Our beautiful, stylish cinema originates from 1955 and is part of Finnish architectural heritage. Kino Tapiola re-opened in 2010 fully digitalised and meticulously renovated to fit the classic, atmospheric style of the 50s. We are situated in Tapiola, known as the cultural centre of Espoo (Finland’s 2nd biggest city), so when Kino Tapiola’s future was at stake in the past, it was the local community that started lobbying the City of Espoo to save it.
Since then, our aim has been to become very much a “local” cinema, screening mainly quality European and domestic films. Thanks to our audiences’ avid cultural interests and the proximity of Helsinki and nearby multiplexes, it has been possible for us to concentrate on building a clear arthouse profile, which is valuable as Finland severely lacks independent arthouse theatres.
Our cinema has only one screen with 194 seats and a spacious lobby with a cozy, welcoming feel, so we have developed our customer strategy towards approchability and community building, inviting our regulars to have input on our opening times, holiday schedules, and most importantly, programming. We feel that we are here only to serve our audience who fought to save their local cinema. Therefore we are very keen to hear their opinions about what films they want us to screen and re-run. For example, we encourage them to participate on our Facebook page, in our weekly newsletter and on our webpage, and we always label the films “Toive-elokuva” or “Toiveuusinta” (“Audience Favourite”/“Audience Favourite Re-run”) in our programming flyer and our website so that our customers know their wishes have been heard.
We also established a message board at the cinema for customers’ notes. Our most widely shared Facebook posts have been the photos of these messages, inspiring many comments and debates. We want to keep listening to our audiences’ needs, and focusing on organising more special cinematic events that bring in new audiences.
As a small operation working under a cultural mandate, our resources are scarce, but we hope to generate good buzz around our cinema so the message about the gem of Kino Tapiola will spread, bringing in more people to watch quality European films and companies to arrange events and screenings at our cinema.
Hannele Pellinen, Cinema Manager