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Is Russia heading for a cinema construction boom?

The latest construction news from Russia suggests that a large part of its building industry will be focusing on one particular type of work in the future. Unusually, this will not be residential or commercial construction; instead, the nation's build and interiors sector will be working on creating new cinemas.

A number of different factors have combined to make the Russian industry focus more on this niche area. The development has been fuelled partly by a desire to reclaim the movie industry in favour of more homegrown films.

This has led to the Russian government pledging to increase funding for cinema construction, while one company has announced its plans to set up a chain of 'patriotic cinemas' that will focus on Russian films. While this has a number of cultural implications, it is likely to be very positive for the nation's construction industry.


Patriotic cinemas to open across Russia

Oleg Teterin, movie producer and owner of Teterin Film, has announced that he intends to build over 100 cinemas across Russia. These are being built with "a national patriotic idea" in mind, Mr Teterin told the Hollywood Reporter, and will have "restrictions on Western movies" so they can focus more on cinema from the rest of the world.

In addition to Russian films, Mr Teterin promised the cinema chain will screen offerings from Europe, Asia and Latin America. It will also showcase independent films from the US, avoiding mainstream productions from Hollywood. However, the focus will be on "top-quality Russian cinema".

The plan is to construct these cinemas in areas of Russia with limited access to films. They will be built in towns with a population of 140,000 or less, many of which are in isolated areas of the country. The tickets will also be less than half the price of the average cinema visit in Russia; 100 rubles ($1.58), while the national average is 242.7 rubles.

Teterin intends to keep costs - and therefore ticket prices - down by utilising the latest construction technology. He said: "We have a unique patented construction technology solution," although it is not clear at this stage exactly what that entails.

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Extra funding available for cinema construction

Teterin may also benefit from additional financial support from the Russian government. Russian culture minister Vladimir Medinsky has announced that the nation does not have enough cinemas, and according to Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti he said that their construction needs to be "supported in all possible ways".

However, Mr Medinsky has not yet elaborated on this. It might be the case that the government actively invests in cinema construction, or offers developers some form of tax break. Mr Teterin has asked the government for the former, but they have not yet responded.

The cinema industry in Russia is in dire need of this boost in construction. One of the main obstacles for the sector is that the lack of movie theatres limits the box office potential for new releases. If this trend can be reversed with the addition of new cinemas, it could lead to increased construction around the country as more and more are built.

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Tanya Aleksankina

International Sales Manager - Interiors sectors


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