UK cinema circuit Odeon is to digitally screen a Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's musical Putting It Together at its flagship 2000-seat Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London's West End.
Four screenings of the pre-recorded musical will take place over two days in November, with a standard evening ticket price of $21.80.
The content, produced by Broadway musical content production and distribution outfit The Broadway Television Network, was brokered by UK digital cinema provider Quantum Digital.
"Cinema has always talked about the potential of alternative programming and digital projection is now making this a commercial reality," said Odeon chief executive Richard Segal.
Although alternative content - musicals, sports, concerts - has long been a mooted new revenue stream for exhibitors, the potential remains relatively untested. And while diversifying content rosters could well assist exhibitors in shoring up their businesses, there remain doubts about whether such events can attract the necessary audience numbers.
US exhibitor Cinemark USA recently screened a live concert by rock band Sugar Ray at 14 of its sites to largely underwhelming results. Audiences for the event averaged around 10% overall occupancy.
"While we did not deem the Sugar Ray concert experience a success in terms of attendance and revenues, we did this first concert venture as a learning experience," says Terrell Falk, vice president of marketing and communications at Cinemark USA. "We still see this as a possible revenue stream, but the marketing/advertising by the concert promoter is key to its success."
Cinemark is also screening Sondheim's Putting It Together digitally in Plano, Texas on Oct 14 and 17.