Demand for training programs rises

Updated: 2013-04-05 23:49

By Huang Ying (China Daily)

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Wanda opened 29 movie theaters on the Chinese mainland last year, and by the end of 2012, it had a total of 115 theaters in operation. The theater giant aims to increase that figure to 200 by 2015, which would put the company's market share at more than 20 percent.

Other theater companies have also started in-house training programs, such as China Film Stellar Theater Chain, which launched its "M Plan" training project in 2011.

Cai Ling, a cultural industry researcher at the Shenzhen-based CIC Industry Research Center, said: "Third-party training programs provided by industry veterans are currently not an effective solution to the shortage and poor performance of theater managers.

"That's because the target audience for these programs is rather small, which has a limited effect in dealing with the problem. In addition, the courses are not systematic or thorough, making it difficult for trainees to digest the material."

Chen from Guowei said that the two tallest hurdles he encountered when establishing his training agency was putting together an organized curriculum and the shortage of lecturers.

University professors are unqualified to give lectures on theater management because they don't have practical experience, while industry veterans lack theoretical knowledge and teaching experience, he said.

For Wanda, they are plagued by other problems.

"Our managers are always the first choice for poaching because they excel in experience and work efficiency," Wu said.

"They're often offered a higher position and a salary several times more than the market average," he said.

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