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Big Screen Feature - Interview with Kim Ludolf Koch

For the second edition of Big Screen Feature - providing a behind-the-scenes look at the world of cinema exhibition through the eyes of professionals themselves - Kim Ludolf Koch (Managing Director, Cineplex) discusses the job itself and the value of the Big Screen.

Describe your typical day at work.

My typical day at work differs a lot, of course. Cineplex is the biggest German brand in the cinema industry. We have almost 100 cinemas in 66 German cities. In their 530 screens, we count between 17 and 20 million admissions per year. In contrast to other cinema chains, Cineplex is a cooperation of 25 family-owned enterprises, some of them which have been working in the industry for more than 100 years. This co-operation is very unique because they have worked together for 20 years and the fields of common ground grow every year. So, Cineplex combines the benefits of purchasing power and sharing expenses with the advantages of personally managed cinemas. The umbrella company, Cineplex Deutschland, is a service company for our members/exhibitors where we organise everything they can do together. It begins with purchasing goods, managing all the technical features (like website, app, online-booking, TMS, network-security), marketing, contract-management and brand-cooperation and supplying the cinemas with any support they need. As one can easily imagine, organising a group of successful entrepreneurs needs a lot of communication. Besides our actual big projects on Big Data, Data Security and Marketing, we have to help in all sorts of problems which occur. As we have grown in the last 5 years, our position in the industry changed. Taking responsibility in the German Federation HDF and UNIC, a certain portion of my job deals with topics like lobbying and negotiation with institutions to preserve the cinema business model. So, my day in the office is divided into meetings, calls and mailing, which means communicating all the time.

The moment you fell in love with the big screen?

When I was 5 years old, my first film was Disney’s The Jungle Book, which I still love very much. As teenager I saw the typical movies like Jaws, spaghetti westerns with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer and James Bond Movies. Beside these mainstream titles my parents lead me towards arthouse movies from Fassbinder, Herzog, Wenders and Woody Allen. So my range of devotion is quite broad except horror, Sci-Fi and fantasy. I still go to the movies at least once a week and enjoy the only way to watch movies – on the big screen.

The best thing about the cinematic experience? 

A dark room, no distractions, big picture, (hopefully) the best projection and sound experience and comfortable VIP seating on leather recliners.

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