The movie screens in a Cineplex multiplex may seem small, but it seems that Canada’s biggest film theatre chain is jogging even smaller displays in speedy food eating places of all locations. Cineplex is now operating tens of thousands of virtual menu monitors for Tim Hortons, A&W Canada, Subway Europe, McDonald’s Canada, and plenty of other corporate customers literally. This seems bizarre until you ask yourself what business Cineplex thinks it is: displaying movies or screening content? Clearly, the answer has to be the latter.
Cineplex (for people who can be surprising) operates a few 162 movie theatres across Canada through its Cineplex Entertainment LP subsidiary. This commercial enterprise of displaying movies is what the 20-plus-12 months-old corporation, based in Toronto, Ontario, has continually been regarded for.
At the same time, a film exhibition is a commercial enterprise loaded down with lots of overhead. It can now not have the finest destiny relying on how hard customers flip to at-home streaming of movies.
Canada’s most fulfilling film exhibitor appears to have seen the writing on the wall display screen for some time. It has been quietly, however, vastly diversifying into turning in digital screen content to business enterprise customers for almost a decade now, mainly via acquisitions.
For instance, Cineplex inherited the settlement to deliver content material to McDonald’s Canada menu monitors seven years ago, while it bought EK3, every other Canadian digital display content company. By the way, I simplest determined all this on Thursday (June 6), thanks to the random happenstance of a quick electricity outage three days earlier.
Your preferred menu is coming to (or from) a Cineplex near you
For about an hour Monday morning, the energy blinked out inside the 1400 block of West Broadway. It wasn’t a big deal. I best it because the majority of the digital menu screens in the McDonalds at 1482 West Broadway did no longer come lower back to lifestyles when electrical power to the block changed into restored.
Instead of displaying the colorfully lively menu and promotional statistics, the three important menu displays, organized in an extended strip above the eating place’s front order counter, displayed nothing more than a static McCafe logo against a somber black heritage.
Surprisingly, this example continued for 3 days. More surprising still, quite a few customers will be heard complaining approximately it. One of the few court cases that I heard passed off Thursday morning and earned a terse rationalization from the counter body of workers to the effect that “the menu doesn’t work.”
The menu (just like the revolution) can be televised
Early Thursday afternoon, however, technicians subsequently arrived in position the menu displays right. The restore system blanketed dismounting the left-most menu display screen to reveal something like a big cable-set-pinnacle container. I can not say that the content to the digital screens is brought thru cable. However, I realize that it’s miles introduced remotely and that the character stores don’t manipulate it.
Likewise, it is not delivered over the identical Internet connection because of the loose, in-store Wi-Fi and cell ordering because while those pass down, the displays hold to perform. In any event, I turned into watching the repair process in hopes of seeing a running machine boot technique indicating whether or not the menu screens were still powered by way of Ubuntu Linux, as had been variously said to be the case some seven years in the past. That wasn’t what I was watching for to peer; however, as standard, it changed into my expectancies that were at fault, no longer the truth.
A few studies suggest that Cineplex surely sees no contradiction whatsoever among operating movie theatre screens and transferring menu monitors in speedy meals restaurants, or rather “short provider eating places” (QSRs), as they’re more generally known as in commercial enterprise circles.
Highlights from Cineplex’s big bounce to the small display screen
June 2010: Cineplex buys Waterloo-primarily based Digital Display & Communications Inc.(DDC) for $3.Five million. This deal appears to mark the foundation of Cineplex’s digital media aims and provides DDC’s strong of foremost clients, inclusive of Air Canada Centre, Rogers stores, Future Shop-Best Buy, CIBC, Labatt Breweries, Citibank, and Sun Trust of Georgia.
July 2013: Cineplex’s new “Digital Solutions” department stages a “pleasant takeover” of EK3 Technologies of London, Ontario. The buyout, estimated to value upward of $78 million, offers CDS EK3’s proprietary, Linux-primarily based, digital delivery platform, as well as its rich consumer bases, such as Tim Hortons, McDonald’s Canada, Walmart, Target, and the RBC and BMO financial agencies.
September 2015: Cineplex Digital Media (CDM) becomes the sole company of digital menu boards to all 850 A&W eating places across Canada.
November 2016: CDM receives the nod to “install, maintain and function a virtual show community, including nearly 230 virtual shows at 21 Ivanhoé Cambridge shopping centers across Canada”.