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TOPIC: Internet Ticketing Questions

Internet Ticketing Questions 11 May 2001 12:33 #1652

  • GREGBORR
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As theatre owners, what do you feel is an acceptable fee to pay per ticket for internet ticketing, assuming you will have to pay this fee as settlement to the film companies.

We are currently considering charging $250.00 per year per location, and .15 cents per ticket sold via the internet. Would you be willing to pay this to have real time internet ticketing, hosted by your POS vendor?

Theatres participating would also be submitting their show schedule and having them hosted for free on our website, as well as receiving film information into the POS system via the internet, eliminating typing of new films, run times, etc.

Anyone using movietickets.com ? Interested to hear about any good or bad experiences with internet ticketing.

Thank you in advance for any and all feedback.

Greg Borr
Ready Theatre Systems
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Re: Internet Ticketing Questions 11 May 2001 16:49 #1653

  • Large
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Things I buy on the Internet:

Books, CDs, DVDs, Airline Tickets, Hotel reservations, Car Rentals, Software, Electronic Toys.

Things I don't buy on the Internet:

Books on the spur of the moment, Dinner, Groceries, Kitty Litter, Pants, Shoes, Doctors, Dentists, Sex and Movie Tickets.

What are the differences between these two lists? The second list requires that you be there at the time of purchase. I need my body there to try on the Pants and Shoes. I certainly enjoy eating dinner in person and since you have to be there to see the film, you may as well buy your ticket then as well. I show up early for films so I never have a problem getting in.

Buying movie tickets on the Internet doesn't save you any time. You still have to stop off at the box office and pick up the tickets. Also there is rarely any problem getting a seat in a movie theatre. If you are going to see a play or fly in an airplane, then it may make sense to make your reservation early, even on the Internet.

Some people see the Internet as a panacea for all things. But I can guarantee you that I can find the film listings in my newspaper much faster than I can off of the Internet.

My next problem with Internet Ticketing is the fee structure. As a small business owner, there are already too many hands in my pocket. The film studios get a cut of the action, our landlord gets a cut of the action and even the Government is getting a cut of the action. So we don't accept credit cards because they slow down the transaction time and the credit card companies want a piece of the action. We don't have a POS system the requires a transaction fee either. There is not enough money to go around. 99% of the people will pay with cash only so why would I bend over backwards for the other .5%? They will pay with cash too.

So, if there is an Internet company that wants to have your theatre selling tickets on their system, ask them how much per ticket they will pay you for the privilege of letting them be involved in the exhibition industry.
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Re: Internet Ticketing Questions 11 May 2001 19:35 #1654

  • Mike
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In our theatre there's rarely a problem unless with the hottest films and that only at the first shows. But in any city advance sales are a must. You can go as early as you want and any good film will be sold out hours in advance through internet and phone sales. In that situation it's no longer a choice to opt out. Try and go and see a good movie in NYC ala impromptu and se the kind of points you get. To me it's clear the internet ticketing is a great tool for people and theatres: if they need the tool. It would be interesting to me to come in at 5:30 to see that the show was already sold out. Cost wise I can't say. What would it be worth? 250.00 plus .15 a tik does not sound unreasonable to me.

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: Internet Ticketing Questions 14 May 2001 10:12 #1655

  • GREGBORR
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Mike and Ian,
Thank you for your replies.

Internet Ticketing, currently I agree with Ian, I have been very skeptical.

We have struggled for almost a year in coming up with a fee structure that is affordable, a website and transaction that is secure yet can be maintained in house, a dual server that we could purchase without venture cap, and enough customers to justify the need to implement it.

So far the trend I see with our customer base is that theatres located in larger cities or suburbs, theatres in college towns, and tech-savvy theatre owners regardless of location are demanding Internet ticketing.

As far as too many hands in the theatre owner's pocket, being affiliated closely with an independent four-location chain, we understand completely. One solution is using our movie card program (Mag Card Gift Certificate, works like a debit card) and not allowing credit card purchases, thus saving the fees and allowing the theatre to be the bank. We have also been involved with several theatre owners requesting that the film studios allow up to a 25 cent per ticket fee be charged for ITicketing and not claimed as rental (to little avail so far, but they are listening)

I believe Internet ticketing will become necessary over the next 3 to 5 years, how the industry handles it is yet to be determined. It could be viewed as a necessary evil and another expense, or expanded as an important marketing tool and competitive advantage.

I believe the future of the internet in exhibition and for software vendors in the POS business lies in our ability to improve the operating efficiencies of the theatre.

My future vision is a user friendly, banner free, informative website. Evolving to allow patrons to purchase and print a bar-coded ticket at home, reserving the seat of their choice, and purchasing concessions as well. Upon arrival to the theatre they will scan their ticket at the concession pickup counter, receive their concessions and proceed to the auditorium, where they will again scan their ticket at the optical turnstile, enter and enjoy the show.

Greg Borr
Ready Theatre Systems


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Re: Internet Ticketing Questions 15 May 2001 20:45 #1656

  • Rialto
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Greg,

One suggestion. I think for your internet ticketing to work you need to find away that the patron, who is already used to going to my theatre's website, can just click a purchase tickets button that will either get them to the purchasing site and take them back from whence they came when the transaction is done or put the purchasing function on each theatre's web site.

But like large said, I don't buy tickets to the movies on the internet and I've only every felt the need to use moviefone once in my life and that was during the initial weeks of Titanic.
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Re: Internet Ticketing Questions 16 May 2001 09:20 #1657

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Rialto,
Thanks for the suggestion, currently we redirect from the theatres home page to their default page, once we complete all the functionality we are going to look into changing color schemes to fit each customers websites. Once we have the initial website graphics completed I'll post the link here.

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