The Traitors c BBC

Source: BBC

‘The Traitors’ series 2

Several independent cinemas across the UK are screening the finale of the second series of BBC’s hit reality show The Traitors tonight (Friday, January 26).

Birmingham’s Mockingbird Cinema, London’s Catford Mews, Ealing Project and Reading Biscuit Factory are showing the 70-minute final episode of the popular series in which contestants must complete various challenges while figuring out who among them is a ‘faithful’ or a ‘traitor’. 

“It’s like the World Cup of television programmes,” said Mockingbird Cinema’s director and programmer Lee Nabbs. “It’s always great to watch stuff with a crowd and I think The Traitors is exactly that kind of show you want to watch with people.”

Tickets for Mockingbird Cinema’s screening cost just £1 - all of which goes to Children In Need as a charity donation - and sold out within less than a day. Nabbs estimates that half the bookings for The Traitors are from people who have never visited the cinema before. “January has been great for the release window and we’ve done really well,” he said, referring to popular releases WonkaAnyone But You and One Life. “This just helps us build up the brand,” says the programmer of The Traitors event.

Point of discovery 

High demand for The Traitors finale screenings has also been reported at Catford Mews, Ealing Project and Reading Biscuit Factory, all of which are owned by Really Local Group – a company that regenerates derelict buildings into local community spaces. The episode will be screened in the foyer of each building, with customers able to book tables for their groups.

“There might be people coming to the space for the first time who discover ‘okay, it’s a bar, but then it’s also a cinema, but then it’s also a coffee shop, but it’s also a co-working space’,” said Really Local Group’s programme and marketing manager Chloe Beale. “As a point of discovery for people, we hope that they’ll come into the venue and see that it has so much to offer.”

While screenings of television events like the football World Cup and Eurovision song contest have previously played in cinemas, this is the first time Really Local Group has screened a reality show. “It’s in the national consciousness in a whole new way and people want to watch it together where you can get that live atmosphere,” said Beale. ”It’s not just cinema that does that. Things like TV shows, and especially The Traitors, are doing that more and more and creating these big fan bases.” 

Both Mockingbird and Really Local venues are engaging in promotional activities, from murder-themed games to encouraging fancy dress and offering themed food and drinks - including a fizzy rosé special, in honour of The Traitors contestant Diane Carson who drank the drink on the show. The cinemas are looking to recapture the spirit from the release of Barbie in July 2023, when many cinemagoers attended screenings in pink outfits and enjoyed a creative selection of themed cocktails.

“[Barbie] solidified for us the taste for these kinds of events, of people gathering in their local cinema, in these spaces, and being able to celebrate these things together and make it more than watching something on screen,” said Beale. “It’s going to become more common for sure.”