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“What I cherish the most is the intensity of the cinema experience."

For the 18th edition of Big Screen Feature - providing a behind-the-scenes look at the world of cinema exhibition through the eyes of professionals themselves - Dr. Gregory Theile (CEO, Kinopolis) discusses the job itself and the value of the Big Screen.

Describe your typical day at work

My typical day at work has changed significantly over the last 12 months. I used to travel at least three or four days a week visiting business partners or one of our 16 sites, and I am now “grounded” in my office. On the one hand, together with our management team, I am spending a lot of time handling the crisis. This means keeping in touch with our staff, business partners and our board members, negotiating with landlords and dealing with politicians. Being an active member of the German Theatre Owners Association HDF Kino I also spend several hours every week on general industry issues. On the other hand, we are spending a lot of time on developing new projects and further improving our guest experience and the customer journey: this includes new pricing-, seating- and service-concepts, developing our databased marketing and communication performance etc.

The moment you fell in love with the Big Screen?

Kinopolis is a family business, and has existing for more than 115 years. My great grandfather opened his first theatre in 1905. The cinema has always been part of my life and it is fair to say that cinema defines our family´s DNA. I have countless memories of watching movies in one of our cinemas. Being a big Star Wars fan as a kid, one of the most memorable cinema experiences was definitely watching The return of the Jedi on the Big Screen. I just loved the story, the music, the characters, the fantasy and the suspense. Now, after so many years, the fascination and love for the cinema is stronger than ever. When I watched the opening of The Rise of Skywalker in our Dolby Cinema at the Mathäser Filmpalast in Munich I knew that - no matter what - the magic of the cinema can´t be replaced by anything else.

The best thing about the cinema experience?

I truly enjoy watching movies on the Big Screen: thanks to the stunning quality of the picture and the sound, it makes me become part of the movie and its story. What I cherish the most is the intensity of the cinema experience. Our daily life has become so restless that we rarely indulge ourselves in an activity without any distraction. But in a cinema I am able to enjoy a movie without any phone calls, emails or time pressure – for more than two hours, it´s just the story and I!

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