The ICO is widely acknowledged as the UK's leading consultancy service for establishing and growing cinemas.

Want to start a cinema and ensure you’re making the right decisions every step of the way?

Running a cinema and want to grow your audience or add a new screen?

With decades of experience, the ICO consultancy team is widely acknowledged as the leading consultancy service for establishing and growing cinemas in the UK.

We offer a fee-based consultancy service to cinema operators, individuals, business people, arts organisations, local authorities, interest groups and others looking to develop a new independent cinema or assess and improve an existing one.

Past projects

Our recent projects have helped cinemas establish, develop and grow.

The Empire Cinema in Holyhead was due for closure but after ICO consultancy with the town council is now a major community asset, with over 43,000 admissions a year and plans to open a second screen. The ICO provided business strategy, audience development and technical advice.

Saffron Screen in Saffron Walden was set up in 2006 following a feasibility study by the ICO. The cinema has grown considerably since then, and in 2019 took over the management of an additional site, Royston Picture Palace. The ICO continues to consult on Saffron Screen’s future development plans.

ICO consultancy helped the Wotton Electric Picture House develop a business plan that has allowed the cinema to continue and grow as a community asset, with increased screenings, higher visitor numbers and streamlined marketing.

Areas of work

  • Audience research and audience development: understanding your audience and their behaviour; developing strategies to increase attendance and diversity of audiences
  • Business planning: how to make your business more sustainable, understand business threats and develop new routes to profitability
  • Film programming: how to change your approach to film selection to grow audiences
  • Technical advice: converting a space into a cinema, adding additional screens, navigating technical considerations
  • Organisational review
  • Cinema development and feasibility studies

Find out more

To find out more or speak to us about a potential consultancy project, please contact David Sin, ICO’s Head of Cinemas:

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