Visit to a digital theatre: Kinepolis Bruges

Kinepolis Bruges, the latest Kinepolis Group’s cinema complex, opened to the public on Friday, 7 July 2006.
The cinema site in Bruges has eight screens, 1,605 seats, 600 parking places and 100 bicycle slots. It is located in the vicinity of major approach roads. It is Kinepolis Group’s tenth complex in Belgium and the 21st in Europe. In addition to Belgium, Kinepolis also operates in France, Spain, Poland and Switzerland (click here to see the list of all Kinepolis multiplexes).

Kinepolis Group has invested 10 million euro in the Kinepolis Bruges, that shares with the other Group’s cinemas the main characteristics: ease of access, multi-functionality, a wide range of films, and the quality of image and sound (High Definition Digital Cinema, THX).
Thanks to a number of pioneering innovations, however, with the creation of this site Kinepolis Group has taken another step forward compared with Kinepolis Nancy, the complex that the group opened about one year before. The most striking features are the open foyer, the seat booking facilities, the ticket pricing and monitoring system and the extensive digitalisation of film, information and communication channels.

Extensive digitalisation of film, information and communication channels
Kinepolis Bruges has a pronounced digital look created not only by the presence of digital 2K projectors and films (two Barco DP100 projectors), but also thanks to the numerous digital signposting, advertising, scheduling and information screens. The moving picture is omnipresent, ensuring more efficient communication management and more environmentally friendly surroundings.
Thanks to the widespread digitalisation of its cinemas, Kinepolis is developing further ‘alternative content’ in conjunction with Barco and Technicolor. In addition to digital full-length films, cinema-goers can also experience more and more alternative content in digital format, such as prestigious events, television series, live concerts and sports competitions – and, since November 2006, XL Gaming, too.

XL Gaming
Kinepolis Bruges has launched on the 18 November the chance to game on the big screen. The pilot project is known as XL Gaming. The giant screen and the optimal technical facilities give gaming enthusiasts the feeling that they really are in the game, making it all the more exciting to play.
Nico Vernieuwe Vice President Sales & Marketing, of Barco’s Media and Entertainment division stated, “This is a clear example of the additional opportunities for cinemas across the world for extra revenue generating ventures and broadening horizons and using the full benefits of the technology.” He continued “Moreover, not only can the cinema benefit from the increased revenue from gaming but the cinema visitors get a whole new experience, gaming is after all one of the fastest growing leisure activities at the moment”.

The open foyer
Cinema-goers arriving and leaving meet one another in a central, open foyer. Visitors do not necessarily have to have a ticket to be able to use the facilities in the foyer, which include a film corner, a gaming corner, the Kinepolis shop and the CréaCafé. The Kinepolis shop stocks a wide range of drinks, snacks and retail goods, ranging from fruit salad, pizzas and popcorn to T-shirts, film posters and books.

Booking seats
At Kinepolis Bruges cinema-goers can book their tickets and seats in advance at the automatic box offices or from their home via the Kinepolis website. The ticketing software automatically proposes the most central seat available. Film lovers can accept or reject this proposal via the website and at the automatic box offices. The seat layout and available places can be consulted on digital screens in the entrance hall and in the foyer.

Ticket monitoring and pricing
The usual ticket checks have been abolished. The only areas that are monitored are the auditoria. Cinema-goers must have a ticket of admission or – if the booking was made via the Internet – an A4 print-out indicating the auditorium, showing, film and seat number, before they can enter the auditorium itself. Each seat has a built-in sensor so that each place taken is automatically recorded. The monitoring system compares the number of tickets sold with the number of people present in the auditorium. As a result, the ticket checking process is conclusive, efficient and customer friendly.
What is more, Kinepolis encourages cinema-goers to buy tickets electronically. A ticket purchased via the website is cheaper than one obtained at the box offices in the complex. As for tickets that are bought in the complex itself, those issued by the automatic (unmanned) box offices are sold at more advantageous rates than those acquired at the manned box offices.