Kinepolis Bruges at the forefront of technology
Visits to cinemas
equipped for digital projection have been one of the basic components
of the course “DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European
Cinemas” since the first edition in 2004.
Opened on 7 July 2006, the Bruges Kinepolis,
situated not far from the town centre, offers eight theatres for a total
of 1,605 seats. Three screens are already equipped with digital projectors,
made by Barco, with Dolby servers. As its Manager, Diether Thielemans,
explained, this complex was designed to meet the demands of the contemporary
spectator who looks for ideal conditions for watching the projection of
a film, but also a place to enjoy a communal experience and to be entertained.
In this perspective it becomes important for the cinema to have spaces
where magazines and dvds or the posters of favourite films can be bought,
or simply spaces to relax in whilst reading a good book or munching popcorn
on a comfortable sofa. To satisfy these demands, the Bruges site offers
the Kinepolis shop together with the CréaCafé, where it
is also possible to buy salads, pizzas and pasta dishes, as well as an
area reserved for play stations, where clients can enjoy playing with
a game pad, whilst waiting for the beginning of a film. Kinepolis also
reserves a digital screen for these games, which gives fans of videogames
the opportunity to compete against one another with the latest models
provided by PS3. The videogame business has, in fact, experienced strong
growth over the last few years: recent surveys show that the play station
has proved to be the favourite form of entertainment with young people.
The technological innovations of these cinemas do not stop here, though.
Ticket purchasing and the choice of seats, for example, can be carried
out either from home, using a system of online payment, or by making use
of the special self-service columns placed in the foyer of the cinema.
This system allows the spectator to avoid long lines at the box office
and the exhibitor to save on staff costs. In addition, a system based
on sensors fitted below the seats allows the box office staff to check
on special monitors to see if the seats sold and the seats occupied actually
coincide. When showing participants at the DGT course how her product
operates, Lzhou Pei-Zhi, Director General of Quick Sensor
NV (the company that supplies the mechanism), stressed both the money
saved and the benefits for the spectator who feels freer of controls.