The President and CEO, of Cinema Equipment Supplies (CE+S), Guillermo Younger, Jr., was interviewed by boxoffice pro’s author, Daniel Loria, on the evolution of the cinematic exhibition industry. This decade in exhibition proved digital conversions simply did not stop at the projection booth. With digital devices transforming our everyday lives, Miami-based Cinema Equipment & Supplies (CE+S) turned to the Internet of Things (IoT) to visualize how the company transforms exhibitor operations. Boxofficepro spoke candidly, with Guillermo Younger Jr., to discuss how digital innovation transforms day-to-day operations of movie theaters around the world.
Question: Where would you say we are as an industry in terms of unlocking potential benefits of the internet?
It’s not just the cinematic industry that has witnessed the benefits of the internet. It’s traversed other business sectors, as well. These are still early stages of internet and cinema exhibition. We went from analogue to digital projection – then, there was the promise of how digital would improve exhibition and make distribution easier for exhibitors. Conceptually, that fact was true, particularly in relationship to show scheduling and the ability to automate projection. However, it’s become problematic or complicated because there are different vendors/products that managers must understand. There hasn’t been an organized way to consolidate in one specific platform; that’s where the internet can prove useful and/or provide value in having multiple digital devices connected. We’re starting to see the-tip-of-the-iceberg for benefits to unfold within the cinematic industry. From an exhibition standpoint, there are multiple benefits having devices connected to the internet.
Question: How can consumers and/or exhibitors see the influence? What role does Cinema Equipment & Supply play in this conversation?
From a consumer perspective and/or a moviegoer, it really gets exciting when exhibitors connect their loyalty data with user’s preferences. They come-up with tailored solutions, specifically, designed for patrons – based upon preferred interests or from previous purchases at the concession stand.
CE+S created a new service model, Cielo, for the industry and the exhibitor. Utilizing Cielo and the Internet of Things (IoT) enables exhibitors to maximize their Return on Investment (ROI) in operational assets. CE+S’s platform, Cielo, forecasts and reports when lamps expire based on the usage of the equipment. Now, those in charge of purchasing, at the theater, have valuable information, at their disposal and can pro-actively purchase items. That’s just one example of how CE+S‘s Cielo, drives savings on the operations side.
We’re witnessing the growth of an amenities-arms-race among circuits, with movie theaters undergoing transformations, in order to gain an advantage in attracting consumers. How does the Internet of Things (IoT) play into this trend?
It’s resonated with the exhibitors’ needs; specifically, with the emergence of luxury cinemas. Exhibitors are more focused on competency in hospitality. They’re hiring restaurant managers, people within the hospitality industry – in order to provide unique service offerings to moviegoers. It’s challenging to find adept technical and competent managers in the area/fields within the hospitality industry; therefore, Cielo allows managers to focus on new offerings in their cinemas. That’s something that’s resonated, globally, across all exhibition platforms.
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