Cinema industry veteran Crispin Lilly has been appointed as new managing director of Showcase Cinemas UK.
Crispin will join Showcase at the end of April with a pledge to build on the industry-leading in-cinema experience Showcase is renowned for and to build on the already successful strategy to drive admissions into its screens post-pandemic.
Crispin, who started his film career as a cashier at his local cinema in Southampton, joins Showcase following three decades working for some of the biggest names in the industry.
His new role at Showcase follows hugely successful stints at Cineworld, Everyman and, more recently working on a consultancy basis with The Really Local Group, bringing accessible cinema to smaller catchment areas, alongside his charitable work as Trustee of MediCinema.
Crispin said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Showcase team and helping them continue to deliver amazing cinema experiences across the country.
“Cinema remains a powerful and affordable moment of escape and excitement that is more important than ever for our guests.
“I look forward to helping us bring the Showcase experience to an even larger audience.”
Crispin joins Showcase at a time when the green shoots of industry recovery are evident, with huge box office releases such as Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick bringing cinemagoers back in droves.
And Crispin sees real opportunity for Showcase, in spite of the current economic outlook.
He added: “Cinema trips offer one of the most affordable means of escapism which is needed more than ever during times of hardship. It is no coincidence that during the last three recessions, cinema admissions have increased – it’s the equivalent of the lipstick effect in the entertainment world.
“Last year we saw 120 million admissions – that’s a 150% increase compared to the early 80s. Clearly consumers are still very much in love with the big screen experience, and that’s a huge opportunity for Showcase.”
Duncan Short, Senior Vice President USA & International Operations said: “We are extremely pleased to have appointed Crispin to head up our UK business. He will lead a dynamic and passionate team that delivers an unrivalled experience for guests across the country, and his experience and leadership will only further enhance this.”