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“Every generation has those iconic films, watched on a big screen, that they cherish as their most precious memories!"

For the 20th edition of Big Screen Feature - providing a behind-the-scenes look at the world of cinema exhibition through the eyes of professionals themselves - Jaime TARRAZÓN (Senior Vice-President and Treasurer at UNIC, Director of International Relations at FECE and co-CEO of Cines Filmax Granvia) discusses the job itself and the value of the Big Screen.

Describe your typical day at work

My job is quite diverse although I cannot escape our industry’s Monday routines, like checking out the weekend box-office results. Nevertheless, the past 15 months have completely altered the way I used to work and the priorities I had. Everything I had regularly been doing on a daily basis was changed, almost overnight. That has been a huge challenge but has allowed us - or better said forced - to react and question many things in our business. Our industry  reacted positively and bravely, and showed its enormous resilience power. One example I’m very proud of is the response of the UNIC team and their behaviour throughout this crisis. That reinforces my strong belief in the future of our industry.

I have had a privileged position as UNIC’s SVP that has allowed me to contribute to that response, to have a general overview of how our sector behaves in front of adversity and the talented group of colleagues all around Europe that have guided our industry through this troubling and painful pandemic. It’s also worth pointing out that it has showed us all who we can count on. If we continue to work together, our future will certainly be reinforced.

The moment you fell in love with the Big Screen?

Ours is a family business. I am a third-generation cinema owner so I don’t have a specific first moment or film. I have many! My memories start at a very early age. I remember going with my father to a site where we were building a new cinema.Experiencing how that place was turned into a “magic” gathering venue, for an audience who shared a collective experience. And how that transformed and enriched their lives. That is probably one of the things that has been with me for decades and that I feel is still tremendously valuable today. And this is why I still enjoy all the movies at a cinema with my popcorn bucket, blending in with the rest of the audience.

The best thing about the cinema experience?

Every generation has those iconic films, watched on a big screen, that they cherish as their most precious memories, which connect them together and also give them that sense of belonging.

And I’ve been lucky to experience them all along, together with our audiences. And I learned that those icons are not limited to a country or a continent. Usually they are global, despite the obvious cultural differences.

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