Digital equipment is too dear for small independent cinemas to be able to keep up with the digital revolution, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Wednesday. The text calls for specific EU subsidies to help them to invest in production, archiving 3D projection, HDTV or Blue-Ray technology.
Parliament's Culture and Education Committee chair Doris PACK (EPP, DE) said "The costs of digitization are acceptable for the multiplexes, but small independent cinema owners cannot afford them. Yet it is precisely these small cinemas that are important for cultural diversity".
Investing in European identity
European and national subsidies for European cinema should foster diversity in Europe's film production and cinema network, as a way of promoting the expression of European cultural identities. MEPs call for a one-off increase in state aids and money to be made available from the EU Structural Funds and the new MEDIA programme MEDIA to support the digitisation of European cinema's production and distribution chain.
Promoting cinematographic heritage
The key challenge facing European cinema today is to boost audiences at small independent cinemas in small towns and rural areas, which are particularly vulnerable financially and should be helped to keep up with technological progress, say MEPs.
The resolution also stresses the importance of digital archiving in conserving and showing this national and European heritage. MEPs call on EU Member States to take the necessary legislative measures, whilst ensuring that author copyrights are respected.
The resolution was passed with 506 votes in favour, 27 against and 46 abstentions.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution