There is no denying the COVID-19 pandemic rattled the film industry, from film production to movie theater attendance. Now, with movies being released in pre-pandemic fashion, audiences are returning to theaters, excited to see their favorite stars on the big screen once again.
Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres, an American movie theater group and a strongly community-oriented business, has adopted and installed advanced technological tools, including the Broadsign platform, to not only simplify its workflows, but making life easier for the guest as well. In turn, the theaters have increased 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.
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Founded in 1999, the first Megaplex theater was built to preserve a high school building that was a landmark in Sandy, UT. Today, they now have 15 locations with a network of approximately 800 digital signage screens. In 2022, the theaters welcomed 5.1 million moviegoers to their venues.
The 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.
Improving Operational Efficiency with Broadsign
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.
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Megaplex Theatres also uses Broadsign to ensure that the right information is shown on the 800 screens across 15 movie theater 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.
A More Dynamic Customer Experience with Digital Signage
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.
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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.
The Future for Megaplex Theatres
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 innovative facilities so they can continue to innovate and stretch the boundaries of what can be done in a movie theater.