While the future of the film industry, specifically movie theatres, looked rather uncertain during COVID-19, we are steadily seeing an uptick in audiences returning to theatres with attendance rates almost mirroring pre-pandemic levels. As pandemic restrictions were slowly removed, people were excited to go out and re-discover small pleasures like going to the movies.
Aside from the common desire to return to pre-pandemic life, going to the movies has always held a special place in people’s hearts. With most of us having gone to the same theatre since we were kids, a movie theatre is a library of memories for the community—it holds some of our most precious moments. For American theatre giant, Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres, a strongly community-oriented business, being a place for people to continue to create memorable experiences is what fuels them.
By adopting advanced technological tools, including the Broadsign platform, they were able to simplify their workflows and increase digital concession sales by integrating their back-end sales system, Vista, through API. Furthermore, Megaplex gained dynamic capabilities that previously weren’t available, allowing them to innovate and further elevate the movie-going experience in their theatres.
Movie theatres centered around local communities
Founded in 1999, Megaplex’s mission has always been to enrich lives by giving back to the community. In fact, the first Megaplex theatre was built to preserve a high school building that was a landmark in Sandy, Utah. Today, they now have 15 locations with a network of approximately 800 digital signage screens. In 2022, they welcomed 5.1 million moviegoers to their venues.
Their digital screens feature a wide variety of movie-related content, including movie posters, MyMegaRewards membership content, and concession promotions. They also offer paid advertising partnerships to local businesses that want to leverage their network and audience reach. Aside from leveraging Broadsign for its ad-serving capability, one unique way Megaplex is utilizing Broadsign is by integrating the platform with its back-end sales system to increase its operational efficiency and concession sales through digital channels.
How improving their operational efficiency with Broadsign helped increase digital concession sales
Before the pandemic, all concession sales at Megaplex Theatres were made on-site. Customers would come in early to purchase their snacks and drinks before heading to the auditorium. However, with everyone having the same idea of buying items before their movie, it often led to long lines at the concession stands, leaving customers worried about missing the start of their movie. To eliminate that stress, Megaplex decided to sell their concession items through digital channels, including web, mobile, and digital kiosks on-site.
By integrating with the Broadsign Platform, they were able to display the real-time status of orders on concession stand screens and notify customers when orders were ready for pick up. By the end of 2022, Megaplex Theatres’ concession sales through digital channels represented $6.1 million in revenue, with the success of this initiative primarily attributed to how smooth the pickup process was for customers.
Megaplex Theatres also uses Broadsign to ensure that the right information is shown on the 800 screens across 15 movie theatre locations. This is particularly useful in updating concession menu boards. Prior to adopting Broadsign, if a change needed to be made to a product, a graphic designer would have to manually modify 50 variations of their menu boards, taking around a week to complete. Now, they input the product or price information in their back-end sales system the night before and by the next morning, the new information is reflected on their menu boards.
Making the customer experience at the concession stands more dynamic
For customers that forgot to place their concession order ahead of time, Megaplex Theatres found a way to entertain customers waiting in line for concessions. Leveraging Broadsign’s dynamic capabilities, Megaplex experimented with disruptive overlays on concession menu boards, allowing them to have some of our favorite movie characters pop-up on screens to promote movies they’re featured in.
Collaborating with the movie studios, Megaplex Theatres would receive masked out videos of the characters which they would then upload onto Broadsign for them to run on the menu board screens at the concession stand. To promote Disney’s “Lightyear” movie in 2022, an animated Buzz Lightyear sliced through the venire of their digital menu board, revealing characters from the film and title treatment. This allowed Megaplex to provide Disney with a fun, dynamic brand moment, while simultaneously promoting Lightyear-branded concession items on the menu.
During the promotion of Dreamwork’s “The Bad Guys”, Megaplex Theatres had the main characters drop down from the top of the digital menu board and steal the popcorn, highlighting a small movie promotion to appear on screen afterwards. While these may seem like small touches, it provides customers with a more personalized experience and gives advertisers new creative opportunities when they advertise with Megaplex.
What’s on the horizon for Megaplex Theatres
Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatre’s Vice President of Digital Strategy, Ryan Miner, says “While the pandemic has definitely challenged theatre operators, we expect to see continued growth for our business and ultimately an improved, more convenient experience for our guests.” As Megaplex continues to experiment with disruptive overlays, their network will become increasingly more valuable to advertisers that are looking to reach an audience that are in a mindset to spend. With manual operations now being automated with the Broadsign Platform, Megaplex can devote its time to building new state-of-the-art facilities so they can continue to innovate and stretch the boundaries of what can be done in a movie theatre.
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