The World has turned itself into a Pandemic Disaster!!! With COVID-19 cases being reported across the world, retailers, multiplex operators, mall developers and eatery owners are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak ahead of summer. The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic has had a substantial impact on the film industry. Across the world and to varying degrees, cinemas have been closed, festivals have been cancelled or postponed, and film releases have been moved to future dates or delayed indefinitely. As cinemas and movie theatres closed, the global box office dropped by billions of dollars, streaming became more popular, and the stock of film exhibitors dropped dramatically. Many blockbusters originally scheduled to be released between March and July are postponed or cancelled around the world, with film productions also halted. Taking it further, TheatreWorld brings you an exclusive coverage and interview of the venerable Lebanese giant Empire Cinemas celebrating its 100th year with its very first multiplex launched in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) at Jazan. The brands first ever 10-screen cinema is expected to become the region’s favourite entertainment destination. USA is now power packed with cinemas that are first-of-its-kind. The ArcLight Cinemas in Boston having two floors of concessions and Cinemark’s all new Luxury heated Loungers at 15 Mall Road in Salem, New Hampshire is all set to render their respective services that are completely unique. The 12 screen K11 Art House, UA Cinemas’ new flagship store in Hong Kong surely is said to give the Swiss feels with its architectural design consisting of its first IMAX laser projection system and the next gen GDC SR 1000 and SX 4000 in the city. Meanwhile, the Indian Film Exhibition Industry has also been keeping up with the race. To highlight a few, Sargam Theatre in Uttar Pradesh is the very first cinema to introduce the concept of KAPTIVATE sound in the country. The combination of KAPTIVATE sound, KRIX speakers and Trinnov’s sound processor only enhances the basic sound making it more immersive and 360 degree in nature. With two Indian giants always at the forefront, PVR’s openings at Vegas Mall, New Delhi; Cosmo Mall, Punjab & Orion Uptown Mall, Karnataka and Elpro City Square, Pune; Crown Mall & Orion Mall in Uttar Pradesh and C21 Mall in Madhya Pradesh by INOX has never missed a chance to live up to its patrons movie going desires. Furthermore, described as ‘The Most Advanced Cinema Subwoofer in the World’, with a frequency range extending from 18Hz to 120Hz and SPL peaking at 145dB, Powersoft and G. M. Audio have set out to redefine the cinema experience for the very first time in India, by reproducing soundtrack low frequencies way beyond capabilities of conventional subwoofers. No CineAsia! No CinemaCon!! And no NAB too!!! (The world’s largest electronics show). The fear in the minds alone of the people has been consistently escalating and with the movie exhibition industry seeing complete revenue drop at the Box office. Raghavendra T Editor-Publisher DISCLAIMER - TheatreWorld Magazine does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the quality, accuracy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information, product or service represented within our magazine or web site. The information provided is for knowledge or entertainment purposes only. TheatreWorld Magazine does not endorse or recommend any article, product, service or information found within said articles or advertisements. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to TheatreWorld Magazine belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of TheatreWorld Magazine or its staff.
Issue # 89 March-May 2020
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This issue of TW has two sets of page numbers - International pages TW-1 to TW-44 for TW, and India pages TM-1 to TM-34 for TM. TM is inserted between pages TW-38 and TW-39 of TW.
SPECIAL STORY 100 Years of Empire Cinemas
The Centenary Celebrated!!!
First-of-its-Kind in Boston TW-28
First Heated Lounger Cinema in USA
BUSINESS TRENDS TW-33
CGV Songpa SphereX:
Second CGV Screen with FLEXOUND TW-34
The Facts of Light
TRADESHOWS TW-35 Review -
U T U R E
Brings its Formidable Fortress to Hong Kong
SM Cinema Philippines:
Movie Viewing Now Revolutionised
R E L E A S E S
All the Way from Italy
TM-32 Cinema Design Guide
The Standalone Cinema in Vizag TM-14
M-Force Now in India:
Reigning Front of the Industry TM-26
The Most Nostalgic Cinema in Andhra Pradesh TM-28
Sri Vishnu Cinemas:
Vellore's First Next-Gen Multiplex
BUSINESS TREND TM-24
PVR - MUBI:
The Great Cinema-OTT Alliance Decoded
S P E C I A L F E AT U R E
Theatres-Studios Upturned: China
areas including cinemas in Shanghai, the city's Disneyland resort and even Beijing's Forbidden City have been shut due to concerns about the virus.
Cineworld to Acquire Canada's Cineplex: Expands Across USA
Chinese theatres and film studios are protesting a deal by Huanxi Media Group to premiere its new movie "Lost in Russia" on Bytedance's online platforms, with some saying it was trampling and destroying China's cinema industry. The weeklong Lunar New Year holiday usually sees audiences flock to cinemas with distributors taking advantage of the crowds to launch films but the premieres of at least seven movies, including "Lost in Russia", were postponed due to a virus outbreak which by the weekend had killed 41 people and infected more than 1,300 people globally. But Huanxi Media Group announced the previous day that it would show "Lost in Russia" for free on Beijing Bytedance Network's platforms and that the social media giant would in turn pay it at least 630 million yuan ($91.25 million) for new movies and dramas. Financial magazine Yicai reported on a statement issued by the film industry of eastern China's Zhejiang province, which threatened to boycott films made by Huanxi and one of the actors in "Lost in Russia" if the internet premiere went ahead. Another letter signed by 23 theatres and films studios was also circulated heavily in Chinese social media and reported by media outlets like the government-backed Beijing Youth Daily newspaper. Two industry
sources familiar with the letter confirmed its authenticity to Reuters. The second letter, which was addressed to industry regulator China Film Administration, said the movie would mark the first time in history a Spring Festival blockbuster would be screened for free online, and while it was legal to do so, it would break the current industry model. "This goes against the payment and revenue model that the movie industry has cultivated over many years, is trampling and intentionally destroying the movie industry and premiere models, and play a lead role in causing destruction," said the letter, whose signatories include Wanda Film Holding, Bona Film Group, and Henan Oscar Theatre Chain. Wanda confirmed to Reuters that it had signed the statement but declined to comment. Bona Film Group and Henan Oscar Theatre did not immediately respond to calls for comment. Many offices are shut in China due to the national holiday. A Bytedance spokeswoman said that its cooperation with Huanxi was a normal commercial deal to benefit the creators, adding that it also allowed more people to stay at home, rather than go out, given the viral outbreak situation. Huanxi did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Many public
Britain's Cineworld announced a $2.1 billion takeover of Canada's Cineplex; thus making it the largest cinema operator in North America. Cineworld has offered to buy Toronto-based Cineplex for C$34 ($25.56) per share, a premium of 42% to its close. Shares in Cineworld were up about 1.4% in early trade. The company said the $2.1 billion deal including debt would involve it seeking $2.3 billion in loans. The deal comes nearly two years after Cineworld bought U.S.based Regal Cinemas for $3.6 billion. It will add 165 cinemas and 1,695 screens to its global network of 9,498 screens across 786 sites. "Our immediate post-acquisition objectives will be to combine Cineplex with our U.S. business," Chairman Anthony Bloom said. Cineworld said its largest shareholder Global City Theatres B.V. has agreed to back the deal. The company also said it will continue the refurbishment of the Regal chain in the United States. Cineworld listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2007 and is part of UK's midcap index. Bank of America Securities, HSBC Bank and Goldman Sachs International acted as financial advisers.
Wanda Cinema's 600th Multiplex Chooses Christie, China
Christie is pleased to announce that Wanda Cinema, China's largest film distributor and cinema operator, has chosen Christie's compact all-in-one, DCI-compliant RGB pure laser cinema projector, featuring RealLaser illumination technology, for its 600th multiplex in the country.
installed in all nine auditoriums of this new multiplex to provide spectacular movie moments to audiences. We remain steadfast in assisting Wanda Cinema in generating high box-office returns with our state-of-the-art projection technology."
Located in the southern port city of Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, Guangzhou Haizhu Wanda Cinema comprises nine well-appointed auditoriums, including a PRIME at Wanda premium auditorium equipped with power reclining seats, as well as invigorating surround audio and awe-inspiring visuals using the Christie CP4330-RGB cinema projector. This pure laser cinema projector features CineLife electronics and RealLaser illumination with significant breakthroughs in image performance and brightness, operational lifetime and cost of ownership. All other auditoriums include Christie's reliable 2K CP2215, CP2220 and CP2230 digital cinema projectors, for screens up to 100 feet. The multiplex officially commenced operations recently.
Christie's RGB pure laser projectors comply with DCI standards, and deliver more than 95 percent of the Rec. 2020 color space without filtering or color correction. The rich, intense colors and contrast create astounding visuals in 2K and 4K resolution for audiences to enjoy, while providing significant operational efficiencies to cinema operators. Since their official launch, exhibitors around the world have embraced Christie's RGB pure laser cinema projectors as the best replacement for lamp-based projection systems and new installations. Major cinema chains in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand have deployed these systems in their auditoriums.
Peter Chen, executive director of Cinema Sales, Greater China, Christie, added, "My warmest congratulations to Wanda Cinema on the opening of its 600th cinema complex in China. Both Christie and Wanda enjoy a longstanding relationship and we're delighted our cinema projectors are
Paul Hermans and Oliver Pasch Team Up: Joins Cinionic A hearty welcome two the new leaders to theCinionic team: Paul Hermans and Oliver Pasch. Building upon Cinionic's growth since the company's launch in 2018, the team is growing to support the delivery of expanded managed service and premium service solutions, as part of Cinionic's leading and awardwinning cinema portfolio. The appointments announced cement Cinionic's commitment to a growing exhibition landscape fuelled by wow experiences, technological peace of mind, and financial flexibility.
Paul Hermans - Senior Vice President, Cinema as a Service (CaaS)
Paul Hermans joins Cinionic from Barco NV. Based in Kortrijk, Paul will be responsible for the development and global scaling of our new CaaS business, which includes our Laser as a Service offering. He brings 20 years of professional experience in senior positions to Cinionic. After holding management positions at Johnson Controls and Barry-Callebaut, Paul joined Barco in 2008. As head of Treasury, he gained experience in structuring financing solutions for VPF cinema models. In his most recent Barco role as VP of Global Service Group, Paul led various global change initiatives in aftermarket service optimization and service commercial excellence.
Oliver Pasch - Vice President, Sales & Business Development Premium Cinema
Based in Germany, Oliver will take an active promoter and enabler role to further develop our Premium Cinema business within Europe. Oliver is an industry veteran with proven expertise in cinema operations and technology. Over the last 15 years, he was active in the first digital conversion wave. Oliver served as Sales Director of Digital Cinema at Sony and was directly involved in a multitude of movie theatre openings at the peak of the multiplex cinema roll-out. Oliver's extensive experience and large network in the cinema industry is poised to support the growth in Premium Cinema solutions in Europe and around the world.
Pablo Calamera Appointed CTO and Executive VP, IMAX Corporation IMAX Corporation announced Pablo Calamera as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Executive Vice President, IMAX Corporation. Calamera joins IMAX from video platform JW Player, where he served as CTO. He will report directly to Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX Corporation, and be based in New York. Calamera succeeds IMAX CTO Brian Bonnick, who will retire after a transformative twentyyear tenure in which he built and championed technologies that powered the Company's rise in global entertainment. "Over the course of his 30-year career, Pablo has cultivated deep
expertise in helping global brands leverage technology to develop innovative products and platforms, expand their reach, and connect with consumers in powerful ways,” said Gelfond. “Building on our recordbreaking year, Pablo will spearhead the development of solutions that further evolve and strengthen our global theatre network and extend our leadership in delivering the most immersive entertainment experiences in the world.” “Brian Bonnick has been a driving force behind the technology that lifted IMAX beyond museums and into multiplexes around the world, establishing the Company as a global entertainment powerhouse,” continued Gelfond. “His efforts were responsible for the digital transformation of the Company in the early 2000s that changed IMAX's entire business proposition and, most recently, the company's groundbreaking expansion into laser technology. I want to thank him for his years of friendship and service, as we build on his work and grow our legacy of pioneering innovation in entertainment technology.” In his role, Calamera will drive the company's technology strategy, overseeing the development and implementation of products that further evolve its theatre network and extend The IMAX Experience to new platforms. Prior to his role at JW Player, Calamera served as CTO at Vonage where he oversaw technology strategy, product
development and R&D. Earlier, Calamera was CTO of ClearChannel, where he was responsible for iHeartRadio's technology initiatives. He took on the role after serving as CTO of Thumbplay, a cloud-based music company that was acquired by Clear Channel in 2011. Calamera has also held senior positions at Apple, Microsoft, WebTV, Danger and AT&T Labs.
Éclair Deploy Theatrical Delivery Solutions with Ymagis' Quanta, Brazil Ymagis Group, the European specialist in digital technologies for the cinema industry, announced an agreement between Eclair, its content services division, and São Paulobased Quanta for the deployment of Eclair's broadband network and digital content delivery solutions, including its innovative EclairPlay content delivery platform, across Brazil. The joint service offering has been designed to meet the needs of film producers, distributors and cinema exhibitors in Brazil seeking an alternative full service digital content distribution and broadband delivery network. “The relevance of the Eclair offer makes it possible to attract renowned players such as Quanta, a major actor in the digital conversion of cinemas in Brazil,” says Jean Mizrahi, Ymagis' Chairman and CEO. "With Quanta's broad client base and Eclair's innovative and costefficient digital content delivery solutions, we are very confident in our potential to become a key player in theatrical delivery in Latin America.” For Luiz Fernando Morau, director of new business development for Quanta, "We are proud to be working together to develop the network and deploy Eclair's smart broadband and digital delivery solutions in Brazil. With its proven track record, their state-of-
the-art distribution software and platforms are an ideal solution for the Brazilian market." Specifically designed for cinema exhibitors, distributors, sales agents and film festivals, the EclairPlay content download platform provides cinemas access to a growing range of DCP content available for download via broadband network, as well as all the tools and content marketing materials necessary for successful programming and audience building in just a few clicks. It is currently available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, UK, Ireland, Denmark, and soon in Norway and Turkey. EclairPlay is also designed to support content owners in building awareness of their overall brand, beyond any given single title, through dedicated collections, highlighted placements and strategic exposure for content as well as marketing assets and kits.
CinemaNext Launches E-Commerce Solution for Cinema Exhibitors in France, Belgium & Luxembourg CinemaNext, the European specialist in cinema exhibitor services announced the launch of its dedicated E-commerce platform,
CinemaNext Shop, in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. The site will be rolled out to cinema exhibitors across Europe and internationally in early 2020. The first online shop of its kind for the cinema technology industry, https:// shop.cinemanext.com enables existing and new customers to order from CinemaNext's catalogue of thousands of spare parts, consumables, projection and sound equipment, and software solutions, among others. Soon available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic, each listing on the site is accompanied by a detailed product data sheet, image, manufacturer's reference and price. The store's offering will broaden and be enriched with further products and services, including second-hand equipment, on a regular basis. "CinemaNext Shop has been developed to allow industry professionals to quickly and securely order anything they may require, from Xenon lamps to 3D glasses to speakers, in just a few clicks, seven days a week," says Georges Garic, Senior Vice President of CinemaNext. "Our goal is very simple: to ensure clients' screens never go dark and that moviegoers enjoy the best cinematic experience. With its guaranteed results and unlimited potential, we are thrilled to introduce CinemaNext Shop as the new online reference for cinema exhibitors' equipment needs." "Our innovative online store will help customers to more easily manage their own inventory while benefiting from our optimised supply chain, logistics and attractive pricing with every order," adds Maxime Rigaud, Managing Director of CinemaNext France. "CinemaNext Shop is directly connected to our ordering, billing and shipping systems so that all purchases made via the platform are processed automatically for greater ease of use and faster turnaround times. We are thrilled that our customers will now have access to our stock via their computers and smartphones from
anywhere in the world with quick shipment from our distribution platform in LiĂ¨ge (Belgium), in the heart of Europe."
QSC Receives Technology and Engineering Emmy Award
QSC is proud to announce that its Q-SYS Development team has been honoured with a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for its work on the Q-SYS Audio, Video and Control Ecosystem. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will honour Q-LAN network media distribution technology specifically in the category of "Development of Synchronized Multi-Channel Uncompressed Audio Transport over IP Networks" at the 71st Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy awards ceremony in partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). QSC would like to recognize the key developers of Q-LAN: Derek Lieb, Gert Rosenboom and Jeff Evanson, as well as the rest of the original Q-SYS development team, including Rich Zwiebel, John Britton, John Dunn and David Kessner. Q-LAN is the native protocol suite for audio and video distribution as well as device discovery, synchronization, control and management for Q-SYS. Q-LAN is a collection of open, IT-standard protocols and solutions designed to allow Q-SYS to integrate easily with a modern IT networking infrastructure. Able to work on either a standalone or converged IT networks, Q-LAN leverages standard network switches to ensure real-time audio delivery and synchronicity of media steams across all connected Q-SYS devices.
As a foundational technology element of Q-SYS for the past 10 years, Q-LAN has transformed tens of thousands of AV installations. From small-to-medium sized conference rooms to airports and the largest theme parks and stadiums in the world to film and television, users have utilized Q-LAN to ensure a synchronous transport of audio and video."QSC would like to thank the Academy for this prestigious honour," says Jatan Shah, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Technology Officer, QSC. "Our team of talented engineers saw the potential to develop a ubiquitous technology that could transform digital audio transport. We knew we had something quite unique, and we are ecstatic to see its profound impact on the way people design, build and interact with AV systems today. Congratulations to our Q-LAN development team for this welldeserved recognition."The 71st Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy awards ceremony was scheduled to be held in April 2020 at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
QSC Introduces New Training for Q-SYS Cinema Applications QSC is excited to announce the deployment of Q-SYS Level One for Cinema training. This innovative, modular online course is specially constructed for cinema engineers who want to learn how to use Q-SYS in cinema auditoriums. Students will learn the basics of designing a multiplex cinema with the Q-SYS
Ecosystem while receiving an overview of Q-SYS Designer Software. Much of the course material is shared with the awardwinning Q-SYS Level One training, but users will also learn about peripherals and components that are exclusive to cinema applications. The six-module course covers topics ranging from a basic Q-SYS Ecosystem for Cinema introduction, including hardware introductions to Q-SYS Core Cinema processors, the DCIO and DPA-Q Series network amplifiers, and continues with user control interfaces. The curriculum culminates with a walkthrough of an entire cinema design signal path and troubleshooting exercise, with each student receiving invaluable written feedback on their final exam from cinema training experts. The course provides students with 4.0 InfoComm CTS RU credits. Additionally, it is a prerequisite for purchasing Q-SYS products and for attending advanced Q-SYS training. "The Q-SYS training program has become a benchmark for the AV industry," says Patrick Heyn, Senior Director of System Marketing and Training. "We are proud to bring the same engaging curriculum style and deployment methodology to our cinema integrators, consultants and venue owner community. The Q-SYS for Cinema Level One course is the first of many upcoming cinema training initiatives that will roll out in the near future."
Mark Pearson Joins AMC Entertainment as Chief Strategy Officer Pearson, a longtime senior executive of 20th Century Fox, is responsible for advancing the company's strategic priorities and business development activity with an initial focus on forging alliances with streaming services that could benefit from AMC's vast theatre network in
the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. He will report to Adam Aron, AMC Theatres CEO and President. AMC Entertainment announced the hiring of Mark Pearson as the Company's Chief Strategy Officer. Pearson comes to AMC from 20th Century Fox Television, where his most recent position was Executive Vice President, Business Development, Operations and Strategy. Based in AMC's Los Angeles office, Pearson has already started in his AMC role and reports to Adam Aron, AMC's CEO and President.In this newly created role, Pearson leads strategy, business development, alliances and partnerships to advance the global positioning of AMC, the industry's leading theatrical exhibitor. He also leads the effort to hone AMC's strategic direction, and among other responsibilities initially concentrating on forging alliances with streaming services that could benefit from partnering with AMC and its vast theatre network in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. Pearson brings nearly 20 years of film and TV studio and strategy experience to AMC. In 15 years at 20th Century Fox TV, preceded by five years at Universal Pictures, he worked closely with studio management and distribution partners to identify and implement a range of growth initiatives. Adam Aron, AMC CEO and President, said, "Mark is media-world savvy, has extensive strategy and business development experience and is highly regarded within the Hollywood community. He is the perfect person to help AMC continue to innovate and create opportunities that benefit our existing studio March-May 2020
partners, emerging streaming power houses, our customers and our shareholders. His considerable experience in the SVOD space will greatly help AMC to create partnerships with streaming services including those from both established and emerging players.” Mark Pearson said, "As an avid moviegoer, I'm thrilled to join AMC at this transformative time for the industry. I'm looking forward to helping Adam and the AMC team set strategic direction and identify growth opportunities that will extend AMC's market leadership. AMC has a long history of innovation and I'm excited to continue that innovation through strategic partnerships and alliances that will add value for all stakeholders and audiences."
Cinemark Brings Luxury Movie going to The Pavilion, Durbin Park Cinemark Holdings, one of the world's largest and most influential movie theatre companies, announced the grand opening of its brand new 12-screen theatre, Cinemark Durbin Park and XD. Located at The Pavilion at Durbin Park, all auditoriums feature
Cinemark's heated Luxury Lounger recliners, immersive sight and sound technology and a Cinemark XD premium large format auditorium to further enhance the movie goingexperience."Cinemark is thrilled to be a part of the growth and development in Durbin Park," said Mark Zoradi, Cinemark CEO. "Our theatre at The Pavilion will be the premiere entertainment destination, providing premium amenities with enhanced food and beverage offerings for our guests to enjoy." At the new Cinemark Durbin Park and XD theatre, guests will enjoy advanced technology and customerpreferred amenities including: •
Twelve ultra-modern auditoriums with sight and sound technology that cannot be replicated at home;
A Cinemark XD auditorium - the No. 1 exhibitor Premium Large Format (PLF) in the world, to further immerse guests in the onscreen action;
Cinemark's Luxury Loungers electric-powered, plush, oversize recliners with footrests, swivel trays, cup holders and heatcontrolled seats in all auditoriums; A concession stand offering traditional movie going fare, including freshly popped popcorn, fountain drinks, Pizza Hut pizza and Starbucks beverages in addition to hot
foods including wraps, chicken sandwiches, the Beyond Burger and more; •
A wide selection of beer, wine and frozen cocktails;
Reserved seating with online, kiosk and app ticketing capabilities;
Special discount pricing for Senior Mondays and Discount Tuesdays for Cinemark Movie Rewards members; and
A party room available to rent for birthday parties and other celebrations.
Arts Alliance Media Introduce Online Customer Support Portal Arts Alliance Media (AAM), the global leader in digital cinema software and support services, has launched their first online customer support portal. Offering a centralised approach to raising tickets whilst browsing an extensive knowledge base, the support portal provides a simple, selfserve solution that connects the customer directly to the AAM Service Desk, removing the need to call or send emails. “AAM continues to look to provide innovative and efficient solutions for our team and more importantly our customers,” stated Alan Bowen, CFO and General Manager of Arts Alliance Media. “This is just another example of us bringing new tools and ways of working to the market.” By raising tickets through the support portal, customers can outline all details in a clear, coherent structure, track ticket progress and monitor all action taken to resolve them. Additional images, documents or details can be supplied throughout the process and a ticket history will be automatically generated to create a visible action timeline; a streamlined alternative to complex email threads.
The Centenary Celebrated!!!
• SPECIAL STORY •
Launched 100 years ago, a young pharmacist named Georges Haddad began projecting silent shots in Beirut cafes when finally in 1919 he opened the city's first movie theatre, called the ‘Cosmograph’. The legacy that was merely family-owned back and is still being operated to this day, the pioneering company has had its fair share of ups and downs along the course of a century. Empire continued derivating profitability despite its consistent struggle which is a sheer sign of their strength.
From wars to devastated downhill shifts in the market and presently to the recent ban-uplift on cinemas, this venerable Lebanese giant has seen it all. Talking of the ban uplifted in Saudi recently has got the cinema exhibitors rolling in the groove for many more projects under their wings. The legacy of Haddad's who are one of the founders of today's global film business began shortly post the birth of cinema. Empire Intl. launched 100 years ago when a young pharmacist named Georges Haddad began projecting silent shorts in Beirut cafes, and in 1919 opened the city's first movie theatre, which he called the 'Cosmograph'. By 1935, in partnership with entrepreneur Nicolas Cattan, Haddad had built 36 cinemas across a swathe of the Middle East, the smallest of which had 1,000 seats. Their flagship venue was the Empire Cinemas on Beirut's trendy Rue Gouraud, where Ernst Lubitsch's first talkie, ‘The Love Parade’, premiered locally in 1931. With 1,200 seats and two balconies, it was among the most luxurious hardtops in the Arab world. Then, in 1956, having become the leading film company in the region, the Haddads - Cattan partnership was dissolved after Georges' death and his sons Michel and Mario took the reins, ushering in a new phase. In 1964, Empire became the exclusive distributor for Columbia Pictures, now Sony, in the region. It's a relationship that still stands, as does Empire's longstanding rapport with Fox. The legacy that was merely familyowned since then and operated to this day, this pioneering company has had its share of ups and downs over the course of a century.
They have remained a family company driven by a passion for film passed from generation to generation. Love of film is in their DNA.
which, during the civil war, was the symbolic dividing line between East and West Beirut. But he's always felt a duty to stay on.
Over the decades they've had many lucrative offers to sell Empire, Mario points out in an interview in his office on Beirut's Rue de Damas,
Taking over Empire in the split with Cattan, who got most of the other cinemas in exchange for the crown jewel; the business did face its own shuttering days had to part ways by 1960 for which the Haddads initially lost their relationships with the U.S. majors. Post which they started working with United Artists, that grew on the success of picks such as Gina Lollobrigida-starrer ‘Trapeze’ (1956) and later the ‘Pink Panther’ and ‘Bond’ franchises. By 1963, nine years after Michel and Mario had rebuilt the company; Empire was representing United Artists and Columbia in the region, so they had enough product to start expanding the distribution side outside Lebanon. In 1958, Mario, then 20, took its film line-up to
• SPECIAL STORY • Kuwait, the only nearby Arab country with a movie theatre, and landed a contract with the Kuwait Cinema Co.; 20 titles for $1,000 each. Meanwhile, by the mid-1960s, the Beirut cinema centre shifted from the central Place des Canons, where the Cosmograph was, uptown to the Hamra district, then known as Beirut's Champs Elysées. They built five theatres in Hamra, all with a big ‘E’ topped by a crown that had become the symbol of their circuit. A golden decade ensued until Lebanon's 1975-2000 civil war started. But war didn't stop moviegoing. Though all cinemas had been shut lacking fresh films; people yet wanted to go to the movies. For which the Haddads had screened a few from their old stack like the Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cleopatra' that were then banned by the old government regime which turned out to bring them a commendable response. Hence new cinemas were built wherever they could. In 1978, at the peak of the civil war, the Haddads inaugurated the Middle East's first multiplex, a fivescreener in an under-used area outside Beirut called Zouk.
Empire Cinemas Opens its First Multiplex in Saudi Arabia The Lebanese cinema giant, Empire Cinemas has opened its first-ever 10-screen, multiplex in Saudi Arabia, located in Jazan on southern Red Sea coast. The cinema venue is expected to become Jazan's favourite entertainment destination. Elevating it further, Raghavendra T, Editor/ Publisher, TheatreWorld on his recent visit for the opening, talks to Gino Haddad, CEO, Empire Cinemas about how developing a chain of cinemas turning into an explicit cinema exhibition player and serving a major opportunity for the company's distribution arm in the Saudi market is Empire Cinemas current top priority. Empire Cinemas partnered with Al-Rashid Mall in Jazan for the cinema opening; hereby to offer a diverse range of services combined with tailor-made movie experiences. With this, the cinema chain marked a major step in fulfilling its commitment to seeing the exciting world of international, regional and Saudi film-making featured in cinemas in every city in the Kingdom. The opening ceremony took place under the patronage of Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz, in the presence of VIP guests and dignitaries. The cinema venue is expected to become Jazan's favourite entertainment destination. With their divisions widespread in sectors of Movie Distribution, Movie production, Gaming and Licensing, Live Events, the mega brand is all the more excited to play an important role in the strong growth of Saudi Arabia's emerging entertainment sector. Looking back to the start, the history has an aura and a narrative charm of its own kind. How did all of this begin and how has it been ever since then?
I come from the third generation of cinema creators. Hence, I really love what I do. Going back to 1919, my grandfather made the first cinema in the city of Beirut. The time when no cinemas existed. It was merely a café with the projection on the wall, a pianist and a story teller. There is a book on that too! Later, this developed into a cinema theatre by my father. Today we have cinemas in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon and now in Saudi. We make sure that whatever is implemented onsite is actually doable in terms of operations. It's been an astonishing fact that there has never been any change of ownership and has been run by
â€˘ SPECIAL STORY â€˘ a single entity for nearly 3 generations now. How does that feel? Yes, I believe there are no cinemas that have 100 years under the same ownership. We recently celebrated our centenary which was a huge event. We had all the celebrities and media right from the 'Hollywood Reporter' and many others. You name it! It's already big enough of a challenge for us and we wouldn't want to compare ourselves. Tell us about the first digital cinema that came in. How was the transition post that? The first digital cinema came in the year 1932. It was a 900 seater. The point to reckon here is that it was not a multiplex in those days. They were all single screens back then. The content was just more than sufficient and the frame would stay for about 3 months. Though the concept of multiplex was there, it existed only on the high streets. So if you had one unit here, and you wanted another film, you would just zig-zag the street. That was the concept of a multiplex back then. Seeing, the hustling around for cinemas and movies, the owner
considered demolishing the entire unit only to make four screens in the same space. This was how multiples came into picture. And then he realised that 4 screens were not enough. Let me tell you; this was in the 70's and 80's. With this, 4 screens became 9 screens which was the ultimate back in the 80's. I remember when we built the cinema in 1973; we couldn't call it a multiplex as that was supposed to be at least 10 screens at that time. So we built a 6 screen cinema in 1973 and it became the talk of the town! We were packed for the next 10 years.
We had about 1000 seats and we were doing around 1.5 million admissions in a year with those 1000 seats. That was humongous for such a small area!!! Do you have those single-screen cinemas still operational? Not anymore. The property became too expensive. We either sold the company or changed the property into a multiplex. The market rate in Beirut became very high. We even had 54 single screens in Syria and then war
• SPECIAL STORY • struck between Lebanon and Syria for which it was obvious that we had to sell. Though the history teaches us a lot, we certainly do look to our future as we think it would be very bright in the forthcoming time in KSA. On that note, tell us something on the planned up strata for the coming year? You've been invited to the first opening where a prince does the opening. That's for the very first time in KSA. That's the first time as we never had a prince come for a cinema opening before. This shows all of us the importance of cinema exhibition. This is the first cinema being opened in the secondary city. We have achieved and given the region something that they would have never dreamt about. And I believe if the clients are happy, the business and encircling that, we can easily achieve 300 screens in the next five years. The next in line is a
“We are glad and enthusiastic to have signed this agreement with Empire Cinemas in the Saudi Arabian market. The Kingdom is undergoing a huge transformation across different industries, including the technology sector which is proving to become more prominent than ever with the contribution of Korean technology.” - Eddie Jun, President, LG, Saudi Arabia After this, comes a project in Jeddah. Jeddah is also a very big project with an 18 screen plan. So this would become the biggest multiplex in KSA once completed.
17 screen plex with IMAX, 4DX, SCREENX with VIP Lounges and MINIS for kids. With a ceiling height of 14 meters, this would be a 1800 seater. A super megaplex rather!!
"Our goal is to elevate cinema standards to a whole new level, while incorporating new technologies, functionality and modern solutions as well as for aesthetic consistency with our brands’ identity." - Gino Haddad, C.E.O, Empire Cinemas
After Jeddah, comes Al Khobar. It will also be the first property in Khobar with 20 screens; which would then go forth to become the biggest in KSA after the Jeddah property. Though I may not hit the clear target on our '6 property' scheme in 2020, we are certain on working towards it. Furthermore, we have planned to include a loyalty programme and the right service to our patrons. We also have plans for Hindi films as we receive immense love from our clients for its content; esp. in Jeddah. There's a huge demand for this. Having said that, we would also want to push the local production onto the screens as we believe that the regional content has just started growing in the entertainment market. Why the choose of secondary cities than the main happening cities in the region? Once the word was out in the public about a cinema being opened in Jazan, there was excitement enthralling amongst the crowd. The people had sheer joy of finally getting a new cinema to their town. The hype had started spreading through the whole city. We believe that
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Raghav of TheatreWorld with Gino Haddad of Empire Cinemas during the Launch of Empire Cinemas, Jazan
secondary cities have enough amounts of spaces to help exhibitors plan up for the cinemas presently. Today there is a bigger need for cinema entertainment in the secondary and tertiary cities. The primary cities have entertainment resources bustling in every corner. You would also probably ask how Kuwait or Dubai were not considered as prior options…We already trade in those countries. As known the brand has two main divisions; one being distribution of films and the other being its exhibition and operations. When we came to Dubai at first, it was barren and had nothing. It was still a virgin place. With time, we then positioned ourselves as the biggest film distributor in the gulf region. And when cinemas started popping up, we started supplying more films which led us to considering distribution on a primary note. Post which we had decided that we could open cinema but reckoned that we had come in late to consider catering with this regard to our clients. It would certainly turn out rather unconventional when you are supplying the biggest content but you would also be competing
"Saudi Arabia presents a tremendous growth opportunity for cinema exhibitors. We are very pleased to have partnered and continue to partner with such renowned circuit as Empire Cinemas on developing their footprint in this effervescent market. Including Empire's inaugural at Jizan, CinemaNext MEA has installed 39 screens in KSA to date with another 50 slated in the first half of 2020. " - François Inizan, General Manager of CinemaNext Middle East & Africa (MEA)
â€˘ SPECIAL STORY â€˘ against the same clients at the same time; that's the reason why Saudi topped the list of choice. We did not wait for the region to develop, but instead felt to work on it before time itself. To put in crisp terms, we would dissociate distributional exemptions so we would treat Empire Cinemas as a client when it comes to film distribution. Therefore Empire Cinemas would go to Empire Entertainment as a client just like any other cinema exhibitor on the client list. So are the multiplexes all organic? Meaning, is there any cinema that may have been acquired in the list? We are not into the business of acquiring but into the business of creating. I believe you have to invest the time, money and efforts to get the reward. It isn't something that can be grabbed off the shelf. With time and patience, we look forward to enjoy developing many more cinemas with many more such openings. To have an opening event of this grandeur, you certainly have to wait the whole year. Our team worked almost 18 hours a day! You wouldn't find this in a working domain unless they believe in your strategy and the vision. If you ask
me why Saudi, I would say that I believe that I'm creating history. One day, I would tell my kids that I was the first to do the cinemas in KSA. Just like my grandfather told his tale on being the first to build cinemas in the Lebanon or Middle East. That's how the legacy of the Haddad family in terms of cinemas continues till date. What was the time frame for the completion of this cinema project? It took us a year nearly. The fit-outs itself took nine months. And with the design and conceptual aspects, you could easily add another three months to it. So from ground zero to the opening, it took us one whole year. So for us, cinema is not just about sitting in comfortable seats and watching the film on the big screen. Today, you need more. There are still a few other elements to help enhance the experience in the lobby of entertaining people or keeping them busy while theywait for the movie to start or during intervals; this shall be a surprise for your next visit. (Laughs) Tell us about the kind of content that KSA allows. Is there a censorship barricade to the films on strict terms? Ofcourse there is censorship. But not
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something of a mega magnitude; but in terms of what is permitted and what is not, what is respectful and what is not. It's mostly ground rules with regards to nudity, religion and many other critical and highly sensitive aspects, but nothing that diverts the content. So GCAM (General Commission for AudioVisual Media in KSA is the body that governs and licenses cinemas and this is the body that rates movies. Unlike what people assume, their relation with the operator is more collaborating than control.
They really help in terms of guiding and making sure that cinema developments is done in a channelised manner rather than just being somebody controlling you and waiting for you to make a mistake so as to give you a penalty. Tell us something about the technology and the new trends in the market? Technology has certainly been changing at an incredibly rapid rate. Talking about LED screens being the new trendsetter replacing laser projectors or 4K projectors; wewould still prefer to wait and see. As we don't usually see the operators completely changing all their screens into LED. Currently to state, it is an expensive affair and secondly, I think nothing could beat the projector feel. On that note, Sound too is very important in a theatre. Most of our cinemas are equipped with Dolby Atmos. Our partnership with Dolby is throughout the kingdom. CinemaNext worked us a splendid graph with the entire cinema integration.
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First-of-its-Kind in Boston The new theatre complex near North Station features a 3-level, premium space, with a cafe-bar, two floors of concessions, a 65-seat bar and lounge that serves made-toorder cocktails, craft beer, pluss snacks and shareable plates like Nacho Totsand 15 movie theatres including a huge 280-seat space with a curved screen… ArcLight Cinemas recently opened in Boston, featuring a 3-level, premium space, with a cafe-bar, 65-seat cocktail lounge bringing rich cinematic content and a commitment to the moviegoing experience in its 15-screen theatre complex including a huge 280-seat space with a curved screen. The cinemais located adjacent to the TD Garden and above North Station, part of the exciting Hub on Causeway development that includes citizenM hotel, Hub50House residences; a Star Market grocery store; Big Night Live, an event space, concert venue and
Guy Fieri's Tequila Cocina restaurant; Banners Kitchen & Tap sports bar; and the Hub Hall food hall. "The city of Boston is a vibrant community with a long history of avid movie-going, which makes it the perfect next step for ArcLight's nationwide expansion," said Christopher Forman, Chief Executive Officer of ArcLight Cinemas. "For 17 years, ArcLight Cinemas has changed the way moviegoers experience the art of film and we plan to share that enhanced experience in Boston with this exciting new project."
The ArcLight Experience The company's signature theatre amenities are designed for the most ideal movie experience. Each theatre offers reserved seating, a commercialfree environment, extra-wide seats, inspired programming, and topnotch sight and sound, with Dolby Atmos, ArcLight's 65-foot curved widescreen format, and "Black Box" auditoriums. Known for its excellent food and beverage programs, ArcLight Cinemas Boston will feature two floors of concessions and a large bar and lounge.
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There is a 65-seat bar and lounge located in the main atrium of ArcLight Boston, offering all day service with a comfortable ambience and a menu of reimagined favourites like Nacho Tots, a Crispy Potato Skewer with Garlic Malt Aioli and a selection of paninis. The full bar will feature a selection of local draft and bottled beer, organic wines from around the world and a menu of cocktails prepared using house-made syrups, fresh juices, and craft spirits distilled in New England. To take keen note of, for its opening, it also partnered with Curio Spice Co., Sofra Bakery & Cafe, Mamaleh's Delicatessen and Gate Comme des Filles to create a selection of limited edition popcorn spices. ArcLight's thoughtful approach to moviegoing shines through in service as well. Guests can dine independent of seeing a movie, but should they choose, movie tickets can be ordered through a server, or changed if guests decide to see a later show. The bar and lounge will be open to the public from 11 am to 11 pm.
redefines movie concessions with its service-oriented style. Order kiosks and pick up windows reduce the wait time by as much as 50% and hot food, like ArcLight's Nacho Dog and signature Caramel Corn are prepared à la minute with high quality ingredients. Keeping the movie experience in mind, Film Fare serves its popcorn, and many other favourite movie treats, in boxes instead of bags to reduce noise. Draft beers, wines and cocktails are all on draft and served in glassware to be enjoyed in the theatre. Film Fare is open during theatre operating hours. Each theatre offers reserved seating, a commercial-free environment and plush seats with extra wide armrests that the company said are "designed ergonomically for the perfect viewing experience based on its angle and distance from the screen." ArcLight also has "Black Box" auditoriums, a 6-foot curved widescreen format, a dedicated theatre for 70mm films, and masking, which adjusts the viewable size of the screen to match the format the filmmaker shot in.
Film Fare, the ArcLight concessions area located on each theatre floor,
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First Heated Lounger Cinema in USA The brand new 12 screen theatre; located at 15 Mall Road, adjacent to The Mall at Rockingham Park paves way for their heated recliners to enjoy a show at the new Cinemark theatre in Salem. It's for the very first time in 18 years that residents can enjoy a movie in their town since the Salem Tri Cinema closed in 2002. The new theatre has four times as many screens - 12 - each is equipped for 3D movies, and there is one XD Extreme Digital theatre with a wall-to-wall 65-foot screen. A leader in the motion picture exhibition industry recently announced a brand new 12-screen
theatre located adjacent to The Mall at Rockingham Park. All auditoriums offer reserved seating and feature
Cinemark's heated Luxury Lounger recliners in addition to immersive wall-to-wall screens, advanced sound systems, enhanced food offerings and an XD premium large format auditorium. After tickets and snacks are secured, moviegoers can make their way towards the heated recliners to enjoy a show at the new Cinemark theatre in Salem. It's the first time in 18 years residents can enjoy a movie in their town since Salem Tri Cinema closed in 2002. The new theatre has four times as many screens - 12 - each is equipped for 3D movies, and there is one XD Extreme Digital theatre with a wallto-wall 65-foot screen. "We are excited to celebrate the opening of our first Cinemark New Hampshire theatre right in the heart of the Salem community," stated Mark Zoradi, CEO, Cinemark. "We're always developing new ways to augment the entertainment experience for our guests, and this new multiplex will provide our Salem guests with innovative theatre technology as well as a multitude of
• INSTALLS • food and beverage offerings for the optimal viewing experience." At the new Cinemark Rockingham Park and XD theatre, guests will enjoy the following amenities: •
Twelve Cinemark auditoriums featuring 4K digital projection and advanced sound quality;
A Cinemark XD auditorium - the No. 1 exhibitor Premium Large Format (PLF) in the world, featuring state-of-the-art picture quality;
Cinemark Luxury Loungers electric-powered, plush, oversize recliners with footrests, swivel trays, cup holders and heatcontrolled seats;
Reserved seating with online, kiosk and app ticketing capabilities; An inviting lobby that features a concession stand with a variety of food and beverage options including freshly popped popcorn, Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain drinks, Starbucks coffee,
Dunkin' Donuts products, Pizza Hut pizza, beer, wine and frozen cocktails; •
A café featuring expanded menu items including hot snacks, signature sandwiches, burgers and decadent desserts;
A private party room fit for large group entertainment needs; and
Special discount pricing for Senior on Mondays and Tuesdays for students and active military.
The movie theatre is a converted Sears store. This is Cinemark's first
theatre in the Granite State, which is exciting for them. The Cinemark moves in as other area theatres have closed in recent years like Chunky's Cinema in Haverhill and the Showcase theatres in Lawrence. And while Salem residents have had to travel to other towns to see movies since 2002, Cinemark is hoping to bring people to town. Finally, patrons have those options right next door, and wouldn't have to go all the way towards Boston or Manchester to find an upgraded movie experience.
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Brings its Formidable Fortress to Hong Kong
Boasting 1,33,000 square metres of commercial area and 10 levels, this world-class experiential landmark offers unimaginable experiences in retail, art, culture, entertainment and gastronomy, all under one roof. K11 MUSEA, a multi-cultural space sends out a truly immersive consumption of art, culture and commerce, has recently launched UA Cinemas’ new flagship cinema. The word is quickly spreading around social media: Your trip to Hong Kong will be incomplete if
you fail to visit K11 MUSEA located at Tsim Sha Tsui, the most commercially and culturally prosperous place in
Hong Kong. Launched recently, K11 MUSEA boasts 133,000 square metres of commercial area and 10 levels. This world-class experiential landmark offers immersive experiences in retail, art, culture, entertainment and gastronomy, all under one roof. K11 MUSEA is adjacent to the Avenue of Stars and situated in the heart of Hong Kong. Facing Sogo across Salisbury Road and close to the luxurious Intercontinental Hong Kong, it aims to establish a "Cultural Silicon Valley" and popularizes the philosophy of culture retail. K11 MUSEA is more than a landmark of culture retail. It stimulates the infinite inspiration of millennials and advances creativity, culture and innovation.
The Star Cinema in K11 MUSEA
Left: Projector in K11 Art House uses GDC SX-4000 media server Up Right: User interface of GDC SX-4000 media server Down Right: GDC SX-4000 media server
The shining K11 MUSEA complex is immersed in art and culture. The largest and highest traffic artistic place is K11 Art House cinema on Level 4. This flagship cinema was
â€˘ INSTALLS â€˘ recently launched by UA Cinemas, and quickly established itself as the highest profile cinema in Hong Kong. UA Cinemas Managing Director Ivan said,"Tsim Sha Tsui is an area with high consumption level and population density, and the core commercial facilities like K11 MUSEA plays an important role in gathering people. K11 Art House is positioned in the same way as a shopping mall to meet the higher demand of moviegoers." Built with natural materials, the cinema has an architectural design typical of the mountain houses in Switzerland where the natural texture of the wood and retro stone and brick walls contrast sharply with the modern lamps and copper details. Sake Bar, an open bar in the cinema, offers audiences with distinctive sake and snacks for a differentiated movie going experience. The cinema also opened the first MOOV Pop-up store in Hong Kong, which perfectly combines music with movies and arranges different types of music activities to extend the amazing viewing and listening experience. Ivan said, "K11 Art House goes beyond the traditional concept about cinemas, taking the experience to a higher level through the forces of creativity, culture and innovation with the game-changing technologies and products to ensure the best possible movie going experience."
The cinema covers 6,000 square meters and consists of 12 houses of different sizes and 1,708 seats. The IMAX laser house is the first IMAX laser projection system in Hong Kong and features 4K 3D capability. With IMAX laser, audiences see a broader colour range and a higher degree of brightness and contrast. Supported by IMAX 12-Channel Immersive Sound System, the system creates a truly immersive effect. The house offers 368 seats and 4 chairs for the disabled. All the 12 houses are equipped with laser projectors and 11 of them are equipped with the next generation GDC SR-1000 and SX-4000 media
Left: Projector in K11 Art House uses GDC SR-1000 media server Right: GDC SR-1000 media server
servers: SR-1000 installed in 3 houses, and SX-4000 installed in 8 houses. SR-1000 is the first Integrated Media Block (IMB) compatible with three generations of projection technologies and without required connection to hard disks. SX-4000 immersive sound media server is most characterised by the compatibility with 5.1/7.1 surround sound and the support for multiple immersive sound formats. In addition, K11 Art House also uses GDC's terrestrial broadband Electronic Delivery Service (EDS), which has been the only method of delivering Digital Cinema Packages (DCP) to cinemas in Hong Kong for three years. Since the amount of data DCP's contain cannot reliably transfer over standard IP networks, DCPs are typically delivered to individual theatres by satellite, or by shipping specialised hard drives via express courier. But there are challenges with both methods - and neither is conducive to a seamless, fully digital workflow that supports further digital innovation. EDS safely enables cloud-based transferring services of upto 100 GB in approximately three
â€˘ INSTA L LS â€˘ to five hours with 100 Mbps broad band Internet speed. To meet the demand for a high-end VIP experience, K11 Art House features Blackbox. The VIP house offers 26 seats that are equipped with electric functions. It also includes a VIP lounge, coat racks and an independent restroom, which improves the sense of space and facilitates the interactions among guests. The Blackbox house is managed by a senior professional VIP team, providing personalised and thoughtful services like those in firstclass cabins as well as exclusive food offerings. K11 Art House also has a multipurpose house named Whitebox. The house offers 113 common seats and four seats for the disabled, which a reequipped with writing panels for use in meetings. More than a cinemahouse, Whitebox is also a stage for performance, which is enabled by the LED caption display equipment, foldable stage, computer lighting for stages, sound control system and backstage facilities for performers. Moreover, there is also an exhibition space outside the house for social activities.
systems. Every housein K11 Art House includes barrier-free paths and 4 seats for the disabled.
Double Guarantee for Viewing Quality Ivan said, "The cinema provides double guarantee to ensure projection quality. On one hand, they chose projection equipment from world-famous suppliers for functional reliability; on the other hand, an efficient management system is adopted for the stability of projection." To manage content playback, K11 Art House installed TMS-2000, the latest
GDC TMS-2000 Theatre Management System
generation theatre management system developed by GDC. The solution enables the cinema to be managed in a centralized manner. With more than 50 new functions and improvements based on TMS1000, TMS-2000 features playing and equipment condition display monitoring that is from one single access and integrates screen monitor, content management with enhanced performance that facilitates centralised management of contents and KDM, a "smarter" program scheduler that gives alarm in case of
To create a friendly environment for both disabled and healthy people, K11 Art House provides auxiliary facilities for visually or hearingimpaired people to use. House 1 and House 8 are equipped with hearing aid systems and audio description
the absence of CPL or the failure of KDM, and intelligent recovery thatmakes replacement of servers easier and faster. In the future, cinemas will need to be more dedicated to providing extreme experiences from operational and management efficiency through technical means. That will be an inevitable path for cinemas to survive and develop. The opening of K11 Art House is a prime example of a cinema equipped for the future.
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SM Cinema Philippines:
Movie Viewing Now Revolutionised People living South of Metro Manila are in for a treat as SM reopens the hottest entertainment hub in town. Unveiling 12 upgraded regular cinemas, 1 IMAX theatre, 3 Director's Club theatres, 2 largescreen format cinemas, and 1 event cinema, this ultimate property seeks to give its moviegoers an ultimate viewing experience as it recently opened its doors to the public.
through state-of-the-art technology complemented by modern architectural design. SM MALL of Asia's (MOA) cinemas now has been re-launched after months of renovations, increasing screens while retaining the same number of seats in a preview of what cinemas under the SM chain would turn into. Ushering a whole new cinematic experience, SM Cinema Mall of Asia steps into a new decade, branding itself as an entertainment hub where people can enjoy seeing their favourite movies come to life
through year-round installations and movie-centric experiential activities. The 16 new cinemas are housed in a complex at the mall's Entertainment mall section and include 11 regular cinemas, 1 IMAX screen, 3 Director's Club screens, and 1 event cinema. This is an increase in the number of screens from the previous 10 screens: six regular cinemas, one Director's Club, one IMAX screen, one Premier Cinema, and the centre-stage event cinema. Despite the increase in the number of screens, the number of total seats are retained with the same
As a pioneer in the local theatre industry, SM Cinema has revolutionised movie watching by introducing the first movie theatre inside a shopping centre, almost three decades ago. Since then, it has become a household name for being an inevitable go-to movie house to every individual in the heart of the Philippines at Pasay. With the recent reopening of the theatres, the Mall of Asia becomes the SM mall with the biggest cinema hub, offering families and friends more ways to enjoy the latest movies March-May 2020
• BUSINESS TRENDS • number as the company opted to build smaller capacity theatres to better fit what customers prefer. "The regular cinemas usually house 400 to 500 seats which are actually too big, plus it can only house one movie so if you have too many blockbusters, it won't fit in the number of screens. So if you cut the seats in half, you can service two movies at once," Ruby Ann Reyes, SM Cinema Vice-President for marketing, told the media during its launch recently. "The Filipino audience is not a quiet audience to begin with. If you have a 400-seat capacity, it's too noisy and the people will not be able to enjoy the film anymore unlike those in 144 seaters," she added. She said that having smaller theatres make the viewing experience more intimate, adding that the smallest cinema seating capacity at SM MOA is 80 while the biggest is 144. "It's more personal to the moviegoer - the screen is closer - plus it's not so big anymore and the legroom is bigger right now," she explained. The smaller seating capacity allowed the company to install 'Opus Glide' semi-recliner spectator seats which allow viewers in regular cinemas to recline for a more comfortable experience. The more premium Director's Club cinemas meanwhile will have 'Verona' full-recliner leather seats. The screens also got a laser projection upgrade, with the regular cinemas having Standard 7.1 Surround Sound setup and RGB Laser Projection system, while the Director's Club also has laser projection coupled with the Dolby Atmos Surround Sound system. Besides the renovation of SM Mall of Asia cinemas - which is the company's largest cinema complex - cinemas at SM Olongapo and SM Fairview were also overhauled last year, and refurbished SM Southmall cinemas opening by the end of the month and SM Sta. Mesa's opening shortly. Reyes said there are plans to renovate SM Baguio, SM North EDSA, and SM Megamall within this year. "We are
experiences like streaming services have not dampened the Filipino appetite for movie viewing, said Reyes.
heavy with the expansion of new cinemas in the provincial areas," she said, noting that plans are underway to renovate cinemas in Pampanga, among other provincial sites. The aggressive pace of renovation is an indication that alternative viewing
"Filipinos go to the cinemas as a group in the Philippines… there is also a concept of 'fear of missing out,' so people would rather watch their favourite films first in the cinemas than wait months for it to drop to other platforms," she explained before adding that SM Cinemas add to the movie going experience by putting up film installations and activities.
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CGV Songpa SphereX:
Second CGV Screen with FLEXOUND CGV Songpa SphereX is now the second CGV screen with FLEXOUND Augmented Audio enhancement in every seat. Based on the great audience feedback and experiences at their first FLEXOUND cinema in CGV Gold Class Wangsimni, CJ CGV and CJ 4DPLEX decided to continue the co-operation with FLEXOUND. CJ 4DPLEX, which is known for 4DX and ScreenX-innovative movie format, developed this new collaboration between CJ CGV and FLEXOUND for the ultimate sound solution into the cinemas. This new SphereX Songpa cinema with 73 FLEXOUND boosted seats opened recently and screens the filmization of the famous musical CATS. With this success, CJ 4DPLEX and FLEXOUND are in talks to expand the collaboration further in more CGV theatres, as well as incorporating FLEXOUND Augmented Audio with 4DX and ScreenX. FLEXOUND Augmented Audio is a revolutionary Finnish audio innovation that is rapidly gaining recognition in different industries globally. "The original idea about multisensory listening started from therapy for autistic children. Soundwaves are vibration that can be heard with our ears, but sound can also be perceived with our skin and body. Why only use our fairly
bad human hearing, if we can enjoy wonderful movies and music also with our sensation of touch?" asks the FLEXOUND CEO Mervi Heinaro. Patented FLEXOUND technology offers equal sound quality in every seat independent of seat location. It improves the clarity of dialogue, enhances the emotions created by the story and provides the audiences a very natural and truly immersive sound without any need for a remix or recode allowing cinema operators to screen any content in a FLEXOUND Augmented Audio boosted cinema. FLEXOUND Augmented Audio is designed and engineered in Finland. The multinational team started the work in 2015 to help autistic children by adding the sensation of touch to music. Now the versatile, globally unique, and patented technology can be embedded into cinema, airplane or car seats, gaming chairs, cushions, furniture and more. FLEXOUND has won many hearts and awards internationally. FLEXOUND is a member of the International Cinema Technology Association. CJ 4DPLEX is a leading, nextgeneration cinema technology company, headquartered in Seoul with international offices in Los Angeles and Beijing.
CJ 4DPLEX introduces CGV's second FLEXOUND augmented audio theatre at CGV Songpa in Korea. The Gold Class Wangsimni, CJ CGV's premium theatre, reopened recently, has become Asia's first screen with audio enhancements induced in every seat…
The company has created innovative film technologies for theatres worldwide that include '4DX', 'ScreenX', '4DX Screen' for consumers to experience films in ways that were never before possible. 4DX provides moviegoers with an exciting, multisensory experience, allowing the audience to connect with movies through motion, vibration, water, wind, snow, lightning, scents, and other special effects that enhance the visuals onscreen. ScreenX is the world's first multi-projection system used within a theatre setting. CJ CGV is the largest multiplex cinema chain in South Korea, and the world's 5th largest company present in China, Turkey, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, the United States and Russia. As of December in the previous year, CJ CGV has been operating over 4,135 screens at 573 locations in 8 countries around the world. CJ CGV has continued developing special theatres like '4DX', 'ScreenX', 'SphereX', "Goldclass'. Now, the company has a vision of introducing and developing 'Cultureplex'- a culture playground where people can experience all different types of cultures including films, music, performances, games, sports, food, drinks and so on beyond the multiplex. March-May 2020
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The Facts of Light FACT 03: INDUSTRIAL LONGEVITY Xenon lamps are the workhorse of cinema. It is a proven, familiar technology with established workflows. Exhibitors know the performance, service and cost expectations; employees are able to perform lamp changes themselves;
and audiences are accustomed to the visual quality produced by Xenon illumination. It is currently the ideal light source for theatres requiring up to 35,000 lumens of light from their projectors. Developments in lamp engineering
and improvements in best practices have resulted in lower costs, improved performance and an operational life that offers exhibitors 99.9% reliability. It is the tried, tested and true light source.
FACT 04: PROJECTION SPECS AFTER ONE YEAR OF USE A dark and dim movie presentation can ruin the experience for your audience. It is vital you understand the life expectancy of each projection illumination technology to best choose which one is best for your theatre. For DCI compliancy, your projector must achieve at least 14fL in order to play cinema quality. Xenon and laser phosphor both use a replaceable light source in order to reach eight years of projection use. RGB pure laser will maintain brightness without component replacement.
Brightness Over 30,000 Hours The graph below compares brightness drop-off of the different illumination platforms over 30,000 hours (around eight years for a
typical cinema projector). Xenon bulbs burn out the quickest, but are also the most affordable to replace. Laser phosphor light modules will last a little more than a year, but
need to be sent back to the factory for replacement. RGB pure laser maintains 80% of brightness over 30,000 hours (eight years) of use.
Deciphering the 'Perfect' Formula
Overview: Panelists: Mohan Umrotkar - CEO, Carnival Cinemas Nimisha Trivedi - General Manager, Programming, PVR Cinemas Prashant Govindan - Sr. Director India & SAARC, Harman Professional Solutions Rahul Puri - MD, Mukta Arts & Mukta A2 Cinemas Rajeev Sharma - CEO, NY Cinemas Saurabh Varma - CMO, INOX Leisure Moderator: Sreedhar Pillai - Film Columnist at â€˜The Hinduâ€™ & Industry Analyst Disclaimer: The said designations of the panellists and the moderators may have changed within the due course of time for the corresponding magazine issues being published thereafter. But we shall retain the same designations and company details held during the event.
Audience demographics, tastes and consumption habits have been constantly evolving for the better. Exhibitors need to gear up for the change to meet the audience expectations. The whole movie going experience must be redefined and the role of these movie theatres has grown critical to drive this change. The past experience indicated that the audience expectations were limited and they were considerably satisfied when provided with good seating, air conditioning and quality popcorn. Meanwhile, the last decade has proven that the business of running a cinema theatre has changed
He states that as exhibitors try and evolve with the changes in the market, the process is not a very feasible affair to deal with. The exhibitors who have taken the risk and tried to do something different have mostly succeeded in delivering its service. Analysing the different kind of audience helps the cinema exhibition industry grow in terms of their varied needs.
dynamically. The expansion of cinema screens to smaller cities has resulted in an explosive appetite for both local and foreign content. So what could be the 'Perfect' formula to win the audience' hearts and wallets? The experts try to decipher the formula.
Analytical Brewing Having over 25 years of solid experience and knowing the industry like the back of his hand, Sreedhar Pillai claims the kind of changes happened have been quite phenomenal. Kickstarting the conversation with the panel, he initiates on how the audiences have changed over the years. Stating on the whole movie going experience, newer dimensions have taken shape in the industry. People look at the comfort level first and only then the content today. Though content is king, they still make their choices depending on how good a cinema theatre is. On the same note, Mohan states that apart from the content being the main subject matter, the other aspects of cinema is also very important with reference to the choosing a particular cinema when the choices are made available. And if seen further, with the way that cinema has evolved, those in the earlier days had wooden chairs; onto which it went towards recliners today. It is obvious that this transformation is quite set by the demand of its consumers. The changes from the analog technology to the digital laser and now to the LED screens are another example to
Mohan Umrotkar CEO, Carnival Cinemas
Nimisha Trivedi General Manager, Programming, PVR Cinemas
add to this list too. Even in terms of the concessions, the patrons were treated with samosas and popcorn before; today they are spoilt for choice with the gourmet food being offered. And accounting the same, every cinema operator takes consideration to the market and the customer preferences to cater to their needs accordingly. Although there are cries with regards to the prices, it is assured that this is the outcome of Supply and Demand. The industry is growing every year with the number of screens that is being added on an incremental note. Therefore resulting in the footfalls increasing accordingly. This is a clear indication that the cinema is a platform which has grown eversince and which would stay forever. As the kind of experience that the customer gets to see his start is nothing compared to that of which one would watch on their mobile screens or the television. "We at Carnival strongly believe that we have to take this entertainment medium to the larger part of India; which is what we call it as the emerging market. Especially, the tier 2 and 3 towns, and this is what has been on focus." On the changes that have come through, Saurabh says, "There is no fixed formula for this topic I believe. One of the biggest reasons that can't be left unnoticed is that the consumer habits are changing rapidly. Therefore, in accordance to my experience in the exhibition, we learn something new every day. Regardless it being about the seats, the projection or even the sound. We must keep evolving."
Despite of the fact that it is not quite spoke about, Programming plays a very important role in bringing the audience into the screens. Nimisha states, "Each market has a specific taste and a specific audience. For instance, talking about the alternate content, we've found with our experience that alternate content works well in tier 1 cities. But what also seems surprising is that it works in tier 2 and tier 3 as well. Something like a BTS concert. Hence, it's a new learning every day for us. On the contrary, there are certain movies that may work with the particular audience let's say tier 1 but not 2 & 3. So there's a split opinion about a films that release. "I would like to quote an example hereâ€Ś Considering a Hollywood drama; you know where it is going to work. And this is why even the studios have their release strategies based on their learning of so many years. Recently PVR released 'Moonlight', the Oscar drama and who would have thought that the region like Aurangabad would give us splendid results to wanting to watch it. So it is certainly
Prashant Govindan Sr. Director India & SAARC, Harman Professional Solutions
gearing up. It is upon us how we make this as an unforgettable experience where it's not only cinema but entertainment as a whole too." And the footfalls justify on this regard. So when u win the hearts, wallets are won spontaneously.
Rahul Puri MD, Mukta Arts & Mukta A2 Cinemas
present that we are learning, adapting, offering noting that programing is quite a critical aspect to work with on the whole." She adds. Saurabh adds, "I feel there is credit to be given to all the programmers in all the cinemas. It is a rather conventional thought that a particular film will work only in a certain region. Today if you see 'Badla', 'Article15' and many such other films, you would be surprised to see that programmers have given their fair share of efforts to help us grow in the market." Rajeev who successfully managed NY cinemas to run basically in the northern and western circuits shares his outlook on the audience when compared to that of the mainstream cities. He says, "Most of our setups are in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities. In tier 1 cities we are a part of the green field project; so we are yet to taste the audience experiences in those sectors. But I would like to buy into this that when it comes to film viewing experiences in tier 2 and 3 cities, it goes without saying that mass films work the best. And as we package experiences, the film makers have a task on their hands to provide content that would seem to work for the secondary and tertiary sectors as well. The audience experience has been very encouraging even for the Hollywood films in most of the cities that we operate in the north and the west. And I believe that experiences are to be created by the multiplex partners like us; to fight the advent of the other platforms which are now
The sound plays a pivotal role. Sound is the main element to give life to the movie and the cinema certainly. Prashant says, "Usually, the sound and the visual element are downplayed in favour of the story. But I sincerely think 'Content is King.' The sound, the video and everything that goes around it adds to the ambience and the experience. Further explaining the same, through the midway 90's, we got to hear the surround sound. And suddenly the whole cinematic experience changed from just being a front NCR kind of an experience to that of a surround sound. So we got the first taste of immersion back in the 90's. Entering 2000's we got 7.1; following the advent of more immersive formats like Dolby Atmos for instance. I believe this was a significant move in terms of where the sound came from as there were no significant changes made in this area until then; for around 20 years. Now people are talking 4D and LED screens. With this I think technology plays an important role in bringing people back into the theatre.
Streaming Services: Is it a real battle? With the entry of the OTT's 'First Day First Show', some films would affect
Rajeev Sharma CEO, NY Cinemas
Saurabh Varma CMO, INOX Leisure
the box office for sure as those films may only premiere on OTT platforms; one such being on Netflix. As they would not make it to the theatre. Rahul says, "A lot has been made on this whole Multiplex vs OTT saga. All of us within the industry don't seem to be overly concerned about the fact that the streaming platforms are looking at films as to try and screen first day first show method. As we all know, the experiential advantage that going to a cinema has over sitting at home and watching film on television or mobile phone is slightly the wrong analogy. Films at the end of the day have thrived over the last decade even in the other parts of the world maybe." But when seen people hooked onto the OTT platforms, their claim is that the multiplexes; especially the majors charge a pricey list on their concessionary services and menus. A minimum of INR 1500 simply is spent if a family seeks a day out. For which Nimisha says, "The whole thing as discussed starting from the ticket rate, and the price in the beverage section is a function of the real estate and supply and demand. I mean if you're going to control, only one aspect of the whole chain that would slightly be unfair. So we are offering a variety on technology, different gourmet to meet the balance at the pricing and rates. Mohan on the same note says, "As mentioned earlier, you know the price is always a function of supply and demand. Entire India is price sensitive if so as to see. I know the audience are changing their preferences for INR 10 March-May 2020
or INR 20. So whenever we see a renovated cinema coming up, it gives us a sense of competition; whether it is a branded cinema which is operated by a major operator or a non-branded one. So obviously as a customer if you think that you're getting the same sort of an experience at a lesser price, there is certainly a need to change the trend. But also to take note that the service really matters." Rahul adds, "I feel that price is a function of demand and supply as everybody has stated earlier. What is the strange matter here is that this kind of question never seems to be aimed at any other industry but only at the multiplexes for some reason unknown. The answer to this is simple that today we don't have multiplexes that are charging the same rates for the tickets sold. We have got multiplexes all over the cities that charge different ticket prices. Even with regards to concessions, you'll find different concession prices at different places one may go to. Consumers have an option to choose their place according to their feasibility.
Bolstering Technology: On the technology currently in the market, Saurabh shares about the recent INOX Inorbit Mall at Malad, Mumbai. With 11 screens, it savours almost all the technologies that people would want to watch a film on. It has a ScreenX which has the film playing on the side panels as well, an IMAX screen, MX 4D which has got film playing in 4D with additional features; an INSIGNIA which is a luxury lounger, a KIDDLES which has just the auditorium to host
3-6 AUGUST CINEEUROPE BARCELONA, SPAIN www.cineeurope.net
8-9 SEPTEMBER BIG CINE EXPO CHENNAI, INDIA www.bigcineexpo.com Sreedhar Pillai Film Columnist at ‘The Hindu’ & Industry Analyst
kids functions, movies and birthday parties for kids and many more on the list. Delivering more than 9 formats, I perhaps think that it's the only one in the world so far. But the idea os developing these things is not to just put it there at a very high cost but also to build the appetite. Prashant on the same note says, "I would take an example of the recent 'Avengers: Endgame' release. A completely tech driven film and when you watch it on 3D or an LED screen, the experience is completely different. We engineered a different kind of sound for the movie completely for which we were working with the Hollywood studios quite closely on this particular aspect. Infact in Bangalore, where we had a 14 mtr LED screen, the audience had paid as much as INR 1000 per ticket for the recliners just for this movie! So I have to admit that technology definitely differentiates and wherever people noticed that there was a certain kind of a technology, they would certainly go and watch it in specifically just to live that particular kind of experience and that surely does make a difference.
23-25 SEPTEMBER KINO EXPO ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA www.kinoexpo.ru
29 SEPTEMBER - 2 OCTOBER EXPOCINE SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL www.expocine.com.br
19-22 OCTOBER SHOWEAST FLORIDA, USA www.showeast.com
20-23 OCTOBER AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL MOVIE CONVENTION GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA www.movieconvention.com.au
27-29 OCTOBER MENA CINEMA FORUM DUBAI, UAE www.menacinema.com
NOVEMBER EMERGING CINEMA MARKETS ISTANBUL, TURKEY www.dcs.events
7-10 DECEMBER CINEASIA BANGKOK, THAILAND www.cineasia.com
2021 MARCH/APRIL CINEMACON LAS VEGAS, USA www.cinemacon.com
MAY CHINA THEATER & CINEMA GUANGZHOU, CHINA www.gtcff.com
F U T U R E
R E L E A S E S
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Trolls World Tour Production Saban Films
Production Universal Pictures
Director Lorcan Finnegan
Director Walt Dohrn
Starring Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg
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Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai
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TheatreWorld is a guide to the cinema exhibition industry and technical design of a movie theatre published by Network208. TheatreWorld is t...
Published on Apr 3, 2020
TheatreWorld is a guide to the cinema exhibition industry and technical design of a movie theatre published by Network208. TheatreWorld is t...