The movie-theater industry faces tough sledding. Generations ago, Americans depended on their local movie theaters not only for entertainment, but for newsreels that provided updates from wartime battlefields, encouraging human-interest stories from the home front, and game highlights that made star athletes cultural icons (where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?).
Numerous technological innovations have challenged movie theaters’ primacy as an entertainment venue: TV, video games, VCRs, personal computers, DVDs, social media, Netflix, etc. And, through all these developments, theaters remain a popular passport to Hollywood movie magic.
Why do movie theaters retain this venerated status? Because people are social animals who value experiences. As much as they enjoy decadently chomping on outsized portions of buttered popcorn and candy, moviegoers equally relish the attractive signage, vivid colors and bright lights that affirm theaters’ perception as a beacon of adventure.
For several years, Cima Network has designed, fabricated and installed channel letters, wayfinding, display surrounds, accent lighting and other visual-branding facets for theater spaces. And, more recently, our company has begun further enhancing moviehouses with digital displays that engage with informative and entertaining content.
For independent theaters, there’s a greater sense of urgency to entice the public. Without the inherent name recognition that chain theaters enjoy, a higher level of resourcefulness is required to develop brand awareness.
For Envision Cinemas’ grand opening in Blue Ash, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb, in early 2016, Cima Network built an array of exterior and interior channel letters and environmental graphics. Envision’s founder, Robbie Sosna, was formerly an executive with New Line Cinemas, and understood the importance of making his theater a visually compelling showplace.
Subsequently, he decided to have a digital display installed as part of a monument sign to inform the public about Envision’s activities and promotions. In addition to showing first-run movies with gourmet food, premium drinks and luxe amenities, Envision also hosts trivia nights, bingo contests and other crowd-generating attractions.
Brandon Wentworth, Cima Network’s digital-signage division manager, speced a Watchfire XVS 5 ft. 5 in. x 9 ft. 3-in. display with 12mm pixel pitch and 4G cellular-broadband capabilities that allow remote monitoring and updating. Ben Barr, Watchfire’s sales director for the Eastern region, noted that the display could produce 1.2 quintillion colors, which delivers vivid, lifelike images. The sign is capable of 10,000-nit brightness during the day, and automatically dims to 700 nits during nighttime hours. Also, Ignite OP, the display’s turnkey operating platform, provides a wide font selection and access to more than 1,000 graphics and animations.
Brandon added, “Digital signage brings our clients’ ability to engage, inform, direct and connect with their customers to a whole new level. Your creativity is your only limit to the engaging content digital signage can provide.”