Director David Wallace talks to BBC about the latest cinema trends

Chapman Taylor Leisure Director David Wallace has been interviewed for BBC World Service Radio to discuss his experience of, and insights into, the changing nature of cinema environments worldwide.

Drawing on decades of experience in creating state-of-the-art cinema environments, David talked about the way the industry has developed in recent years, current cinema trends and the likely direction for the sector in the coming decade.

Cineworlld Leicester Square and Cineworld O2

In relation to the UK cinema industry, David explained the way in which multiplex cinemas are now moving from the outskirts of towns and cities into the centre, aided by digital technology which dispenses with the need for large central projection spaces – allowing for more films to be shown, and in smaller spaces. He described how this phenomenon brings cinema full circle to where it started – our high streets.

He also foresees cinema helping to rescue those high streets as shops and department stores close, with those spaces being repurposed (in part or in full) with cinema theatres, bringing night time activity back to our urban centres.

Reel Cinemas at Dubai Mall and Jebel Ali Cinema

David also spoke about Chapman Taylor’s rapidly growing portfolio of cinema projects in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, describing the similarities and differences between those developments and cinemas in other parts of the world. In particular, he outlined how clients in the region are constantly looking to create the best cinema experience in the world, with the highest technical specifications and the most luxurious environments.

Asked why cinema is still relevant in an age of digital home entertainment, David stated that cinema is becoming more popular despite the many other entertainment options available. He ascribed this phenomenon to the fact that people want a social experience – they want to get out of their houses and experience joy, sadness and excitement along with others, without the distractions to concentration which often exist at home. They also want big screens and an immersive experience, accompanied by other evening-out options such as a wide range of F&B options.

David’s interview will be broadcast on the BBC World Service next week (w/c 2 February 2020) and will subsequently become available on the BBC iPlayer. Chapman Taylor has designed and delivered many of the world’s largest and most striking cinema projects – such as the Reel Cinemas complex in The Dubai Mall, Star City in Birmingham, Muvi Cinema at Jeddah’s Mall of Arabia and the Cineworld venues at the O2 Arena and Leicester Square in London. We have also designed intimate, boutique cinemas such as that at the Rove Downtown Hotel in Dubai.

David Wallace (B.Arch. Dip. Arch, RIBA)

Director, London

David joined Chapman Taylor’s London studio as a Director in 2015 and leads our work in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

He has over 25 years’ experience working internationally in the cinema sector, as well as the fast-moving Chinese hospitality market.

He has an established track-record and reputation for good design with an ability to deliver projects on time and to budget.

Areas of expertise:

Leisure / Hospitality

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