Regional theatres are being targeted by a new live broadcasting scheme that will transmit shows from outside London to cinemas across the UK.
Set up by cinema broadcast distributor Quantum Digital, which specialises in live event transmissions, the Regional Live programme aims to create new audiences and income streams for shows produced outside the capital.
Quantum Digital founder Marc John hopes to launch the scheme by the end of the year, with each transmission being broadcast in up to 150 cinemas at one time.
He estimates that venues taking part in the programme could expect to earn up to £30,000 per broadcast, based on taking up to 30% of Quantum Digital’s share of the total cinema box office.
He also expects some cinemas to show repeat screenings, which would lead to further income for theatres.
“The British public have taken to National Theatre Live, and I think they will take to some high-quality regional shows too. Anything the big London theatre companies can do, the regions can do as well,” he said.
John said the scheme presented no risk for theatres, which would not have to contribute any money towards filming their shows or provide Quantum Digital with a share of the venue’s box office.
He added he did not want to “cannibalise” theatre audiences by driving them away from live shows to screened ones. He said Regional Live would transmit broadcasts of a show only to locations where that particular production was not touring.
John said he plans to broadcast abroad and include opera, ballet and other dance shows.