Cinema Focus Group – Visit of Architect specialising in Cinema Design 24.10.17

Cinema Focus Group – Visit of Architect specialising in Cinema Design 24.10.17

Stefanie Fischer of Burrell Foley Fischer Architects visited to look at potential sites within Tenterden. The 4 sites under consideration being the Pebbles Building, Tenterden Club, Glebe Field and Woolpack Land to the rear of the Town Hall.

Following the site visits Stefanie gave a talk on the process involved.

Architect’s background

  • Specialises in commercial independent cinemas (community cinemas) rather than larger multiplex cinemas and has researched widely, in conjunction with the cinema business consultants below) on the commercial viability of projects in rural communities.
  • Hawkhurst Kino was the first all-digital cinema in the UK and was one of her designs. This cinema attracted over 60,000 attendance in the first year.
  • Recent work includes “The Depot” at Lewes which opened in May 2017.
  • She normally works with a cinema business consultant on these projects (Ron Ingles of Craigmount Consulting)

Viability Considerations – To be addressed by a cinema business consultant

  • Cinema must appeal to a large age spread if the catchment area is limited.Investigation of catchment demographics.
  • The food and drink offerings generate as much, if not more, profitability as the screens themselves.
  • Minimum of two screens should be offered which will allow event cinema (opera, theatre etc) and local productions.
  • Whether the cinema is sustainable in the long term and in what form (i.e. 2or 3 screen, no of seats in auditoria).
  • Viability would be tested against available sites.
  • Deliverability of the site would be taken into account (i.e. TTC-owned building/land more deliverable than lease or purchase arrangement.
  • Mitigation of commercial risk (i.e. provider fit out and lease is less capital outlay but lower rental revenue). The best model for running the facility would be suggested.


  1. Pre-feasibility check by cinema business consultant.
  2. Feasibility stage. To include the fit-out model and involve potential providers. Checking of funding streams (a recent project in Campbelltown involved drawing funding from 8 different sources) and assistance with grant applications.
  3. Site options appraisal taking into account deliverability and model of fit-out amongst other considerations.

This service is available as a modular offering. I.e. no commitment to stage 2 if pre-feasibility report is negative.

Generally, a very professional and encouraging presentation.

Phil Burgess (Town Clerk)

Posted by Siggi Nepp
Thursday 26th October 2017

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