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Fandango and ArcLight Cinemas to make movie theaters more mobile-friendly

Digital movie hub Fandango is partnering with ArcLight Cinemas to bring its mobile ticketing platform to southern California, Chicago and Washington.

Fandango’s dominance of the ticketing business, with sales up 50 percent year-over-year, point to the importance of mobile and digital integration for the modern movie theater.

“A solid mobile strategy for a movie theater is incredibly important,” said Kevin Shepela, senior vice president and head of commerce for Fandango. “It’s an absolute necessity to stay alive.

“Fandango helps consumers make their moviegoing decisions with the most comprehensive movie info available, Rotten Tomatoes ratings, and the knowledge that you’ve got the best seat in the house with reserved seating.”

Mobile cinema
To celebrate the partnership, Fandango and ArcLight Cinemas will be hosting a variety of events and screenings at ArcLight theaters, including movie-themed parties and exclusive receptions.

Fandango has also partnered with other theater chains around the country, including ArcLight Cinema’s sister franchise, Pacific Theatres. Adding ArcLight Cinemas to its roster of partnership continues Fandango’s expansion the coverage of Fandango’s mobile app, which has been downloaded more than 108 million times.

That coverage is important to the future of bricks-and-mortar movie theaters, especially as home streaming services dominate the movie watching landscape.

“Both time spent and e-commerce has shifted dramatically from Web to mobile over the past couple of years and if a movie theatre doesn’t at least have some form of mobile presence, they risk not being able to engage with their customers,” Mr. Shepela said.

“Access to mobile ticketing allows moviegoers to solidify their moviegoing plans with no hassle, competition, or wait.”

Theaters have to offer more than just the film itself if they want to entice viewers away from Netflix and HBO and back in to the cinema. An enhanced mobile experience, whether that’s an easier, seamless ticketing experience such as the one offered by Fandango or other features such as loyalty programs, is vital to the continued success of movie theaters.

A night at the movies
With 70 percent of their tickets now being sold through mobile devices, Fandango has capitalized on mobile as the perfect medium to interact with moviegoers.

“Purchasing on Fandango allows the consumer to select, buy and proceed right to the ticket-taker and into the theater and our new mobile ticket helps fans avoid standing in lines or printing tickets,” Mr. Shepela said.

Taking out some of the downsides of the traditional moviegoing experience is just one way Fandango has fought to keep theaters relevant.

Fandango has put a heavy emphasis on its loyalty rewards program in recent months by letting users scan their proofs of purchase for rewards points (see story).

The company also rolled out unduplicatable e-tickets that users can show when entering the movie theater, removing the hassle of acquiring and holding on to a print ticket, while saving paper as well (see story).

“Moviegoers using Fandango’s ticketing online and mobile platforms are better prepared for a rewarding moviegoing experience,” Mr. Shepela said. “We offer the consumer the ability to engage with us when and where they want to.”