Have You Imagined Lagos Cinemas Offering '24/7' Services?
Any Friday a new blockbuster premieres in Ozone cinema in Yaba, something intriguing happens that night.
After the last patron of the cinema has left, and the lights go out, a new set of ‘tenants’ take over the cinema hall and its environs.
No they are not armed robbers. They are just movie lovers trapped in the never ending hustle of Lagos, looking for a place to relax and unwind.
Each person gets to enjoy the luxury that comes with the night- various kinds of food and a midnight cinema, all put together by Mayowa Olawale's Club M.
The idea is to give movie lovers who never have time to go see a film during the day, the opportunity to enjoy watching 2 blockbuster movies from a selection of 3, food and drinks, without the hassles associated with clubbing.
Mayowa’s love for movies, and his frequent visits to Ozone cinema gave birth to a dream that now has an average of 230 people.
Film tickets range from 2,000 Naira to 10,000 Naira, with patrons paying an average of 3,000 Naira.
Visitors do not just get to watch movies, but also enjoy a rich menu that includes, Chicken and Chips, Jambalaya with Peppered Chicken, Asun, Salad, popcorn and drinks.
It was not always like this. When Mayowa tried to start in September 2016, it was a flop.
It never held, because there was no publicity, so no one came.
In December 2016, he gave it another go at the Ozone Cinemas and people showed up.
After that he took a break to plan and make sure that the first midnight cinema was not a ‘fluke’.
He came back in 2017 with Club M holding an average of one event per month and in December he held 3 events, partly due to the success of ‘Wedding Party 2’ which has grossed 312 million Naira in just 18 days.
“When I started it, a lot of people said why will I come and see movies at night, I believe that if you have an idea just run with it. Just do it, failure is part of success.”
According to a report by Price Water Coopers (PWC), cinema revenue fail to show the vibrancy of the immense number of films Nigeria produces, which in 2015 was up to 50 a week.
Cinema revenue in Nigeria will reach US$20 million by 2021, a healthy increase on the US$13 million achieved in 2016, but still relatively modest given the size of the country and the immense number of films produced.
In simple English, there is a void in cinema sphere, and Mayowa Olawale-Great, who has already tapped into this space with Club M plans to increase his reach.
"I am looking to do at least an average of 700 people per night in various cinemas in Lagos before expanding the night plan to other states.
"Filmhouse Cinemas have reached out, so we plan to do 2018 with Filmhouse and see how it goes and by April by the Grace of God will be in cinemas in other states, Port Harcourt Abuja, Enugu, in fact-everywhere” he said.
His greatest challenge remains publicity, but he still has faith that Club M will play its part in pushing cinema patronage onward and upwards.
“We are working on publicity, we are still looking for people to help push this great dream both offline and online. It is catching on so I feel with time, everybody will know about what we are doing”.