easyGroup, the UK company which operates the no-frills airline easyJet, is contemplating a move into the densely populated UK exhibition sector.
easyCinemas, a concept currently being researched by the company, could see the 'easy' concept shaking up the UK exhibition sector with its focus on low-cost tickets and high customer turnover.
The size, location and number of potential cinemas is as yet undecided, although the company will look at a ticketing model similar to that of its flight or car rental businesses - where bargains are made by booking early online.
"By shaving all those costs, we can give people cinema at a lower price," said James Rothnie, easyGroup's director of corporate affairs. "We are specialists of the high volume, low-margin business."
Rothnie denied that it would be impossible for easyCinemas, which aims to focus on a range of programming including first-run releases, to gain a foothold in the tight UK exhibition sector, which comprises around 3000 screens.
"They tried saying that to us before we started an airline. If the price is right, more people will go to the cinema more often. We're not competing with other exhibitors - we're competing with visits to McDonalds, or people staying in."
Owned by entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyGroup is a self-styled "business incubator," which typically launches businesses with around £5m seed capital, aiming to float them three to five years later. The company also operates low-cost businesses in the car rental market (easyRentacar) and a European chain of popular internet cafes (easyEverything) among others.