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Malaga cinemas have resisted the effects of the pandemic. Migue Fernández
Cinemas still popular across Malaga province despite a slow return to the screens post-pandemic

Cinemas still popular across Malaga province despite a slow return to the screens post-pandemic

The province ranks sixth in Spain for the highest number of cinemas, while Andalucía has 649 movie screens, more than either the Catalonia or Madrid regions

Francisco Griñán

Malaga

Tuesday, 23 May 2023, 16:43

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Cinemas in Malaga have managed to stay open despite a long period of Covid-19 restrictions and a slow return by the public to the move theatre screens since the pandemic.

Although pre-Covid attendance levels have not yet been reached, none of Malaga's cinemas have had to close, and the province still manages to be one of the top regions in Spain with the most screens.

According to the census of cinemas published on Monday, 22 May, by the Association for Media Research (AIMC), Malaga has 135 screens in 14 centres. The province ranks sixth in Spain for the highest number of cinema screens while, by region, Andalucía has 649 screens, followed by Catalonia (600) and Madrid (534).

No closures in the province

The most common venues in Spain are cinemas with 10 screens or more. In the case of Malaga, these operators account for 66% of the cinemas in the province, which is above the national average of 48%.

With a slight decrease of 35 screens nationwide in the last year, no closures were recorded in the province. But some cinema chains have not entirely escaped the pandemic unscathed, with some either changing ownership or reinventing their venues.

Aimed at foreign population

These changes were evident in Malaga's second largest venue, Marbella, where its two complexes were completely renovated. Cine Teatro Goya stopped managing the screens in Puerto Banús in 2022, and it is now operated by Red Dog Cinemas, which has aimed its line-up at the large foreign population on the Costa del Sol, with the majority of its films in English with Spanish subtitles.

In Malaga city, two complexes changed ownership due to the pandemic crisis. The multinational Cinesa abandoned its only cinema in the province after two decades, in Marbella's La Cañada shopping centre, which found a quick replacement for its eight screens. Last November it reopened its curtain in the hands of one of the main cinema groups in Spain, Kinépolis.

The main operator in Malaga province for almost two decades has been the Mexican group Yelmo, which has three complexes (Plaza Mayor, Vialia and Rincón de la Victoria) and 43 screens, followed by the French group Mk2 Cinesur with another three sites (Malaga Nostrum, Ingenio and Miramar) and 38 screens.

The cinema sector predicts a reorganisation and even mergers in the Malaga area, where there are still some companies with only one cinema, especially at the Pixel in Coín, in Ronda and La Verónica in Antequera.

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