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3 Q's with Mark Anderson

For this month's edition of Big Screen Feature - providing a behind-the-scenes look at the world of cinema exhibition through the eyes of professionals themselves - Mark Anderson, Director of the Omniplex Group in Ireland, discusses the job itself and the value of the Big Screen.

UNIC: Describe your typical day at work.

Mark: Omniplex Holdings ULC is the largest cinema operator in Ireland and 4th largest in UK & Ireland, operating 260 screens across 35 locations. Omniplex will open four Multiplex cinemas in 2023. In addition to cinemas, Omniplex Holdings ULC has a substantial portfolio of diversified assets, including Shopping Centres, Retail & Leisure Parks and Office Blocks. Not having adapted well to remote working, my typical workday is in the office and bookended by cinema, starting with a review of Box Office figures and ending with a forecasting of upcoming films. The in-between part of the day is consumed with phone calls and meetings with Operations, Property, Marketing, Finance and HR teams not to mention site meetings with architects, engineers and builders etc.

UNIC: The moment you fell in love with the Big Screen?

Mark: As a third generation in this business and having grown up in the cinemas, I don't recall ever not being in love with the Big Screen. Although by 1980, at the age of eight, I was truly hooked after watching 'The Empire Strikes Back' in the incredible 1,100-seater amphitheatre, Ambassador Cinema, on Dublin's O'Connell Street.

UNIC: The best thing about the cinema experience?

Mark: When the house lights dim and you can see the anticipation in people's eyes as the picture rolls onscreen. In that brief moment, children are awestruck and adults immediately drop their guard allowing themselves to be entertained by the Big Screen.

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