ODEON Cinemas Group has been named 2021 “International Exhibitor of the Year” at CineEurope, the official convention of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC). The award is handed out each year to a cinema exhibitor “whose accomplishments, new developments, growth, and market leadership make them the standard-bearer for the industry,” according to a press release.
“It gives us great pleasure to present the International Exhibitor of the Year award to the ODEON Cinemas Group,” said Andrew Sunshine, President of CineEurope producer The Film Expo Group. “ODEON Cinemas has built a culture of innovation for cinema, changing the movie-going experience throughout Europe.”
Added UNIC President Phil Clapp, “We are delighted that ODEON Cinemas Group has been recognised as the CineEurope 2021 International Exhibitor of the Year. This decision reflects, in particular, the extent to which the company has blazed a trail across a number of European territories, not least through the roll-out of their ground-breaking ODEON Luxe brand, taking the cinema environment to new heights and setting new standards for the big screen experience.”
The award will be presented to Mark Way, President of AMC Europe and Managing Director of ODEON Cinemas Group, and Juan Antonio Gomez, ODEON Chief Partnership and Content Officer, at the CineEurope Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 7 at the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain. The award was slated to be given out to ODEON at CineEurope 2020 but was pushed back due to the pandemic.
“It is a huge privilege to receive this award on behalf of all 9,000 ODEON Cinemas Group colleagues,” said Way in a statement. “This award is particularly welcome news now, as we have just reopened in all our countries. Our teams are thrilled to be back doing what they love – delivering unforgettable big screen experiences to our guests, who are proving very keen to return, in the safest environment possible. It is testament to all our teams’ hard work and commitment over recent years in improving ODEON’s guest experience, whether that be through great hospitality, the rollout of our Luxe recliner model, our improved food and beverage offer, or through upgraded cinema technology across our estate.
“It is a new dawn for cinema, and the future for ODEON Cinemas Group within that is very exciting. As we begin to recover from the most challenging year in the industry’s history, we look forward to continuing to invest and expand our offering while welcoming millions more guests through our doors in the years ahead.”
ODEON Cinemas Group is Europe’s largest cinema operator, with over 340 cinemas across 10 European countries. During the pandemic shutdown, the company invested in improving the digital experience for guests. Beginning with the UK and Ireland, ODEON has re-platformed its website and app, introduced new kiosks and tills in cinemas and upgraded various backend systems to improve film programming and financial processes.