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Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

12 September 2018 | Blog Posts

Photo of an XSCAPE arcade location at a Cineplex theater

Premium Amusement Gaming and Increased Profit

Photo of John Kolliniatis, Vice President and General Manager of Player One Amusement GroupThere’s been a steady shift with traditional theatrical exhibition companies providing moviegoers with more than the ability to watch a film on the big screen. It’s moving beyond thinking about content alone and providing a more robust entertainment offering with the likes of enhanced food and beverage, comfortable recliner seating, and ancillary attractions.

This means theaters will need to compete on the guest experience front. Guest experience is what drives people back and adds to the total entertainment experience. And while a lot of premium experiences can require a complete overhaul of theater operations, amusement games are a complementary experience that fit right into the entertainment offering.

Benefits of a Premium Gaming Environment in Theaters

Premium gaming environments can add additional revenue from under-utilized space (like a lobby area or auditorium), encourage longer guest stay, repeat visits, and bring in an expanded demographic – especially when coupled with party and group event offerings. It’s a great way to take advantage of the traffic and introduce a new stream of revenue or enhance an existing revenue stream.

When we converted our first traditional theater game room into an integrated FEC offering with redemption games and merchandise, we saw our average spend per guest increase significantly. Not only that, but it reversed the declining revenue trend we were seeing with our game sites. This goes to show that gaming is not dead or declining, it’s simply shifting. Guests want premium experiences. Today, our premium amusement game sites make up the lion’s share of our total theater gaming revenues despite making up less than 20% of sites with games.

Photo of guests playing games in an XSCAPE arcade location in a Cineplex theaterThings to Consider

Providing a premium gaming experience is about more than just offering a few games along the wall of the theater lobby. To make a meaningful impact on your bottom line, you’ll need to think strategically about the following variables:

  • Game Room Capacity, Visibility and Theming

  • Optimized Game Mix

  • Debit Card System (Promotional Capability)

  • Quality and Quantity of Prizing

  • Operating Uptime and Organizational Capacity

Photo assorted games in an XSCAPE arcade location in a Cineplex theaterPlanning for the optimal game and equipment mix can have a measurable impact on visit frequency, length of play, as well as the perceived value of play. Redemption games and merchandisers play an important role in this mix since merchandise and prizes drive game play.

Photo a redemption counter in an XSCAPE arcade location in a Cineplex theaterGiven the very social nature of the movie-going experience, amusement games are a natural extension and fit. While it may seem easier to quickly implement a few games, spending the time to strategize and provide an exceptional entertainment experience for your guests will result in a seamless integration with your current operations and greater gains in guest satisfaction, and revenues.


John Kolliniatis is a 20-year industry veteran and is P1AG’s, Vice President overseeing all US operations. Kolliniatis started his career in the amusements/coin-op industry with Playdium Entertainment and has extensive experience in leading efforts on both the distribution and operations side of the business. He’s passionate about helping customers deliver exceptional experiences in this complex and ever changing business and says one of his favorite things about the industry is the drive and entrepreneurial nature of the people within it.

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