olympia will decrease and shut four screens down. That made Ster Century Olympia to a ten-screen-multiplex.
The miniplex is a part of the shopping center Velky Spalicek, in Brno’s historical downtown. It’s name translates to English as “Big Little Block”. When the mall was built, many historians, architects and city residents protested because it was necessary to demolish some medieval (Gothic or even Romanesque) houses and the architectural result was not very attractive. Some viewers even threw tomatoes and booed the mayor off at the official opening.
The theater is located on the second floor of the shopping center, with box office on the ground floor (opened 12.30 pm to 10 pm). It occupies a space of almost 3,000 square meters. Due to the cramped conditions of the 16-thousand-sqm large shopping center, the only prominent store there is the Dutch fashion shop C&A(Clemens & August).
Opening of the first multiplex (Olympia) in the city began a process that was accomplished by the opening of the Velky Spalicek miniplex. In the 1990’s, more than a dozen single-screen theaters operated in Brno. After the onset of multi-screen cinemas only two traditional cinemas survived (Lucerna and Art).
The first year for the theater was economically not easy and its major competitor became its sister site in Olympia, where all people of the city were used to go for movies. Management therefore devoted one movie screen to arthouse films and gained viewers who otherwise would not be typical customers of a miniplex. Its first birthday the miniplex celebrated with a rebranding when it became Palace Cinemas Velky Spalicek.
During the first decade of its existence the theater gained a foothold, but changed the owner and operator in 2011 once again. The Israeli company Cinema City International bought it in a package of 15 Central European theaters in January 2011 and later rebranded it to City Cinema Velky Spalicek.
Since 15th August 2011 the theater has been fully digitalized. Its digitalization was carried out in three time waves. The first projector was installed on 9th March 2009 in auditorium no. 1 (212 seats). It was a Barco DP2000 projector with a XDC CineStore SOLO G 3 cinema server and the MasterImage 3D-system. The second wave of digitalization came on 4th November 2011 (screen #5/149 seats) and consisted of a Barco DP2K-15C projector and the same cinema server and 3D-system. The reason for this second installation was the increasing share in the distribution of digital movies. In the last wave, on 15th August 2011, all other auditoriums were digitized. Installed were Barco DP2K-19B and DP2K-23B projectors, Doremi DCP2K4 cinema servers and one MasterImage 3D-system (screen #2/310 seats). All projectors have a 2K-resolution and the sound system in all auditoriums is in the 5.1 standard.
Velky Spalicek is one of the places where the International Film Festival Cinema Mundi has been held since 2010. According to the festival’s homepage “Since the beginning, Cinema Mundi, or “Film Worlds”, have focused not only on the contemporary films made in the countries with a long film tradition but also on films made in countries whose cinema is not so well known to European audiences". In 2013, the festival took place from 27th February to 6th March. The commercial operation of Velky Spalicek miniplex was not interrupted. During the weekend one auditorium was reserved for the festival, later on weekdays two halls were dedicated for festival movies.
When we would use the median in analyzing the theater traffic (more than 466 thousand visitors per year), Cinema City Velky Spalicek would be the seventh best visited theater in the Czech Republic. Even there is another 4-screen-miniplex in Brno planed (Ponava shopping center); Velky Spalicek should not have problems to survive and to be profitable in the future.
If we would compare the Czech theaters on revenues, this miniplex would be even higher in the ranking, since its ticket prices are higher like in the case of Cinestar Ostrava for example.
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