Harry Potter may be in for a slide – let’s face it, the Half-Blood Prince is a little slow, Hogwarts or no - but exhibitors in the UK are happy.Let’s talk to Tim Richards, the CEO of the UK’s 60-odd-screen Vue cinema chain – he’s actually jubilant. “We’re very close to a record in modern times in the UK,” he says, noting that the top year in recent UK cinema history (going back to the end of the 1960s) was 2002 with 176 million admissions and, in the 12 months to July 1, 2009, UK theatres logged 175 million tickets sold.Last Wednesday, the first day of Harry Potter, was the biggest day in his six-year-old chain’s history, followed rapidly by Saturday, when the Vues sold 300,000 tickets. Over the last week (Thursday-Thursday), he expects his cinemas to have ushered in more than 1m people.Our picture shows a UK cinema queue from 1937 - the internet has thankfully done away with that kind of legwork - but Richards thinks the same sort of audiences are coming back to the big screen.They’re back!“It’s a perfect storm,” he says. “Ice Age/Bruno/Harry Potter – something for everyone. The weather helped and the economy continues to help, but this is what happens when the studios get it right.“People are back in the habit of seeing movies again.”There’s no Mamma Mia! this year. And Harry fever may calm down. There could always be a heatwave. But it’s still nice to speak to a happy man in the middle of a recession so here’s a little cheer. “Not a lot of industries are breaking records in the current climate,” said Richards. “This is a great business to be in right now.” Go Vue for yourself.