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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Would it benefit the industry if theatres listed which cinema the film was playing in (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Would it benefit the industry if theatres listed which cinema the film was playing in
Tom Petrov
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From: El Paso, TX
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 - posted 05-09-2011 12:03 AM      Profile for Tom Petrov     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ok, its not often that the movie goer gets to know what cinema the movie is playing in before they buy the ticket..or in the old days, look at the marquee. Today, you walk up to the cinema and have no idea which theatre you are headed for.

In Toronto, we used to do it back in the day, Uptown 1 would be listed, or Runnymede 2 would be listed. Famous Players went so far as to list all of the actual cinemas for Beverly Hill Cop II


IMO, each individual cinema in a complex has its pros/cons. For example, the larger cinemas at one complex I know of has small screens while the smaller theatres have larger screens. I like this, I like to sit close to the screen. I often wait until the movie is playing the smaller theatre before I check it out.

On the other hand, AMC has nice large theatres that do not have walkways across the seats while Cineplex has the patrons crossing the theatre to go up the other side, this in turn totally ruins the sweet spot.

What do others think of this? Good, bad...don't care. It was done years ago, so why not today?

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Mark Ogden
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 - posted 05-09-2011 06:18 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, to use an example from the GTA itself: last summer I caught a few movies at the big all digital AMC on Yonge. I went on a Sunday to see The Kids Are All Right. The very next day I went back to see something else, I can't remember what it was, but I noticed that I was directed to the very same auditorium. In other words, the movie/cinema configuration was changed overnight, and not on a Thursday/Friday. In an all digital environment, when the movie/theatre set up can be changed with just a few mouse clicks, I imagine the logistics of getting all the changes to a local paper for the next day's edition would be pretty formidable and not worth the effort.

At the same time, though, I agree somewhat with your main point. When I go to my local AMC theatres, and a movie is showing on multiple screens, I always check the self-ticket machines at the front to see what screen is playing what show, and buy accordingly. I prefer the big front-of-the-house screens to the long walk down a hallway smaller ones. I imagine others do as well.

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Michael Brown
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 - posted 05-09-2011 10:19 AM      Profile for Michael Brown   Email Michael Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

Even though it realistically only benefits a few people.

In the UK at the moment out of the 3 major chains, 2 of them specify on the website the auditorium that a show is playing in (the other chain doesn't on the website, but does on self-serve machine inside in the cinema lobby).

It's good for regular customers who are familiar with the theatre setup and would like to know in advance which auditorium a movie is playing in. The issue is that it is a nice feature that only really benefits a few regular customers that care about such a thing.

For your average customer it probably isn't an issue. (I'm still very much in favour, but realise it isn't something that the masses want or care about)

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Louis Bornwasser
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 - posted 05-09-2011 10:27 AM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Many cinemas no longer advertise at all. The feeling is that "we have every film, so you don't need to know exactly what we have."

I personally believe that the exact number of screens that are in a given location is not relevant. (for the same reason.)

"You will show up and you will do as you are told.(until the rights to you are sold.)" apologies to Frank Zappa. Louis

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 05-09-2011 10:44 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess it would be a good idea if a certain complex is famous for one or more spectacular screens, but other than that it would be impractical, since multiplexes tend to move prints around a lot based on demand.

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Chris Slycord
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 - posted 05-09-2011 12:08 PM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And many theaters move prints around throughout the day.

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Frank Cox
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 - posted 05-09-2011 12:41 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Louis Bornwasser
Many cinemas no longer advertise at all.
Depending where you are, your options for advertising "Now Playing" can also be pretty limited even if you want to advertise. Even when media is available their deadlines can exceed the lead time on a confirmed booking.

My main advertising these days is my website and an email mailing list. Up to a couple of months ago I printed and distributed 6000 flyers every month but have now found that just posting what's playing on my website is sufficient. I had quite a few questions about "Where's the flyer?" at first but now everyone just checks the website. I mailed out 6000 fridge magnets with the website and my "movie phone" number on it and that seems to have done the job. I still have a few thousand more fridge magnets here and hand them out to people who ask.

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Aaron Garman
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 - posted 05-09-2011 01:00 PM      Profile for Aaron Garman   Email Aaron Garman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Advertising which screen it was on could also hurt sales. For instance, say you really wanted to see a movie, but see it is in a crappy house, and then decide not to go at all. If the house it is in is not advertised, you may still go and although you find out it is in a crappy house, decide to stay since you have already gone all the way out to the theatre.

Personally, I'd love to know where stuff is playing but I'm guessing most people simply do not care.


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Tom Petrov
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 - posted 05-09-2011 01:07 PM      Profile for Tom Petrov     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aaron-on the flipside, it will make the movie goer want to see the movie right away when the film opens.

We in a way, have always advertised the better house and still do, simply saying "THX" or "70MM" and now "AVX" "ETX" etc in way shows to the customer what theatre it is in. IMAX or IMAX Experience also lets people know this.

I remember the Uptown Toronto used to say Uptown 1, 2 or 3 for the movie that was playing. Of course Uptown 1 would eventually become a THX theatre in the 90s

I think it would be a powerful marketing tool.

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Robert E. Allen
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 - posted 05-09-2011 01:48 PM      Profile for Robert E. Allen   Email Robert E. Allen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It would only benefit the techno-geeks and those of us in the business who are very familiar with the theatre. The ticket taker at the two major chains I worked for always told the patron in which theatre the film was showing. I don't believe the general public is all that interested in the delivery system.

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Tom Petrov
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 - posted 05-09-2011 01:53 PM      Profile for Tom Petrov     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Robert-I disagree. I think more people care than others might think.

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Martin McCaffery
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 - posted 05-09-2011 01:59 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Some people like Sprite, some like Sierra Mist. The number who care is probably in the single digits. [Wink]

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Scott Jentsch
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 - posted 05-09-2011 04:23 PM      Profile for Scott Jentsch   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Jentsch   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I get this question from readers once in a while, and I always tell them that it's not possible to display the exact screen that a movie is playing on.

I have asked a few theaters about it, and the response was always that they didn't want to publish that information because they wanted the flexibility to move prints around without notice.

Same goes for why many theaters don't like to specify which digital sound format they use, because they don't want to advertise DTS when they move it to the Dolby Digital auditorium for whatever reason. That was more important back in the early days of digital sound, but now I don't see much of a need to differentiate between them. We still support the separate designations for those theaters that make the distinction.

Personally, I will call a theater to find out which screen it's in if I'm concerned about which auditorium they might have put it in. The closest theater has some small rooms (85-95 capacity) with some small screens (24 footers), and I'd rather choose another theater if the movie I'm interested in is playing in one of those rooms.

If a theater has a room that has the reputation that it "sucks" that's an embarrassment for that theater. In an ideal world, every screen would deliver a consistent experience, even if the scale is reduced. If the theater can't deliver excellent performance in all its screens, then they should charge less for the movies playing in the "it sucks" auditoriums.

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Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
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 - posted 05-09-2011 09:17 PM      Profile for Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Email Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think advertising which screen a film was in died out here in the 90s when multiplexes became the norm. People who care usually ask at the Box Office or look online. I always find out the screen in advance and it will affect my decision to go or not, but I'm probably in a minority.

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Jason Whyte
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 - posted 05-09-2011 11:01 PM      Profile for Jason Whyte   Author's Homepage   Email Jason Whyte   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

For Cineplex, if you go to the website and click on a film showtime for any theater, it then takes you to the ticketing page which also provides the auditorium number. (You can also reference Mike Rivest's site which gives seat counts for most of the currently open cinemas in Canada.)

It's a bit of work, but you can also call the theater and talk to a manager as well.


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