Entrepreneur Olli Saari, 31, sighs with relief when Bio Grand, which has been closed since December, is allowed to start its film business again.
Short Within walking distance of Tikkurila Station, the Bio Grand cinema is quiet on a hot Friday afternoon in June.
At the door of the women’s room in the lobby’s auditorium is a picture of Princess Lee, known from Star Wars, and at the door of the men’s room, customers are greeted by a cardboard figure cut to shape by the same movie character, Luke Skywalker.
So everything is as before, regardless of the corona.
On the other hand, many things are different now than before.
The Bio Grand has been closed for months. It had to suspend its operations last December as interest rate restrictions tightened again.
When all Finnish cinemas were closed, no one knew what the theater network would look like after the corona restrictions.
And no one knows for sure yet.
Worn out months have been for the small entrepreneur running Bio Grand’s film business To Olli Saare, 31, heavy like many other entrepreneurs, but it doesn’t show outwardly.
During the spring, sole proprietor Saari has, among other things, had time to renovate the lobby of the cinema with a new look.
“Everything is now ready to receive customers. It’s really great to be able to offer people experiences again, ”says Saari.
June 30, 2021 is a particularly significant date for the Island.
That’s when Bio Grand’s movie screenings spin off after a long wait.
If all goes well and there is no backpack with corona restrictions, at least a new Bond film will be seen at Tikkurila’s one-screen cinema this year. No Time to Die, a series of children’s films, Renny Harlin guided Classmeetinga sequel to the film as well Johanna Vuoksenmaan 70 is just a number.
The operation will not return until later.
Bio The Grand turns 82 in September. It has been located in the same place since 1939.
The original, funky Grandinkulma house was once Tikkurila’s second center and a well-known landmark.
Funkistalo was demolished in 1982. Two years later, a new Commercial Premises was built in its place, where the current 184-seat cinema also operates.
In addition to Flamingo’s Finnkino complex, Bio Grand is one of Vantaa’s permanent cinemas – and at the same time a competitor in the giant chain. In addition, Vantaa has quite active pop up cinema operations.
Last December, HS Vantaa reported that Kino Myyri, who had been operating in Myyrmäki for 27 years, had to close down because the cinema’s finances could not withstand the corona pandemic.
Read more: The sky of a traditional block quino ended like a wall in Myyrmäki – “I had to whistle the game,” says owner Peter Puisto after 27 years
In a typical calendar year, Bio Grand has about a thousand screens. During the year, the theater hosts about a hundred different films.
“The number of visitors has been steady in ordinary years, even growing slightly. I have not given exact figures. I think that the number of customers shows that film as a form of entertainment has not lost its special position, for example, for numerous streaming services, ”says Saari.
To the movies according to Saari, will be followed by experiences even today. They are available at Bio Grand, as the sympathetic, home-woven cinema differs from the cinematic palaces of Finnkino’s theaters, for example, in its interior design.
Saari joined Bio Grand for summer jobs after his student writings in 2008. He started as an entrepreneur in May 2017.
“I started here myself as a part-time student, and I have also hired students for evening work myself. The theater has had three to five part-time employees. It is a pity, of course, that during the Korona period, jobs could not be offered, ”he says.
“Hopefully this will slowly return to close to normal life. At least that has been my own idea all along. ”
Despite the uncertainty of the corona period, Saari never had time to sink into gloom.
“I haven’t even thought about going out of business. As an entrepreneur, I’m alone here, but it’s also made it easier to do. I would not have succeeded without the cost support provided by the State Treasury, ”he says.
Island during his theatrical lock, his own family and the birth of his firstborn child rose to prominence in his personal life.
“I’ve certainly had time to be with my family in a completely different way than I could have been in normal years. For myself, this time has been really rewarding. ”
Earlier in June, Finnkino issued guidelines on its website, according to which it is not allowed to eat your own snacks in the chain’s theaters. According to the chain, the reason for the practical change is the loss of income brought about by the corona pandemic.
Read more: Finnkino bans its own snacks in its theaters, the reason is the loss of income caused by the pandemic
Bio Grand follows the previous practice, says Saari. So you can bring your own delicacies to the cinema also in the future. Sure, easy-to-fight lunches like burger meals and ice creams are still asked to eat outside the hall to keep the hall tidy and comfortable.
“In terms of movie delicacies, we focus on frying the best pops in town and offering a wide range of other snacks. Bio Grand has no plans to ban the import of its own snacks, ”says Saari.
Small, the traditional cinema has survived in the armpit of a big competitor so far. The island sees no reason why this should not happen in the future.
The entrepreneur believes in the appeal of the film. It makes you laugh, cry and evoke a wide range of emotions. It can challenge.
“After all, watching a movie at home is not quite the same experience as watching it on the big screen. Something is missing from it, ”Saari says.