Welcome to the cinema of the future, where you have a choice of aeroplane style seating, waiters bringing you drinks at the press of a button, mobile phone interactivity and maybe even ‘smell-o-vision’ technology.
Hoyts CEO, Damian Keogh, has opened up about plans to change a regular trip to the cinema into a completely different experience for moviegoers.
Customers will have the choice of different seating depending on how much they wish to pay, from premium to economy class and levels in between.
“I would say that the trends on seating will be more like an airline,” said Mr Keogh. “There’ll be your standard kind of seating and then there’ll be your business class seating which is like our Lux [cinema]. But there’s also another potential hybrid version which, by comparison, will be like a premium economy seat.”
Mobile phones are usually a no-no in cinemas, but that may change as well.
“What we are looking at with our Val Morgan (cinema advertising) business is the potential for mobile involvement with the big screen before the feature film commences,” said Mr Keogh. “The kinds of things that we can do there are potentially ad-funded trivia games, competitions, extended trailers and that kind of thing. We’re looking at the technology and we’re still evaluating that but we’ll probably launch something early next year.”
There may even be plans to release ‘smell-o-vision’ technology, with Nescafe last year running advertisements which released coffee aroma sprays from cinema seats. The prospect of olfactory immersion may be exciting, however, Mr Keogh believes this technology is still a work in progress.
“I don’t know [if] that’s going to be a mainstream thing,” he said laughing.
While its plans for transforming the cinema experience are still in their infancy, Hoyts is introducing its new ‘Lux’ cinemas prior to Christmas this year.
“What we’ve done with Lux is created a really funky kind of bar area where people can socialise before the movie, have a couple of drinks and something to eat and then go into a luxury cinema with reclining seats,” said Keogh. “You’ll have call buttons in your seat so that you can call a waiter if you want to order a drink during the movie or some food and after the movie, once again you can come out into an environment where you can hang out in a funky bar with some good music playing and a bunch of people around and you can stay and have a chat about the movie.”
Needless to say, cinephiles will have to pay more for this kind of experience, as they will for all movie tickets in the future. However, Hoyts’ new Lux cinemas, as well as its exciting plans for future movie theatre improvements, may make going to the movies worth the cost of the ticket once again.
Do you like going to the movies? Do the changes Hoyts plans to make to its cinemas excite you? Would you be happy paying more for a movie ticket if the cinematic experience was enhanced?
Read more about Hoyts’ plans to transform the cinema experience.