127 Russian Cinemas Resort to Piracy, Movie Boss Says: “I Don’t Blame Them”
Russia’s entire cinema industry is on the brink of collapse. A few weeks ago, around 16 cinemas were screening pirate copies of the latest movies; last week it was 127. Not even the chairman of the Association of Cinema Owners can muster much optimism. “I can’t even blame cinemas now dabbling in torrent screenings,” he says. It’s not a desire to make money, but a fight for survival.
Five months later, the consequences are indeed being felt globally, but no more acutely than in Ukraine. Tens of thousands have died, millions are now refugees, and the economy faces decades of recovery. In Russia, at least a thousand foreign firms have pulled out, there’s no access to SWIFT, and an estimated $630 billion in foreign reserve cash has been frozen.
Russia’s cinema industry is just one of the many casualties hanging on by a thread due to the conflict in Ukraine. With almost no lucrative entertainment left to screen after Hollywood pulled the plug, various groups began hiring idle cinema screens for their own ‘private’ pirate screenings of torrent-acquired movies.
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