Economy is tough but Nigerians still flock to cinemas

They said that satisfaction from cinemas were deep and worth the trouble of spending more and moving out of their homes.

The Lagos-based cinema enthusiasts spoke in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

A trader, Stanley Okafor, told NAN at Ebony Life Place, a cinema on Victoria Island, that he regularly went to the cinemas to relax and remove attention from challenges of life.

“I find it so relaxing; to me, one can just spend a little more to enjoy oneself. It is also a quiet and entertaining place to be,” Okafor said.

A student, Fola Jaiyesimi, said experience at the cinema was immersive.

“The equipment is obviously better than what you have at home; the sound quality gives you that thrill, and it is more traditional,” he said.

A mother, who gave her name simply as Edwina, said she visited cinemas regularly until the COVID-19 era. She told NAN that since then, she visited the cinemas occasionally.

“I used to visit regularly before the COVID-19 era. After that, I decided to be coming with my children to watch children-appropriate movies, occasionally,” she said.

She said entertainment at cinemas was deeper and more satisfying.

However, a hair stylist, Tricia Moka, said she preferred online movie streaming which, she said, enabled her to maintain privacy.

“I do not see the reason I should spend some money to watch a movie that I can watch online,” she said.

A supervisor at Ebony Life Place, Austin Ihentuge, told NAN that many people still visited the cinema regardless of the harsh economic situation in the country.

“I still see a good number of people here. We have other streaming services such as Netflix and Prime Video, but many people still come for cinema.

“For a fact, some movies do not premiere on these streaming services; some are exclusively cinema movies and cannot be viewed elsewhere other than the cinemas for a period of time.

“That prompts people to visit the cinemas because, most of the time, they want to be the first to see these movies,” he said.

A Supervisor at IMAX, a cinema at Lekki, Muoka Chibueze, told NAN that a large number of people visited IMAX.

Chibueze said, “No matter how hard the economy gets, people will still visit the cinemas to reduce stress. They want to go somewhere they can have a different experience than watching movies online or on television,” he said.

Deborah Ajayi, a floor supervisor at Silverbird Cinemas, also on Victoria Island, said that more people visited the facility during public holidays than other days. Ajayi added that the number of people who visited the facility reduced generally after the COVID 19 pandemic.

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