Palace to introduce ticket kiosks

BY SHAMILLE SCOTT Business reporter

Saturday, August 17, 2013

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PALACE Amusement is working towards setting up kiosks that will allow moviegoers to buy tickets before going to the theatre.

What's more, the entertainment company is considering adding a waiter service to improve confectionery sales.

While Palace's management said that self-serve booths would be placed at its four cinemas, they did not disclose where the off-site points of sale would be situated, except that they would be in central locations.

"What is exciting about what we are doing is that we are making it (the cinema) better and more convenient for moviegoers," said Douglas Graham, a director at Palace Amusement.

The company has been enjoying improved earnings as blockbusters, such as Fast and Furious 6 and Man of Steel, hit the screens in the months leading up to the summer.

Palace Amusement posted $27 million in net profit for the three months ended June 2013, representing a 193 per cent increase over the same period last year.

Sales grew by 14 per cent during the quarter under review, climbing from $243 million during the comparative quarter last year, to $278 million.

Carib's five screens made 12 per cent more revenue during the three months to June 30, making $128 million in sales, up from $115 million during the comparative period. Palace Cineplex made 17 per cent more, increasing from $38 million to $45 million.

Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay recorded $58 million in revenue, or 18 per cent more than the $49 million it generated during the same period last year. Odeon in Mandeville improved it sales by 16 per cent, from $14 million to $16 million.

The company saw box office receipts and film rental contribute a higher proportion of revenue during the review quarter than the same period last year, while confectionery sales declined as a percentage of sales.

But all revenue streams increased in dollar terms, excepting screen advertising, which saw revenue fall from $7 million to $6 million.

Movie ticket sales for the second quarter amounted to $170 million, an improvement of 17 per cent over the $145 million in the comparative quarter last year.

Confectionery sales grew by 10 per cent from $59 million last year to $64 million, while film renta made $122 million during the three months to June 30, up from $105 million.

Netflix have for some time been taking a bite out of Palace's revenue, as movie lovers stream movies over the Internet on their phones and computers, but Graham is not daunted by that.

"A computer doesn't begin to compete with our service," he said. "And there are still enough who like movies but won't use their computers or phones."

Once there is good customer service, people will go to the movies, he reasoned.




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