At the CineEurope presentation “Innovation at KARO: It is Never About Movies and Popcorn Alone,” Paul Heth (Executive Chairman and CEO) and Olga Zinyakova (President and General Director) of Russian chain Karo expanded on the company’s “New Generation” concept, designed to provide a premium experience to Russian audiences.
Announced last August, Karo: New Generation provides “U-Choose” food and beverage offerings to patrons, automated kiosks for ticket and concessions purchases, recliner seats, and a diverse array of content including international and location productions, as well as independent films and events planned through Karo.Art.
Heth notes that Karo will open 15 “New Generation” locations over the next 15 months, including 8 opening in Moscow this December, adding that “When everyone else is looking down, we are looking up! Our team is now in the middle of the largest organic expansion program for a cinema operator in the global cinema sector.” Adds Zinyakova, “We thank CineEurope for such an opportunity to present our market for the Western audience. We are [an] almost 1 [billion] dollar market, and already bit records of 2021 for September. So no one is saying now cinemas are dying. More great movies to come and people need cinemas to experience it 100%.”
Russia, the largest cinema market in Europe, has also proven the fastest to recover from the affects of the Covid-19 pandemic thus far; admissions and box office in September 2021 were nearly 30 percent above the equivalent period in September 2019. Recently, Venom: Let There Be Carnage became the fastest film to pass the billion-ruble mark in the country.