Movies open windows to new worlds

New winds will blow for film lovers when Cinamon, the leading cinema chain in the Baltic countries, opens its first movie theatre in Finland at REDI. There’s still over a year until the grand opening, but Cinamon’s CEO Tatiana Tolstaya and Commercial Director Toomas Luhats, along with the company’s other employees, are hard at work planning the big picture and fine details of a new kind of cinema experience.

“We’ve planned to open a cinema in Finland for a long time. We chose REDI as the location for our first theatre, because we think it’s one of the most intriguing locations in Finland for reaching families and millennials. Those are our most important target groups. The REDI area is an interesting mix of the old and new: a former industrial area is being transformed into a modern area for living and recreation. And it’s also a hub for public transport,” says Tatiana Tolstaya. Tolstaya and Luhats consider it essential to rethink commercial premises.

“Shopping centres don’t thrive on their own. It’s vital to provide inspiring experiences. We think REDI features the right combination of contemporary retail brands and attractive leisure-time services,” says Toomas Luhats.

New movie-going experiences

Cinamon seeks to attract customers with a service concept called New Nordic Experience. It spices up nostalgically classic movie-going experiences. The REDI cinema will have five screens with a total of 700 seats. The largest auditorium will have 220 seats and the other four 120. The cinema is expected to draw more than 250,000 viewers annually. Cinamon keeps track of international cinema trends and carefully analyses customer feedback to provide a suitable mix of Hollywood hits, a wide variety of European films and Finnish favourites.

“The movie-going experience has traditionally provided relaxation and escapism. We want a visit to the cinema to broaden moviegoers’ horizons and enable them to see new opportunities,” says Tolstaya.

“We’ve identified many special characteristics of Finnish moviegoers. One of these is the popularity of domestic films. Our slate will thus certainly include ‘event movies’ in the vein of The Unknown Soldier,” says Luhats.

At REDI, Cinamon will also launch a new kind of technology that has never been seen before in Finland to enrich the movie experience. “Closer to our opening date, we’ll reveal what it is. I can promise that it’s the most interesting new technology in the cinema business,” says Tolstaya.

Amélie and Darth Vader Tatiana Tolstaya, the CEO of the Cinamon cinema chain, and Toomas Luhats, its Commercial Director, will open the company’s first cinema in Finland at REDI.

Growing market

Cinamon’s conquest of the Finnish market won’t stop at REDI. “We plan to open cinemas elsewhere in Finland, too. The more cinemas and screenings, the more options customers have. We’ll certainly attract movie fans to our cinemas, but I believe that we can also offer something new to those who currently aren’t going to the movies,” says Tolstaya.

Cinamon Holding was established in 2005 and is the leading cinema chain in the Baltic countries. Cinamon has five cinemas with 22 screens. It is headquartered in Tallinn. In 2016, a total of 1.25 million customers watched a movie at Cinamon’s cinemas. It had revenue of EUR 8.6 million and a total of 110 employees.

What the pros watch

Cinamon is run by real movie freaks. Those who want to work for the company are asked right off the bat about their own relationship with films. Of course we have to ask the pros what their favourite films are.

“I greatly admire how the heroine of Amélie exercises power with a gentle touch, influencing people to make them happy. My favourites also include Tarkovsky’s films. They are often dark, but always include an important message,” says Tolstaya.

“I warmly recommend: Forrest Gump, Star Wars, Layer Cake, and the James Bond films. In my previous job, I selected art house films for Estonian television, and realised that you also need lighter fare: I greatly enjoy very dumb comedies,” Luhats says. They’re real film freaks: that’s evident from even the smallest details, such as their business cards. The reverse side of Tolstaya’s business card is decorated with a caricature that looks like Amélie. “My own cards are being printed. They’ll feature Darth Vader,” says Luhats.