Enhancing the Experience: New innovations make the lobby a vibrant gathering place


FJI surveys the latest initiatives from top manufactures (and one leading circuit) focused on making the theatre lobby an essential location for a great night out.


Premiering at CinemaCon 2014, the “Barco Lobby Experience” was introduced to drive cinema innovation through a collection of captivating visualization technologies that bring the box office, concessions and lobby area to life while monetizing this often overlooked area of the theatre footprint.

The Lobby Experience is unique in its ability to engage, entertain, inform and, most importantly, motivate customers to purchase advance tickets or order movie merchandise. Mobile phones are a key element in the Lobby Experience equation, enabling real-time interaction between customers and the displays to drive engagement and purchases, as well as extend branding opportunities through social media.

Barco’s interactive Lobby Experience offers scalable solutions ranging from a simple digital concession board, to interactive movie posters with POS capabilities, to animated box-office signage, to a networked array of synchronized video walls featuring the latest movie trailers, called “Lobby Domination.” Dynamic lighting solutions and high-impact audio can be added to amplify this visceral, enveloping experience.

One important revenue opportunity of the Barco Lobby Experience is to empower unique and compelling advertising opportunities. The solution not only enables exhibitors to broadcast theatre promotions, but also studio content and third-party advertising of food and beverage, consumer products and for other retailers.

Major dealer and exhibitor partners such as Bardan Cinema and Showbiz Cinemas are implementing the “Barco Lobby Experience” into locations covering the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, with more exhibitors planned to come onboard in the coming year. 

To learn more about Barco Lobby Experience, contact Shawn Medlin at Shawn.medlin@barco.com.


Christie® Experiential Networks® (CEN) debuted their latest digital signage installation in the lobby of Michigan-based Emagine Entertainment’s recently opened Emagine Palladium theatre in Birmingham, Michigan.

Part of CEN’s nationwide rollout that is on track for 200 theatre lobbies in North America this year, the technology includes three “digital posters,” including interactive Christie FHD651-series 65” LCD panels; a “hero wall” composed of eight 55” screens in a herringbone pattern; and a video strip composed of eight 40” LCD screens. Other theatres scheduled for CEN installations include Missouri's Wehrenberg Theatres, Frank Theatres, Florida's EPIC Theatres and Spotlight Theatres in Georgia.

“Just as CEN has done with Emagine Palladium, we create a new and exciting digital advertising network within the theatre lobbies of our exhibitor partners as well as expanding upon existing systems to generate incremental revenue,” stated Kevin Romano, Christie’s senior director, Global Media Networks. “We manage all aspects of the network including sales, content creation, interactive programming, deployment, nationwide monitoring, and maintenance.”

Christie partnered earlier this year with leading cinema-advertising company Screenvision to coordinate the Screenvision broadcast delivery system with Christie Experiential Networks.

“Christie brings to Screenvision the ability to expand our overall advertising solution, by arming us with the means to deliver a whole new experience for advertisers to connect with moviegoers in the lobby, with more exciting, experiential ‘wow factor’ capabilities, as soon as guests step into our exhibition partners’ venues,” said Darryl Schaffer, Screenvision’s executive VP, operations and exhibitor relations.

“Consumers can respond to and interact with brands, exhibitor and studio promotions in the theatre lobbies prior to and after experiencing the immersive, pre-show programming in the theatre auditorium,” noted Christie’s Romano. (christiedigital.com)


Earlier this year, Cineplex Entertainment introduced a new digital solution that helps advertisers connect with consumers in a new and exciting way. The company has constructed Interactive Media Zones (IMZ) in the lobbies of its theatres across Canada, offering sophisticated digital engagement opportunities with moviegoers through a wide range of technological abilities. The result? A powerful marketing tool.

The zones feature fully customizable templates on massive 84-inch touch-screens. Activations can leverage touch, gesture, image capture, onscreen content manipulation technologies, social-media connectivity and participant data capture, creating custom-designed experiences to meet the needs of each client.

Since their introduction, IMZ units have become popular with moviegoers and advertisers alike–with Cineplex working with clients in industries such as automotive, technology, entertainment and professional sports. An activation with the the Toronto Blue Jays provided guests with a first-hand baseball experience and encouraged social sharing to help drive ticket sales. Fans could feel part of the team by building their own player card, or by taking a virtual swing at R.A. Dickey’s famous knuckleball.

Interactive Media Zones are located at 45 Cineplex theatres across Canada. Software is created by Cineplex Digital Solutions and advertising space is sold by Cineplex Media. (cineplex.com)


NEC Display Solutions offers moviegoers the highest-quality cinema experience and the ultimate in lobby signage, from menu boards to video walls—and everything in between. NEC specializes in a full range of desktop and large-screen LCD displays as well as multimedia and digital-cinema projector solutions for just about any display need imaginable. (necdisplay.com)


Omniterm’s integrated digital signage solution was developed within their Integra Theatre Management Software framework to allow theatres to control all of their digital signage applications from one central location. The Integra software automatically creates both the “Coming Soon” and “Now Playing” playlists based on the film schedule without any additional involvement from your personnel. With this technology you can increase your sales, reduce costs, generate additional revenue, and improve your customers' experience. (omniterm.com)