NT Live and the Royal Opera House among winners at the first Event Cinema Awards, organised by the Event Cinema Association to honour content including opera, ballet and rock concerts.

The winners of the inaugural Annual Event Cinema Awards were unveiled on October 15 at the first networking event in London dedicated to the Event Cinema (formerly known as Alternative Content) sector, organised by the Event Cinema Association (ECA).

Three box office awards recognising theatrical admissions of 100,000 (bronze), 250,000 (silver) and 500,000 (gold) were presented to More2Screen for Queen Live In Budapest 86, Omniverse Vision for Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day (pictured) and Arts Alliance Media for Springsteen And I.

Awards for Excellence in Programming went to The Royal Opera House for Alice In Wonderland, NT Live for The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nightime and Ominverse Vision for Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day.

Awards for Excellence In Exhibition went to John Travers, head of Event Cinema at Cineworld, Marc Allenby, head of commercial development at the UK’s Picturehouse Cinemas and Magda Pienkowska, head of special events at Polish exhibitor Multikino.

Set up 12 months ago to promote alternative content (rebranded as Event Cinema) in Europe, the ECA now has 35 member companies from 18 territories, made up of exhibitors, distributors, content providers and technical providers.

The event included a number of panels addressing the issues facing the sector, including generating public awareness, marketing, producing content, overcoming technical hurdles, and the relationship between content providers, distributors and exhibitors.

Meanwhile cinema data company Rentrak announced today that it would be releasing box office figures on Event Cinema – which includes live and recorded screenings of ballet, opera, sports events, exhibitions, musicals and rock concerts - for the first time later this month.

According to figures from Rentrak, Event Cinema has taken £15m so far in 2013, double the amount taken in the whole of 2012. It said the sector was on track to do £20m, which would account for 2% of overall box office in the UK.

Worldwide, the sector is on track to take $380m next year according to David Hancock of IHS Screen Digest. “Suddenly Event cinema is something everyone is talking about,” said ECA chair Melissa Keeping.

“As the founding member of the ECA, it’s fantastic to see the growth of the organisation in the first year and we are very proud to have the success of Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day recognised with awards for box office success and programming excellence - it gives a real validity to what our niche in the film business is all about,” said Grant Calton of Omniverse Vision.