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Cineplex growth strategy: premium cinema and LBE expansion

Cineplex Playdium

Canada’s largest cinema chain, Cineplex, is targeting growth with a strategy to offer more premium cinema options and location-based entertainment (LBE) expansion.

Cineplex saw fourth-quarter attendance and earnings fall – although overall income increased as the company diversified from its core multiplex business.

As traditional cinemas attempt to enhance the experience to attract customers, Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob argued that the company is offering much more.

“People are looking for instant gratification. When you’re building a business like we’re doing, you have to look further out. It’s three to five years,” Jacob told The Hollywood Reporter.

“We’re confident in our strategy going forward. We are basically doing things that are different from all our peers,” he argued.

“We basically want to own your entertainment dollars,” Jacob added, explaining that the company aims to become an “entertainment destination”.

Premium cinema

Cineplex’s premium experience accounts for around 44 percent of revenue. The premium experience includes:

  • UltraAVX – wall-to-wall screens, Dolby ATMOS surround sound, extra-wide, high back seats
  • IMAX – an immersive movie experience
  • VIP cinemas – enhanced food and drinks menu, adult-only licensed auditoriums, and luxury seating

Other features include D-BOX (seats moving in sync with the film), 4DX (motion seats moving in sync with the film, but with environmental effects like mist, wind, and bubbles), and luxury recliners with powered foot rests.

Amusement solution expansion plans

Cineplex has grown its FEC amusement solutions including the PlayerOne Amusement Group, XSCAPE interactive entertainment centres at Cineplex venues and eSports video gaming tournaments.

Cineplex’s plans for its LBE roll-out are as follows:

  • The Rec Room – amusement gaming, live entertainment and dining experiences under one roof, targeting 10 – 15 locations across Canada
  • Playdium – reimagined entertainment complexes featuring indoor play, food, and tech-enhanced amenities, targeting 10 – 15 locations across Canada
  • Top Golf – 65,000 square feet, 12 acres of land, 3 level facility, 102 hitting bays.

In 2019, to further growth, Cineplex will open six more Rec Rooms, featuring bars and games. It’s also partnering with Topgolf, combining a golf driving range with other games.

In addition, the cinema chain has partnered with VRstudios, with a plan to install up to 40 VRstudios arcades in its multiplexes and LBE centres across Canada by 2021. Cineplex also offers location-based VR attractions like The VOID in its multiplexes and venues.

Image: Cineplex

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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